Guns and Schools

Federal law makes it illegal to have a gun on school grounds.

My 2002 Libertarian Party campaign manager thought the policy so stupid that he called schools “protection free” zones.

It’s the one place a nut job, be he a student or an adult, can be sure there will not be armed resistance, assuming police are not regularly on a school’s
premises

In 2000, the biggest public issue Rosemary Kurtz, the woman who beat me in the GOP primary election and with whom I am now firmly allied in the fight against the McHenry County College baseball stadium in Crystal Lake’s watershed, had going for her was guns in schools.

One of my supporters, Jack Roeser, had published a newsletter for the Family Taxpayers Network which detailed how a Mississippi vice principal, if memory serves me correctly, had gone to his car, parked the distance away from the school prescribed by federal law, and got his hunting rifle when an armed teen started threatening people.

Can’t you hear the conversation?

“Put the gun down or I’m going to shoot you?”

The kid put his gun down.

A similar use of armed force worked at the law school in Virginia or West Virginia. Although virtually no media outlet reported how the student was disarmed, it was a guy with a gun and the gun was probably not carried in a holster you could see.

Both good guys with guns stopped potential massacres.

So, Rosemary’s people sent out a press release saying something like, Cal Skinner’s supporter supports allowing teachers to have guns in schools, therefore, Cal must, too.

Classic guilt by association tactic.

When Chuck Keeshan of the Daily Herald called me for my reaction while I was in Springfield, I was boxed in.

Not by anything in the press release, but by my interview with the Daily Herald editorial board member.

While discussing the Columbine massacre, I had said, “What a shame all the teacher could do was throw himself in front of one of his students. Too bad he couldn’t have taken out one of the little squirrels.”

Now, at any other newspaper, that would not have caused a problem.

But the Daily Herald had both editorial board member Jim Slusher and Keeshan in on the interview. The Daily Herald, logically, figures that the reporter covering the race might learn something useful during the interview.

So, I couldn’t very well tell Keeshan that allowing teachers to have guns in school to protect their students was the stupidest idea I had ever heard.

Had I known about the federal law that would have been the basis on my reply. After all, I had never proposed allowing teachers to have guns in school. But I didn’t know about the federal law and the NRA folks in Washington, when asked for advice on how to answer the question, were no help at all.

The Daily Herald ran a front page story. It was not helpful. I’m sure the Northwest Herald followed suit, on a crusade to keep me out of office since its 1992 editorial board interview when I told them I opposed abortion.

The next day I was being interviewed by Sandy Rios on WYLL-FM. Carol Marin was in her brief “I am woman” news anchor phase and sent a new liberal (would Marin hire any other?) woman reporter to interview me.

Before we went on the air at WYLL, the reporter asked me if I were afraid that one of Steven’s armed teachers might harm him.

I couldn’t say what I was thinking.

“Are you nuts? Why are you asking such a stupid question?”

Instead I said something non-inflammatory like, “I have no fear that any of my son’s teachers would want to harm him.”

Naturally, the station ran a hurtful story. (Was it Channel Two where Marin had briefly landed in the top spot before the Peter Principle asserted itself?)

And the next day while driving to some campaign event, I heard another story on the subject on Shadow Traffic’s news, believe it or not.

So, three days of bad publicity.

Pretty devastating.

Got to hand it to the pro-abortion folks handling Rosemary’s campaign. They handled the issue quite skillfully. Unethically, but skillfully.

But, now, with a Huntley 16-year old young man having been arrested for disorder conduct for a MySpace threat, according to the Northwest Herald, the subject is likely to come up again.

Two people saw what the kid wrote and told school officials.

Should school personnel who are skilled with weapons be allowed to have them at school to use for protection of students and other staff?

And for those who passionately believe that having a gun in the house is useless for protection, I invited you to put a sign in front of your home saying,

NO GUNS
WITHIN

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