Reports over the weekend that the St. Helens School District in Oregon will allow teachers with concealed handgun licenses to bring guns to campus have caused an angst eruption rivaling that of the mountain after which the district is named, and KVI’s morning talk jock John Carlson spoke about the controversy during his Monday broadcast.
A poll by KATU in Portland shows that 61 percent of the respondents support the idea, 35 percent opposed and four percent weren’t sure. According to KATU, the vote to rescind a March ban took place last week, but the controversy bubbled up over the past weekend.
Depending upon the source, there have been more than 40 school shootings in this country since 2010, but according to a list on Wikipedia, a dozen of those occurred on college campuses. One other involved three adults and one teen involved in an apparent drug deal. Two others were apparent suicide attempts, and another was a successful suicide. Still another involved the death of a high school student attending games on the campus of Chicago State University.
The St. Helens school district story caught fire publicly as Washington Ceasefire was holding its annual remembrance event at Green Lake in Seattle, during which President Ralph Fascitelli remarked – to the chagrin of Seattle Times readers – that it has been tough to get younger people to support gun control.
At least one youngster donated money to Ceasefire yesterday, according to KIRO. In her case, it appears the gun banners have been effective, because she said, “My hope of the future is that on one will use guns anymore.”
For his part, KVI’s Carlson seemed supportive of the St. Helens school board, and suggested that people demanding a ban on guns, even those carried by school resource officers, might have a Pollyanna fantasy.
KATU quoted school board chairman Marshall Porter, who downplayed concerns about an increased risk to students. Porter said the risk is far greater that someone not following the law would bring a gun to school to do harm. He contended that teachers should be allowed to have a gun so that in case there is an incident, they can fight back.
This morning, former school teacher Lee Culpepper, writing for Town Hall, noted, “Make no mistake about it -- political correctness is the impetus of gun-free zones. It is also destroying the minds of America’s children while leaving them physically vulnerable.”
Culpepper, describing himself as “a recovering high school English teacher,” was not surprised by last week’s shooting in Sparks, Nev., during which a courageous teacher, Mike Landsberry, was fatally shot by “an out-of-control seventh grader with a 9mm handgun.”
“Compelling teachers to focus on feelings, self-esteem, and gay rights leaves teachers with little time to teach students about critical thinking and fact analysis — you know, skills students will probably need in life, particularly should they ever be confronted with a murderer at school,” Culpepper wrote.
“I have endured the liberal influence and caustic system firsthand,” Culpepper continued, “and I promise you that something is seriously wrong on every level when a student reaches high school still reading and writing at a third-grade level. The students’ pervasive apathy is even more disheartening. Students are often infected with a self-absorbed, entitlement attitude that seems intentionally cultivated as the system passes them along whether they are academically competent or not. Of course, if their makeup, clothing, or gadgets are socially acceptable, who cares if they cannot think, let alone read or write?”
Back in the day, it was not uncommon for high schools to have rifle teams. Nobody got shot. It was common for kids to talk about weekend hunting experiences. Today that might get them suspended. Students came back from Christmas break and bragged about the new rifle or shotgun under the Christmas tree. Today that could get them expelled.
People will be watching the St. Helens schools closely. No doubt, it will be a learning experience unlike any other.
Q: Do you think teachers should be allowed to carry guns in school?