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Reader Hawkeye Forge writes:

Recently an opinion piece, ‘If my sister was armed: The reality of guns in schools,’ by Colorado resident Jane Dougherty appeared on the Denver Post’s website. Sadly, Ms. Dougherty cannot complete a paragraph without exposing some form of bias:

This week, the Colorado House is scheduled to consider a bill that will let anyone with a concealed carry permit carry a gun in our state’s public schools. House Bill 1168 would actually force schools to allow guns on their property and in their buildings. The legislation is sponsored by Sen. Tim Neville and his son, Rep. Patrick Neville — big supporters of Colorado’s extremist gun rights organization, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO).

Apparently an organization cannot simply be a “pro-gun rights organization” or a “civil rights organization,” it must be an “extremist gun rights organization.” Any gun owner will gladly tell you that guns do not have rights and thus do not need lobbying organizations. It’s the people who own guns who find themselves in need of organizational support, almost always in response to organizations who wish to strip those people of their rights and property.

And it’s mutual; RMGO is a big supporter of the Nevilles. So it should come as no surprise that their answer to the gun violence that has plagued our state is more guns.

I see the word “answer” in that paragraph, but I don’t see a question. However, the paragraph raises a couple: where are the data tables showing this “gun violence that has plagued our state”? And didn’t Colorado recently pass “common sense [ick] gun legislation” that was supposed to wrap everyone in a blanket of safetyness?

According to data taken from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report (and complied by[1]), the total number of violent crimes in 2013 is 700 lower than the number of violent crime in 2011. 700 may not exactly be cause for celebration, but it’s far from the “plague” that Ms. Dougherty decries.

Additionally, Ms. Dougherty seems confused. The proposed legislation would neither manufacture nor import more firearms. It would not force educators (or anyone) to carry firearms. It simply removes the crime of carrying a firearm in a school. Here’s the bill summary:

“With certain exceptions, current law limits the authority of a person who holds a valid permit to carry a concealed handgun by prohibiting permit holders from carrying a concealed handgun on public elementary, middle, junior high, and high school grounds. The bill removes this limitation.”

This author believes the Denver Post’s website editor was remiss in not including the text of the bill.

It’s taken right out of the gun lobby’s playbook, along with the popular saying, “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The Nevilles believe that putting guns into the hands of good teachers will stop bad guys from committing mass shootings in our schools.

Ms. Dougherty has used a very simple yet very powerful trick of deception here; she has told you a truth immediately followed by a lie. “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun” is absolutely true, which is why almost everyone who experiences a bad guy with a gun calls the police. (Hint: the police don’t bring silly string canisters. They bring firearms.)

The lie that immediately follows is that the Nevilles (or anyone) are attempting to force teachers to carry weapons. That is simply not true. If an educator with a concealed handgun license valid in Colorado wishes to carry a firearm at work for the protection of the students today, the only way to do so is illegally. This bill would change that.

If you ask me, that seems a little over-simplified.

Occam’s Razor definitely applies.

The last thing we need is to force guns into our elementary schools, middle schools and high schools.


This misguided idea of arming teachers is the gun lobby’s answer to what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and at Columbine High School in Colorado.

I have sat through committee hearings and listened to gun lobby activists avow that my sister Mary, the school psychologist at Sandy Hook, should have been armed. I have heard and read ad nauseam that if Mary had a gun she would have been able to shoot and kill the disturbed young man that blasted his way into her school killing her, 20 children and five other educators.

The entire nation (including the gun community) mourned the loss of your sister as well as the five other adults and the twenty children. I’ll never forget where I was, what I was doing, who was near me, what we were all wearing, and even what the weather was like when I heard. All our hearts broke when we heard the news.

We must, however, set our emotional reactions aside when dealing with legislation. If Connecticut has passed an identical law to the one proposed in Colorado and your sister was anything like you ideologically, then she likely wouldn’t have been armed anyway. If the murderer (whose name does not deserve mention) had followed the same course of action, then your sister might have still perished alongside five other adults and twenty children.

Or, perhaps not. Perhaps one of her colleagues had armed himself or herself in accordance with the law and had confronted the shooter. The tragedy of a school murder would still happen, but could the numbers have been five and nineteen as opposed to six and twenty? I would even prefer six and nineteen.

