As the tide of gun control continues to roll back, the issue of “gun free ” zones looks set to explode. Three days ago, New York Time columnist Gail Collins laced into people who support the idea of allowing guns at bars and, especially, airports. “Sooner or later almost everybody has to fly through the Atlanta airport. Can I see a show of hands on how many would prefer that there not be folks prowling around with loaded guns on their person?” Prowling? Anyway, that’s one side of the debate, where the idea of a civilian carrying a weapon in a crowded pubic place is a complete anathema. On the other side, plenty of gun owners see gun-free zones as killing fields. (A view repeatedly repeated by NRA Board Member Ted Nugent, amongst others.) To prove their theory that gun bans merely offer a target-rich environment for gun-wielding criminals and psychopaths, they point to the same campus-based spree killings that gun control advocates use to support their case. And now, both sides have a flesh-and-blood champion/antagonist: Monte Gant. whnt.com reports . . .
The Board of Education terminated the contract this morning [17 May] of Monte Gant, the director of the Earnest Pruett Center of Technology, the county’s technical school.
“It was reported to my office last Thursday, the 13th of May, that a school employee had a firearm on campus,” Superintendent Kenneth Harding said.
It’s an unfortunate situation and it’s one we wish we weren’t involved in but is us and the Board has met at a special called meeting today and they have taken action and we are trying to abide by Alabama law.”
Gant admits that he kept a handgun in his desk–and had since early in the Fall semester.
He says that’s when he received serious threats towards the school from a parent.
“I have 500 students, lives in my hands here each and every day, about 30 faculty staff members, and those lives are very important to me,” Gant said. “I’m not going to risk somebody coming off the street and taking any of those lives.” . . .
“We just can’t have it,” Harding said. “There are too many instances of guns and we’re just not going to have it. Don’t want it. Students, employees, whomever.”
Gant said there were a couple of other people at the school who knew of his gun, which he kept locked in his office.
“There were a couple of people that were close to the office that knew if something happened to me, how to get to the gun and protect a few lives or every life or whatever the case may be,” Gant said.
“I’m sorry that I broke a board policy in choosing what I did, but I am not sorry for choosing to protect my students and faculty and staff.”
Don’t be surprised when this one turns into a media feeding frenzy. [National media: ping firstname.lastname@example.org] The comments underneath the article are anything to go by—and remember, this is the heart of “gun country”—confirm it: two equal, opposite, opposing camps are girding for battle. Watch this space.