Letter - Guns have no place at schools

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I was already angry and dismayed that Idaho Gov. Butch Otter signed a bill to allow students at the University of Idaho to carry guns when I saw that another school shooting had taken place.

I cannot believe any school would even consider such a ridiculous thing. Imagine, if you will, a group of college kids partying and an argument breaks out.

Someone says something to someone’s girlfriend or any other possibility when emotions are high from drinking and/or drugs and — bang — a student is killed! Why?

It is unbelievable to me that anyone could think this is a solution to problems. The problem is there are already too many people with access to guns.

I cannot believe this is what is meant by the Second Amendment. Nor do I believe it means it is OK to kill someone rather than let the police officers do their job.

I hope it is not your sons or daughters who suffers the consequences of such a senseless act.

Jane Samples

Walla Walla

Comments

goldlizard 11 months, 1 week ago

I agree Jane! We should only let the government agencies, federal agencies, and military have guns. This way if we as a people disagree or protest against anything they don't take too kindly too, like protesting a war or the taking away of our constitutional rights, they can eliminate the problem with no fuss and no muss. You're right Jane this is a brilliant idea! I mean what if you are in your home and someone breaks in...you don't have to worry about anything...you can just let your relatives worry about taking care of the funeral. I'm not sure you realize this or not Jane but every major mass shooting in the recent past that I can remember was perpetrated by someone who not only had mental health issues, but was also a liberal democrat. If you really want to make a change in our society fix the mental health system and critically think before you write a letter to the editor. If you are still determined on taking away guns, then by all means, take them away from the liberal democrats. We would all be safer in the long run.

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chicoli 11 months, 1 week ago

Great, gold lizard, blame it on the mental health of the American people and on the liberal democrats. Ninety Americans are killed every single day and 30 thousands Americans are killed a year due to gun violence. No other civilized country heave seen such madness. The mental health of the American people is not worst than the mental health of Canadians, British, Japanese or Australian citizens; but the "gun madness" going on in this Country of ours is, indeed worst than in any other country in the face of the Earth, and the difference is the easy availability of guns in America.

The argument that guns are going to be taken away is a childish, ridiculous one and a red herring to change the subject.

The NRA stupid rhetoric that "a good guy with a gun" will stop all these shooting to justify this gun debauchery is irresponsible at best. Just read about the many "good guys with a gun" who turn "bad guys with a gun" because they killed their wives, friends or other innocent Americans.

If the second amendment is your excuse to justify these mass shootings you must read the Supreme Court 5 to 4 decision in Heller by Justice Scalia, and the descent by Justice Breyer. Moreover, you need to visit the NRA headquarters in Virginia where the NRA deliberately left out this half of the wording of the second amendment..."A well regulated Militia, being necessary for the security of a free state..." In other words, the NRA castrated the second amendment for a self serving purpose.

Having said that, the right to bear arms is the law and all of us need to respect such law. Nevertheless to sign a bill granting students gun carrying permits at school, Gov. Otter needs to have his head examined by a mental health professional.

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Cowboy01 11 months, 1 week ago

Can someone post the link to the artical?

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Cowboy01 11 months, 1 week ago

Disregard I just read the article. It states the persons carrying will be licensed with an enhanced carry permit which is done through the state, which is the same here and I already conceal carry in college, why? Because I am licensed to. College is not just a bunch of little kids partying like rock stars, the ages range from young to old. I don’t know of any drinking games going on in the middle of class, do you? Furthermore did you know it’s illegal to consume alcohol while carrying a firearm, licensed or not! So with the mass shooting in schools, do you think it is the best practice to be unarmed or to just try and call the police before the gun man gets to you? We all should know the answer to that question. Hints is why they don’t go to the police stations and open fire on them, because they can defend themselves. Yes Paco there will always be those good guys gone bad but if they don’t have a gun they will use something else, if those people are to that point where they are going to take someone’s life, they will do it regardless if they have a gun or a hammer. I just wish there had been someone in those schools that had the option to protect themselves and or others during those shootings, you would be reading a totally different headline.

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chicoli 11 months, 1 week ago

Thanks for your civility in answering these postings. My point is that good people can turn into bad people at a drop of a hat. And, yes, they can kill or injured others with knifes, hammers, piano cords, pillows and with voodoo ceremonies. All other countries do these "deeds" all the time as well. Why is it that killing or injuring with guns is so prominent in this country? The difference is the availability of guns is overwhelmingly easy in this country.

My concern is that too many "good guys with a gun" in school, many of them with still not fully developed frontal cortex, can turn a poorly assessed "crisis" into a shooting gallery, with multiple unnecessary casualties. Alcohol drinking on campus is illegal, too. That's why these kids never drink on campus!

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PearlY 11 months, 1 week ago

You ask why killing or injuring with guns is so prominent in this country, and attribute it to the availability of guns.

