gun free zones

PA Teachers Union Sues to Ensure Educators Cannot Be Armed for Self-Defense

Pennsylvania’s Tamaqua Area Education Association is suing to prevent teachers from being armed to defend themselves and their students. The Morning Call reports that the suit comes after Tamaqua Area School District became “the first district in the state to allow armed school staff as a way to defend schools against shooters.” Tamaqua Area Education Association president President Frank Wenzel issued statement in which he defended the union’s fight to keep teachers unarmed: “As teachers, counselors and other education professionals, we are trained to provide a high-quality education to our students, not to carry or use firearms in dangerous situations. This is a bad policy for a lot of reasons, but we are challenging it in court because we believe it is illegal.” But Tamaqua Area School District board member Nicholas Boyle disagrees with Wenzel. Boyle pushed the measure to allow teachers to be armed and The Inquirer quotes him saying, “There’s no law that says you can do it, and there’s no law that says you can’t do it, so I think we’re good.” A group of Tamaqua residents launched the “Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools” in response to the board’s decision to arm teachers. And on November 23 Tamaqua Citizens for Safe Schools urged people to sign a Sandy Hook Promise petition to prevent teachers from being armed nationwide: Teachers were not armed when Sandy Hook Elementary School was attacked December 14, 2012, and attacker spent over nine minutes harming defenseless people without any armed response.

Nearly 220 Texas School Districts Allow School Staff to be Armed

Nearly 220 Texas school districts allow school staff to be armed for defense of themselves and their students. The Corpus Christi Caller-Times reports that the exact number of school districts allowing armed staff sits at 217. At the beginning of February there were just over 170 Texas districts allowing armed staff, but that number grew as district after district responded to Parkland and other school shootings by changing policies to allow staff to defend their students. The 217 school districts that allow armed staff represent 21 percent of Texas’s 1,023 independent school districts. That is 21 percent or just over one in five. Texas implemented their armed staff policy in the months after the heinous December 14, 2012, Sandy Hook Elementary School attack. In that attack a man entered the school with stolen guns and spent over nine minutes shooting innocents without any armed response. The policy adopted by Texas “allows school districts to arm school employees and created an additional category of a certified peace officer known as a ‘school marshal’ who can conceal carry a handgun.” It is intended to ensure a Sandy Hook-style attacker will not find a school full of defenseless innocents if he dares to attack.

And that’s smart.  Again, we see Texas on the cutting edge of common sense.  Kudos to these over 200 school district in the great state of Texas for taking this proactive, common sense action.  We need to put a nationwide end to the failed so-called “gun free zones” enacted by anti-gun, liberal Democrats..which are basically advertisements to thugs and criminals that they can go into such schools and nobody will shoot back at them.  It’s time we put a stop to that failed, ridiculous insanity…and allow school districts and teachers to conceal carry, if they want to, so that they can protect their charges from lunatics who would should shoot up schoolrooms to get their 15 mins of fame on tv.  Gun-free zones are a failed idea.

Schools safer today than in 1990s, study on shootings says

As President Trump and lawmakers consider ways to make schools safer in the wake of the Florida high school massacre, an academic study is reporting that U.S. schools overall are safer today than they were in the early 1990s, and there is not an epidemic of such shootings. Researchers at Northeastern University say mass school shootings are extremely rare, that shootings involving students have been declining since the 1990s, and four times as many children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today. “There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” said James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern. He said more children die each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents. There are around 55 million schoolchildren in the U.S., the study said, and over the past 25 years, about 10 students on average per year were killed by gunfire at school. The researchers used data collected by USA Today, the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, Congressional Research Service, Gun Violence Archive, Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries, Mother Jones, Everytown for Gun Safety, and a New York City Police Department report on active shooters. The Everytown group said this month that its own research shows there have been nearly 300 school shootings in America since 2013 — defining a shooting as anytime a firearm discharges a live round inside or into a school building or on a school campus. Since the shooting on Feb. 14 in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 people and wounded 15 others, policymakers including Mr. Trump have been exploring ways to prevent more school shootings, including proposals to arm more teachers and to raise the age limit for purchasing firearms. Mr. Fox said some policy changes could lead to an overall decrease in gun violence, such as banning “bump stocks” and raising the age of purchase for assault rifles from 18 to 21. But he doesn’t believe such measures will prevent all school shootings. “The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround,” Mr. Fox said in a report on the university’s website.