We even have evidence of something like this happening. In 1997, there was another tragic shooting in Pearl, Mississippi. A student came to school with a stolen AR-15 semiautomatic rifle and shot his girlfriend, then six other students. He had free reign of the school until the Vice Principal retrieved his handgun from the glove box of his car and returned to the school, holding the student at gunpoint until officers arrived. The murderer capitulated at the first sign of armed resistance. There is a pattern in this that ranges from Aurora to the Clackamas Town Mall.

The Vice Principal violated the Federal Gun Free Safe Zone Act just by storing his handgun in his vehicle. Retrieving the firearm took precious time, and during this time the murderer was free to exert his will upon the school and claim six more victims.

If Mississippi had passed an identical law to the one proposed in Colorado, then the response would have measured in seconds instead of minutes. That universally results in lives saved.

There’s another phrase that’s popular with firearms enthusiasts: “When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”


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  1. My daughter is a teacher, yes I would rather she have the option to have the effective means available to defend herself and her students.

    Requiring her to be disarmed does nothing to protect students or herself.

  2. Hey Dan, isn’t that “FUD” (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt)? “Fudd” is that guy with the skeet gun that wants ATF to confiscate your AR. Anyway–just another hysterical rant, I don’t see where anyone is “forced” to do anything by the proposal.

  3. Arapahoe High School:

    Armed responder on site, a “good guy with a gun” showed up mere seconds after the beginning of the incident, and the attacker killed himself. There was still tragic loss of life, but the attacker was prepared to do much more.

    Compare that to Sandy Hook, where the murderer was unopposed for long minutes. What’s really lethal in these cases isn’t the weaponry, it’s the time the killers have alone with their defenseless victims. Anything that increases that time will add to the death toll, anything that shortens it will save lives.

    • I’ve long thought that, given that Lanza had something like 10 minutes unopposed in the school, and the prevailing doctrine of cower in place and wait your turn, he could have done in a large number of folks with a brace of black-powder pistols. After taking a couple of shots, he could have brained the others with the gun butts. The time factor was a lot more important than the perp’s weaponry.

  4. Suppose jihadists (they kill school children) walked into a school and starting killing our young ones. What anti gun campaign words will they relay?

    I fear our culture of democracy fails to understand others do not value our ability to conduct discourse without violence. How many articles, opinions, and delusions of well meaning people does it take to realized evil doesn’t take a pill, talk to Dr. Phil, or care about the lives of others?

  5. Where are these “putting guns into hands” laws that the anti-gunners keep telling me about? Wish someone would put a Sig 226 Tac Ops 9mm into my hand. I could really get behind a law like that. I’d even substitute teach for a bit. I could show the teachers how it *is* possible to teach classes while armed.

    Come to think of it, every training day I can remember at work had classes from at least one armed instructor. Legislative updates, first aid / CPR / EMR certifications, TASER refresher tests, HAZMAT courses and more all were taught to me by armed instructors. Sometimes they were in uniform, and sometimes not. I attend all those classes armed, with the exception of some of the fighting / physical methods of arrest training. It isn’t wise to spar, wrestle, and fight with loaded guns in a training environment.

    When we point guns at each other, they are usually the blue plastic training guns. Occasionally we point real guns at each other during training. In those cases, the guns are cleared and unloaded. They are checked by three different people to ensure they are unloaded prior to being used mock felony stops. The person acting as the “bad guy” is one of the checkers that they gun pointed in his direction is unloaded.

  6. Leftists don’t comprehend the difference between a right and a mandate. Therefore, they seem to believe removing obstacles that prevent people from exercising their rights means everyone else will be forced to exercise that right, whether they want to or not.

    • I think you’re on to something there. To a leftist, a “right” is something you force on everyone else. Homosexuals have a “right” to get married, so they can force me to bake their cake, you to take their picture, Tom to cater the ceremony, etc, etc. Womyn have a “right” to “feel safe” on campus, so they can force you, me, Tom, Dick, and even off-the-reservation Jane to leave our guns locked up in the campus cop shop. Unskilled, uneducated, inexperienced laborers have a “right” to a “livable wage”, so they can force every employer to pay [insert number du jour here] dollars per hour. Hell, I could go on forever like this.

  7. In 2004, 334 hostages, 186 of whom were children, were killed by 31 “militants” in Beslan, Russia. Ten or more government forces were killed before ending the massacre. What is the response?

    – It can’t happen here in America!
    – if only we didn’t have so many guns in America it couldn’t happen here!
    – the police are just minutes away!
    – if only we didn’t breed a culture of violence in America!
    – . . .