But this is a big country, and killing or injuring with guns is NOT prominent in a lot of it, even places where guns are most available.

For instance, Detroit, which has quite strict gun control laws, had approximately 333 gun murders in 2013. The State of Alaska has a few thousand more people than Detroit, and almost every household owns a gun, but it only had about 20 gun murders.

Idaho has a few thousand more people than the city of Philadelphia, but Idaho had 12 gun murders, and Philly had 277. More than half the households in Idaho own guns. Philly has strict gun control laws.

Utah has a few thousand more people than Chicago, and nearly half its households own guns, but it had only 22 gun murders while Chicago, with notoriously strict gun laws, had 444.

If we want to understand what causes gun murders, it's obviously not gun availability we need to look at.

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stvsngltn 11 months, 1 week ago

Good post, Cowboy01, and I agree however, not so sure about the part about it being illegal to consume alcohol while carrying a firearm in this state. Yes, illegal to be drunk ... but to have one glass of wine in a restaurant or a beer at a Pizza Hut? I don't think that's true but I could be wrong. Can you cite a RCW on this? Would be interesting to have that confirmed. Incidentally, last I checked ... if you have a carry permit for Oregon you can pack into a bar (unlike in WA). By the way, I haven't noticed any shoot-outs in Oregon bars lately, has anyone here? I didn't think so.

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PearlY 11 months, 1 week ago

It's not illegal to consume alcohol, but as you obviously know, you can't take a firearm into any area where you have to be over 21 to enter, like a bar or tavern. So if the restaurant is full, don't let them seat you in the bar while you're carrying!

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stvsngltn 11 months, 1 week ago

You are absolutely correct, of course.

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stvsngltn 11 months, 1 week ago

Full disclosure: My late father (who passed away in 2011) was a life-long NRA member and I have been a life (Endowment) member for many years. The point I wish to make is that the NRA knows full well what the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights (first 10 Amendments) says and means. The Founding Fathers didn't write, "...the right of the militia to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed" ... they wrote the "right of the people". They feared a future government's "standing army" (including any government-controlled militia like today's National Guard) and therefore demanded that "We the People" will always have the means by which to assure no future government will be able to oppress the population or seriously disregard the Constitution. The SCOTUS knows this is true but if anyone has any doubts I may (time permitting) supply specific exact wording by Founders like Jefferson, Madison and Noah Webster. Or better, read the Federalist and anti-Federalist papers or better yet, the 838-page "The Origin of the Second Amendment: A Documentary History of the Bill of Rights (1787-1792) edited by David E. Young.

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namvet60 11 months, 1 week ago

Steve - in this day and age it's not only the National Guard but the rest of the government agencies that they are arming such as: DHS and the BLM training Swat teams.

Also when you look at the military bases that were made gun-free zones what happened? Military personnel (who are trained for combat) slaughtered with no way to defend themselves.

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Cowboy01 11 months, 1 week ago

STVSNGLTN,

I could not find the RCW on consuming but it does state,( under the influence.) So I’m guessing that means don’t go over.08? here are the RCW’S for Washington state, http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?Cite=9.41&full=true#9.41.300 maybe you will have better luck. PACO I do see you’re point and is a valid one, Idaho has pretty strict laws and is harder to get a license than Washington and even harder to get the enhanced license. Maybe that will help, not every person will be carrying a firearm while in school but I’m hoping that it will not be a mistake seems this is how all this madness got started to begin with.

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stvsngltn 11 months, 1 week ago

Thanks, Cowboy01. Yes ... I've always thought it meant "legally" under the influence (as .08). On the rest I fully agree also .... (if only there had been an armed, trained "good guy" (or good female) to stop the perpetrators at each of the school shootings. Many precious lives would likely have been saved.

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namvet60 11 months, 1 week ago

I realize that this letter was probably submitted last week but after this weekend just shows that it doesn't take guns to cause a terrible tragedy.

When people post numbers on supposed gun mishaps I often wonder what country they are deriving the stats? With the numbers stated sounds like we live in a war zone.

In the California shooting - if law enforcement would have been as abrasive as they are in other parts of the country the tragedy could possibly have been avoided. I guess being in a prominent high priced neighborhood has it's privileges?

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barracuda 11 months, 1 week ago

Any one who believes that guns are not already on college campuses are really out of touch.

Great example is the students who had to use a gun to prevent bodily harm on a the Gonzaga University campus, about two years ago... Read story here

A intruder came into a apt of two college students and they had to defend themselves. The students (against school policy) had a gun and it is a good thing! They had to use it.

Guns are on almost every campus and a lot of cars. Owned by young people who enjoy the lifestyle. I would bet that some of our own WW valley high schools probably have them under the seats.

With or without permits, they are out there.

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stvsngltn 11 months, 1 week ago

Good point, barracuda, and interesting. However it's tragic when someone has to risk trouble for breaking a law in order to protect himself or herself.