Exactly!!  Some good info here that the White House and members of Congress need to read.  So, please forward it on to your member of Congress and both of your U.S. Senators, regardless of party.  Oftentimes it is they who pass laws which restrict our freedoms based on emotion; NOT facts.  To read the rest of the article, click on the text above.

Colorado state rep, Columbine survivor, pushes to end gun-free zones in schools

Colorado House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, who was a Columbine High School sophomore at the time of the 1999 mass shooting, is pushing legislation that he says would protect students — by getting rid of gun restrictions in schools. He has introduced the bill annually since he was elected in 2014, The Washington Times reported. Previous attempts have been turned down. Neville, a Republican, told The Times the current law “creates a so-called gun free zone in every K-12 public school.” Under Colorado law, concealed-carry permit holders may bring firearms onto school property, according to The Times, but must keep them locked inside their vehicles. “Time and time again we point to the one common theme with mass shootings, they occur in gun-free zones,” Neville told The Times. He added law-abiding citizens should be able “to defend themselves and most importantly our children from the worst-case scenarios.” The massacre on Valentine’s Day of last week in Florida has renewed a nationwide debate about gun violence and how to prevent mass shootings. Nikolas Cruz, 19, was suspected of opening fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he was a former student, killing 17 people and injuring more than a dozen others. Neville has contended, according to The Times, that more of his classmates would have survived the attack if faculty had been armed. In April 1999, two teens killed 12 fellow students and a teacher before killing themselves inside Columbine High School, in Littleton, Colorado.

And those of us who where here then, remember it as if it were yesterday…  The good Colorado state rep is exactly right.  So-called “Gun Free Zones” are a disaster.  The laws creating them were probably done so with good intentions, but based on emotional reaction; NOT thinking the issue through.  The only thing a Gun Free Zone sign does is tell a criminal that it’s a place where they can open fire, and nobody will shoot back.  That’s all!  It’s a stunningly stupid idea.  And, it’s time we abolished them and give teachers and administrators the right to conceal carry so they can protect their charges; their students.  Kudos to CO State Rep Neville for continuing to push the issue in Colorado.

Opinion/Analysis: Can teachers carry guns now? How ‘bout now?

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida — a former student who was expelled for disciplinary reasons — was arrested for the shooting deaths of 17 students. The left likes to use these tragedies to sing a song of gun control. But they’re making the wrong case. What’s needed are more guns in the hands of the right people. What’s needed is a concerted and widespread push for teachers, staffers, administrators to be given the rubber-stamp approval to conceal-carry firearms on school grounds. Look at the alleged scenario of this latest tragedy. “Cruz, equipped with a gas mask, smoke grenades and multiple magazines of ammunition, opened fire with a semi-automatic weapon, killing 17 people and sending hundreds of students fleeing into the streets,” NBC wrote, citing police. Other media reports said he first pulled the fire alarm to pour students into the hallway and then, after shooting, that he tried to blend in with those fleeing into the streets. This fits with the police telling that they apprehended him at home, after viewing surveillance video. Now imagine the scenario where teachers at this school are armed — where administrators actually have guns at the ready — where it’s publicly known that staffers are maybe, maybe not carrying. It’s the last that’s key. Never mind how many staffers are actually armed. Fact is, a gunman suspecting resistance — fearing resistance — may not even carry out gunning plans. Just the knowledge that some may be carrying could defray killings. If Cruz thought a teacher or two were well-armed, would he have gone on his rampage in the first place? Mull this: “Guns Saving Lives: 12 Stories Cited by Second Amendment Advocates,” a headline from Newsmax in late 2017. Or this, from the Daily News in 2012: “Concealed weapons save lives.” Or this, from National Review in 2015: “Gun-Free Zones Don’t Save Lives — Right to Carry Laws Do.” Or this, from Gun Owners of America, way back in 2008: “Fact Sheet: Guns Save Lives: Section 8: Arm Yourself With The Facts.” That’s right — the facts. And the fact is: Metal doesn’t kill. Flesh does. And going after guns does nothing but give the criminals the upper hand. If we want to stop the senseless violence gripping America, the tragic incidents of death and mayhem at our schools, we have to address the root of this violence — the fact that our society is largely godless, morally drifting, wallowing in secularism, broken and damaged. Until then, let’s at least level the playing field and give administrators, teachers, staffers — those who’ve already been cleared to conceal carry — the ability to conceal carry in the classroom. It’s for the children.

