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‘Gun Free Zones’ Are No Safe Solution

December 30, 2012
The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

Editor, News-Register:

In the aftermath of the school shootings in Newtown, Conn., common sense would seem to dictate a better solution than "Gun Free Zones" to keep our kids safe from such an attack.

Statistics show most such shootings occur in these designated zones and for obvious reasons. Cities and states that permit citizens to carry concealed weapons are safer. It's a fact that cannot be disputed, yet these facts are ignored. When incidents such as Newtown occur our lawmakers cower to the politically correct loud anti-gun rhetoric of a very small minority who believe we can be safer if we just took guns away.

This line of thinking might be feasible for those who will obey the law but how do we make criminals cooperate and obey as well? Persons who believe more laws are the answer have no understanding of our history and are ignorant to the downfalls of such thinking. Our present day society is afraid of "the boogie man" which, in this case, is guns.

Our teachers are entrusted daily with the safety and welfare of our children. We put our children's very lives in the hands of our school personnel 180 days a year 6 to 8 hours a day and the protection we give them is a sign - "Gun Free Zone."

We authorize our faculty to act on our behalf during our absence, literally putting them in a lions den, defenseless against a mad man with a gun and we think nothing about it until a Newtown, Conn. occurs.

Even then we dismiss our fears and theorize, "It will never happen here, not in our community." Think again! All of us, parents and school administrators alike take this responsibility too lightly leaving our schools powerless against such an attack.

I would venture to guess that WV has twice as many guns as Connecticut and I know WV citizens face the same drug and alcohol, social, financial and relational problems as the people of Connecticut, so I would imagine we have our share of unstable persons as well. So where do we justify thinking "it will never happen here"?

No amount of new laws, no sign, no camera system, no locked door, nor lockdown procedure not a uniformed guard is going to stop a deranged mad man from the evil he has planned to carry out. These "security" initiatives are well intended but amount to nothing more than "feel good" measures for the appeasement of the general public and the loud "No Guns Allowed" crowd. When tragedy does strike we try to convince ourselves we did all we could, but did we?

It is painfully clear that "the only thing that can protect our children from a mad man with a gun is a good guy with a gun". Police and sheriff's departments are limited by budgets and cannot provide an officer in every school every hour of the day. Even so a single Officer can't be everywhere at once.

So what's left but common sense?

Our forefathers gave us the 2nd Amendment for our self defense and it's about time we demand that our school administrators be allowed to authorize their staff to use it. We need to train and authorize our school staff to carry a concealed firearm and authorize them to do so. The NRA is standing by willing and able to meet this demand.

No! You say. Why not? We are talking about educated, intelligent, responsible adults who certainly should be able to handle the responsibility of a concealed firearm, I'm guessing a number of teachers already have their carry permits.

Police and many citizens carry a concealed firearm daily, it would be no greater a burden for our school staff to carry a concealed firearm.

After all they are responsible for the safety of our children, certainly we should be able to entrust them with the responsibility of a firearm. Shouldn't we?

I suspect a number of our school staff would be opposed initially and that's ok, some people lack the confidence to handle a handgun, but I'm sure many are quite capable and willing as part of their commitment to their position of keeping our kids safe.

Just removing the myth from the public view that our schools are void of armed staff would be a step forward and make a mad man think twice about targeting our kids.

In this liberal society we now live where crimes so often go unpunished and our declining moral values insists we take God out of the platform we work from, it is only a matter of time before tragedy strikes our home town. Shouldn't we be able to fight back?

Sam Elson

Glen Dale

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