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jubilado 11 months, 1 week ago

I'd like to hear comments on what Joe the Plumber said in an open letter to the parents who had children killed in Santa Barbara. He said at one point “Your dead kids don’t trump my constitutional rights.”

I'd also like to hear comments on the argument you hear "we'd have to outlaw knives, too." I's hard to kill someone with a knife from a distance. Besides knives have a thousand purposes not related to violence. You can cut tomatoes for example.

Last question: You often hear people couch their gun rights in absolute terms. None of the rights covered in the Bill of Rights are absolute rights. The Second Amendment, especially as interpreted, gives very broad rights to own weapons. I'd like to know where some of you who have commented here would draw a line.

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chicoli 11 months, 1 week ago

Joe the plumber should remain in the septic tank where he belongs! He reflects the mouth foaming , rabid rhetoric from the NRA leadership (not the majority of the membership, though). More insensitive than this is just impossible to imagine.

A guy in China knifed 22 people, all of them survived. They were lucky he did not have an assault rifle.

I wish those second amendment absolutist read the Heller Supreme Court decision where there is margin for legislating reasonable gun safety measures while still protecting the right to own arms. The problem is the NRA influencing politicians from both parties in an effort to protect the gun industry at the expense of 90 American death a day from gun violence.

Joe the plumber , a menace to society, needs his head examined. His guns need to be removed before he injures one of our kids while protecting his constitutional rights.

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namvet60 11 months, 1 week ago

It is always amusing for Liberals to take Hypocrisy to a whole new level. Rant and rave about a crass statement (which I do not agree with) from Joe the Plumber and in the next breath you would support Abortion.

Paco - if it wasn't for the Iraq war and the NRA you really wouldn't have anything to discuss.

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jubilado 11 months, 1 week ago

I've seen you make intelligent comments before but this is not the intelligent discussion I was hoping for. Do you have any comments outside of damning liberals or going on about the gummint's gonna gitcha and statements of that ilk?

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namvet60 11 months, 1 week ago

Well OK - you don't enjoy my sarc . . . . So how about the call for gun control after each mass shooting while they are committed in a gun-free zone? Also 95% of mass shootings occur in gun-free zones. It is against the law to transport a weapon into a gun-free zone so what happened? Would a criminal pay attention to the law if he wanted to purchase a gun and would they only commit there crimes outside a gun-free zone?

Your analogy that guns are only associated with violence is very apathetic. There are multiple items associated with violence in some way: abusive speech, cars, knives, hammers, bows & arrows, drones, etc . . . . . . . should all of these items be banned?

You mention the second amendment - if you take the time and read the District of Columbia vs. Heller you will find that the conclusions are not as broad based but are set with very direct parameters.

Maybe you feel that the Bill of Rights should be discarded?

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jubilado 11 months, 1 week ago

Nam Vet: Why in the world would you think I want to discard the Bill of Rights? You know what assuming leads to. I've taken over a year of Constitutional law and have studied cases on most of the 10 amendments. I think that the Bill of rights is the heart of our democracy, although much of it is being trashed, for example the by the NSA.

You may have missed this in District of Columbia v.Heller: In regard to the scope of the right, the Court wrote, in an obiter dictum, "Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment, nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."[46]

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namvet60 11 months, 1 week ago

Nope - no assuming - my comment was just gravitating from the tone of your comment. I do agree on the NSA. I was also referring to Sec 1, part A, B & F of the Court findings. Which I totally agree with Sec 2 as you stated especially in regards to felons and mentally ill.

Also - I know that nobody likes the Breitbart site but here is a little story about violence and check out the number of types of weapons:

http://www.breitbart.com/InstaBlog/2014/05/29/Virginia-Honor-Student-16-Pleads-Guilty-to-Killing-Both-Parents

So you see there are multiples of weapons that a person has available for such a deadly tragedy and not one gun in the mix. And all over an IPod.

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chicoli 11 months, 1 week ago

Jubilado, don't expect substance from certain people. After all one can get very little juice, if any, from a turnip!

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namvet60 11 months, 1 week ago

You may have changed the moniker but its still the same ole snarky asinine comments.

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PearlY 11 months, 1 week ago

It was indelicate and insensitive of Joe the Plumber to say what he did, but the principle that dead children don't trump constitutional rights is basic to our legal system. A mass murderer whose confession is elicited without a proper Miranda warning may walk if the only evidence against him was obtained through that confession, regardless of how many children he may have killed. Our prisons daily release people that they KNOW, with as much certainty as anything can be known about human beings, will re-offend, but if the constitution requires it, it will be done. So what he said, as harsh as it may sound, was simply true.

As for where the line should be drawn, I'd say one place is: Anybody who is allowed to vote should be allowed to own a gun. If you can be trusted to vote for the person who controls our nuclear arsenal, then you can be trusted to own an gun. If you can't be trusted to own a gun, then you can't be trusted to vote.

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