Well said, Cheryl.  Cheryl Chumley is the author of that outstanding op/ed.  Excellent!!    🙂

Texas attorney general says professors face discipline if they ban guns

College professors in Texas could face disciplinary measures if they prohibit handguns to be brought into their classrooms, state Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday. Paxton filed a motion this week to dismiss a federal lawsuit brought last month by three professors at the University of Texas at Austin seeking to block the campus carry law, which took effect Aug.1. Texas has allowed licensed concealed handguns in public since 1995 but had previously made college buildings off limits. “Faculty members are aware that state law provides that guns can be carried on campus, and that the president has not made a rule excluding them from classrooms,” attorneys representing the university and Paxton wrote in the legal brief. “As a result, any individual professor who attempts to establish such prohibition is subject to discipline.” According to the Dallas Morning News, the three professors – Mia Carter, Jennifer Glass and Lisa Moore – are asking a judge to put the law on hold arguing that the law is too vague for them to know if and how they might be punished if armed students are kept out of their classrooms. The professors are asking a judge to halt the law for at least one semester in order to hold a public trial on whether the campus carry law violates their constitution rights to free speech and equal protection. Paxton’s lawyers contend that the law is clear and gives the universities’ presidents the ability to designate each school’s limited gun-free zones. The lawyers go on to say that If classrooms aren’t expressly included in their campuses policy to prohibit handguns, then firearms must be allowed in the rooms. The paper reported that the judge’s decision to grant the professors’ request to halt the law could come later this week. However, the judge acknowledged that by granting their request could start a slippery slope that would allow every public university in the state an excuse to ban guns in the classroom.

Liberty University to allow handguns in dorms next fall

Liberty University will allow students with concealed handgun permits from the state to keep their weapons in their dorms beginning next fall. The News & Advance reports those students would need permission from the school first. The guns would be kept in safes inside the residence halls at the private Christian university. The policy change was given the go-ahead by the university’s board of trustees last week. University President Jerry Falwell Jr. announced last year that eligible students could carry guns anywhere on campus. Previously, students who qualified could carry guns anywhere except residence halls. Liberty University has over 14,500 residential students. One requirement for having a concealed-carry permit is being 21 or older. Falwell says he expects the change to affect few people since not many 21-year-old students live in dorms on campus.

Exactly!!  Smart decision!!  🙂

Sanctuary sentinels: Churches establish armed security teams as shootings rise

The Rev. Brady Boyd believes there is no safer place to be Sunday morning than inside his church. When Boyd takes to the pulpit at New Life Church, in Colorado Springs, Colo., he and the faithful are well protected. The 30-acre grounds are patrolled by uniformed police officers and an armed safety team made up of about 20 people, including Special Forces soldiers from one of four nearby military bases. One of Boyd’s personal secuirty guards is a 24-year veteran Green Beret. “It’s not like Soviet Russia,” he said. “But you plan for the worst, and pray for the best.” New Life is one of a growing number of churches around the country that embrace armed security to protect the flock as they worship. A disturbing increase in shootings inside churches, including the shooting last Sunday of a pastor in Dayton, Ohio, and the tragic killing of nine last year at a South Carolina church has prompted extreme measures. New Life was one of the first in the nation to embrace armed security, and it has already proven provident. Boyd was in his office at the church following Sunday services Dec. 9, 2007, when a gunman killed two people outside and then entered the building armed with an assault rifle, two handguns and up to 1,000 rounds of ammunition. The 24-year-old killer, Matthew Murray, was about 80 feet inside the building when his rampage was brought to an end by Jeanne Assam, an armed volunteer security guard. “I saw him coming through the doors, and I took cover, and I waited for him to get closer,” Assam said afterward. “I came out of cover, I identified myself and engaged him and took him down.” No one can say how many lives Assam saved, but there were several thousand people on the church’s campus after Sunday’s services. But Boyd estimated that over a hundred lives were saved. “I love the people that I pastor,” Boyd said … “I want to protect them.”

Good for you, Reverend!  I used to drive by this New Life Church to and from Colorado Springs when I was on active duty with the Army several years ago..  This is an unfortunate sign of the times.