    When will we see such a massacre in America? If any, how many?

    More importantly, when will parents begin to recognize that none of the foregoing responses is altogether satisfactory. Will parents get an inkling after the first massacre? The second? The third? Or, will parents eventually accept occasional/regular massacres as part of the background of life in a dangerous world?

    Nick Rasmussen, director of the National Counterterrorism Center, told a congressional hearing on Feb 12 that 150 American citizens and residents have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria as foreign fighters. Will these chickens come home to roost? Are there more lone wolves among them? Will ISIS infiltrate through our secure border with Mexico?

    Nothing here to think about; it can’t happen in America.

    • There’s a book by William Forstchen called “Day of Wrath” in which a radical Muslim group virtually paralyzes the nation by sending small cells to attack and occupy ten or so randomly-picked schools across the country. It’s terrifying because there’s not much in the book that I could describe as far-fetched.

      The typical anti response is likely similar to their response to the purpose of the 2nd Amendment: “What’s one person with a handgun going to do against 31 terrorists with rifles?” Sure, the “Die Hard” scenario of one guy with a handgun clearing a building full of terrorists is…unlikely to happen in real life. But you wouldn’t have to clear the building – you’d just have to clear a path.

      In those first critical minutes at Beslan, what if someone had been armed and able to take out one or two guys guarding the doors of the gym they were being herded to? Many of those 334 might have escaped before the rest of the terrorist group figured out what was happening.

      • “But you wouldn’t have to clear the building – you’d just have to clear a path.”

        Best wisdom of the day.

        • Nail one or two of them and you may just throw their plan into chaos – which would be worth it. Nobody’s going to “save the day” in that situation, but throwing the bad guys off-balance might just save some lives.

  8. Re: the Pearl, MS, shooting, the rifle was a .30-30, not an AR. And IIRC the principal was parked off-campus, which is why he caught the kid as he was driving out of the parking lot. He saved a lot more people that day by hauling tail to fetch his gun (think it was a 1911, but I may be wrong). Too bad he didn’t have it in his desk, or even better on his person when that thing started.

  9. “House Bill 1168 would actually force schools to allow guns on their property and in their buildings.

    As opposed to the violent felons bent on a mass-killing? Do they not force the same thing? What is with this legally enforced victim status? Aren’t the schools forcing people to be helpless on their property and in their buildings?

  10. The other side loves taking their creative licenses while describing legislation such as this.
    “Guns will fill the streets!” “Guns everywhere!” “No training!” “No rules!” “It’ll be the Wild West!”
    No need for research when spinning up an opinion article. Just spew emotions and words.

    I live in Idaho. Individuals with CCW’s are allowed to have their carry in the car if picking up or dropping off students.
    Today, I had to bring my child into the office. To follow the law, I am required to handle my firearm in public. Other parents sending their students to school may see this. I have to place it in a glove box, under the seat, console, other “secure” location, and leave my gun. How does that make students any safer? It belongs on my hip, no where else.
    Remove the restriction. Have stiff penalties in place for the one asshat who carries a Bryco in his pocket and touches one off in the bathroom.
    Now if I carry my pistol into his school and GOD FORBID mishandle my gun causing a ND, fine me. Lock me up. As an educated AND TRAINED gun owner, I’m confident in my safe firearm handling abilities. I will take that risk if it means I’m prepared to protect the lives of those I love.

  11. Seems it is time for Congress to do their duty in securing the states of the union by creating a training regiment for all males above the age of 18 how to properly handle service weapons, require their issuance among the population, and make sure that the neares military garrison is actually carrying out the regular training that is required of the second ammendment of the constitution.
    Once ignorance is gone, so is unreasonable fear.

  12. “The entire nation (including the gun community) mourned the loss of your sister as well as the five other adults and the twenty children.”

    I don’t mourn the loss at all. The loss was intentional. It was deliberate. It was calculated by those that wish to disarm the American People, and it was made possible by those – including his sister – that abide by it.

    When a parent sends their child to a school, the employees of that school assume the moral responsibility for protecting that child as the parent would have protected them. His sister abdicated that responsibility.

    Her death is the result of her inactions. The deaths of others will certainly follow, as the left can only claim the moral high ground by standing atop a pile of corpses that their polices create; intentionally, deliberately, and in a calculated manner.

    Stop pretending that school shooting are tragedies that are unpredictable.

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