Weston WI, September 29, 2006. A disgruntled student came to school armed. The Principal was shot while disarming the student, giving opportunity for others nearby to tackle the shooter.
Lancaster County PA, October 2, 2006. An unknown gunman entered a one-room schoolhouse and took several hostages, eventually killing at least three and injuring seven before killing himself.
There are two common threads in all three shootings that have taken place in schools this past week. 1. All the shootings took place in a "gun free zone" and 2. The Good Guys With Guns did not show up in time to stop the Bad Guys With Guns. It should be clear by now that the "gun free schools" policy does not work.
Current laws (both federal and state, as well as school policies) forbid guns on school property. The people who plan to shoot teachers and students obviously do not care about a "gun free school" law any more than they care about the laws against murder. The police are good people who do their best - but they can't be everywhere at once. The only people who are at the scene of the crime when it happens are the shooter and the victims. That leaves only the victims to protect themselves. "Gun free school" laws only disarm the victims and give the attackers peace of mind that nobody can stop them until the police arrive.
In light of the obviously failed "no guns" policy, the victims should be able to arm themselves. Responsible adults who have concealed carry permits (background checks, training, minimum age, etc.) should be allowed to carry in schools: administration, teachers, staff, and in the case of colleges, adult students. It takes a minimum of training to safely and effectively operate a handgun - a few weeks ago Margaret Johnson, an elderly wheelchair-bound grandmother in New York City, shot a mugger who was strangling her. One teacher with a gun in a nearby classroom could quickly end a shooting rampage.
Pearl MS, October 1997. A student brought a rifle to Pearl High School and fired dozens of rounds before Joel Myrick, the Vice Principal, could run a quarter of a mile to his truck to retrieve his own gun. Myrick returned to school (violating several laws) and held the shooter at gunpoint until the police arrived. The shooter had planned to drive to the nearby Junior High and continue his rampage while the police were at the High School.
Grundy VA, January 16, 2002. A failing student at the Appalachian Law School brought a pistol to campus and shot six, killing three including the Dean and a professor. The shooting was stopped by two students who went to their vehicles and retrieved their own pistols (violating school policy) to hold the shooter at gunpoint until police arrived.
In these cases, the time required to go get the gun allowed more innocents to be murdered. If these people had been allowed to carry a gun with them, they could have stopped the shooting more quickly. Perhaps if John Klang had been allowed to carry a gun in Weston Wisconsin last week when he confronted the shooter, this hero would still be alive. The policy that prevented him from carrying a gun did not prevent a murder-minded teenager from carrying a gun. Decades of experience with concealed carry in several states show that there have been no problems with in any location where it is allowed and in some states even in schools.
We need to change stupid laws that do not stop murders from killing at school, that only prevent innocent victims from being able to protect themselves. We need to pressure state lawmakers to remove schools from the list of places prohibited from concealed carry. We need to pressure our national lawmakers to repeal the federal "Gun Free School Zones" law. We need to pressure University officials to change the policy regarding legally carried guns on campus. Until this happens, the people in charge of these policies are responsible for every shooting that occurs in these places where by law only the murderers are allowed to have guns.