University of Texas dean leaves school, citing campus carry gun law

A University of Texas dean said Thursday he’s leaving the school to pursue a different job in large part because of the new Texas law that will allow concealed firearms in public college classrooms. Fritz Steiner, dean of the Texas School of Architecture, was named dean of the University of Pennsylvania School of Design. He said he wouldn’t have considered leaving if not for the new law, which takes effect prior to the start of the fall semester Aug. 1. “I thought I would be responsible for enforcing a law I don’t believe in,” Steiner said. Texas lawmakers voted in 2015 to force public colleges to allow concealed handgun license holders to bring their weapons into college buildings and classrooms, despite vigorous objections from higher education officials, faculty and students across the state. Supporters said the law was a critical self-defense measure and protection of constitutional rights. Steiner said he’s not anti-guns, but doesn’t want them in the halls of higher education. Texas faculty have worried allowing guns could have a chilling effect on academic freedom and frank discussions in classrooms. “I grew up hunting. My father was a Marine and a policeman. I’m not a stranger to firearms in any way,” Steiner said. “I grew up believing there was an appropriate place for guns and it was not in a place of higher education and higher learning.” Jonathan Snow, president of the faculty senate at the University of Houston, echoed Steiner’s concerns to the school’s Board of Regents, according to the Houston Chronicle on Wednesday. “Academics know the intrusion of gun culture into campus inevitably harms academic culture,” Snow told the Board of Regents. University of Texas President Greg Fenves last week reluctantly approved rules for where guns will be allowed on his campus. Fenves doesn’t support guns on campus but said he had no choice but to enforce the law. His office declined comment Thursday. The law gives private institutions a choice to ban guns, and most have done that. Fenves has said allowing guns on campus will make it harder to recruit and retain top faculty and students. Steiner’s departure would be the most immediate high-profile result of that prediction. “I can report that it’s already part of the conversation when I was trying to recruit and retain faculty and recruit graduate students,” Steiner said of the campus carry law. “It’s certainly on the minds of many faculty and students.” Students for Concealed Carry issued a statement Thursday that didn’t address Steiner’s departure, but criticized educators “overwhelmed by unjustified fear.” “Intellectually, these professors are no different than someone whose actions are defined by an irrational fear of sharks, witchcraft, or vaccines,” the student group said.

This is a followup to a story we posted a while back.  Talk about a clash of cultures!  Glad to see this dean leave.  It’s gotta be driving the liberal academia absolutely nuts having to deal with the gun issue in Texas.  🙂

Opinion: It’s time to abolish gun-free zones

Despite the majority of Americans agreeing that more concealed weapons would make America safer, the left continues to push for stricter gun laws and regulations and more gun-free zones. However, banning the legal carrying of firearms simply has not worked and will not work. What gun-free zones essentially create are victim target zones, areas in which citizens are left especially vulnerable to attack and unable to legally defend themselves. As Gov. Mike Huckabee put it during the latest undercard Republican debate, “Of course we want to stop gun violence, but the one common thing that has happened in most mass shootings is that they happened in gun-free zones, where people would have been law-abiding citizens, who could have stood up and at least tried to stop it were not allowed to under the law.” Echoing the historic findings of economist and gun-rights advocate John Lott, Mr. Huckabee makes a valid point; gun-free zones lead not to less but to more gun-related deaths. In reality, the victim target zones created by gun-free zones don’t protect citizens from gun violence at all, but actually serve as hotbeds for murders, mass shootings and terrorist attacks. The counterproductive effect of gun-free zones has been especially apparent in some of the most infamous mass shootings of our time. In fact, Columbine High School, Virginia Tech University, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the Century 16 movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado and Umpqua Community College were all gun-free zones. Law-abiding American men, women and children were left as sitting ducks, with little hope of protecting themselves against these attacks. Yet, gun-free zones continue to pop up across the country, creating more and more victim target zones. “What the President keeps pushing are ideas that have never worked, ideas that would not have stopped San Bernardino, Sandy Hook, Aurora,” Mr. Huckabee said. And, he is exactly right. The effort to create gun-free zones has not worked and will not work. Those who seek to kill will find a way, oftentimes completely disregarding the law as they did in Colorado, Virginia, Connecticut and Oregon. Why should this evil path be made easier for murderers and terrorists through the continued creation and acceptance of gun-free zones? Law-abiding citizens are being prevented from protecting themselves in areas where evil continues to pose a substantial threat. The nonsense must stop. Americans should be empowered to defend themselves, not legally unable to do so. As frequently reiterated, “guns don’t kill people,” but gun-free zones certainly can and do. It is time for gun-free zones to be abolished. -Madison Gesiotto is a staff editor for the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law. The author’s views are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law

Regardless, Madison is exactly right here.  It is time to be rid of these so-called “gun free zones” which are merely safe havens for criminals intent on killing innocent people.