The incoming Camas lawmaker who is proposing legislation that would allow teachers and school administrators to have firearms in schools will be meeting with constituents Saturday at the Battle Ground City Hall and the Camas Library.
Representative-elect Liz Pike (R-18th District) will be joined by State Sen. Ann Rivers (R-La Center), according to the Vancouver Columbian. Expect some media attention because of Pike’s proposal, which appears to have gone national, thanks to the Daily Kos and Huffington Post. This column wrote about Pike on Dec. 29, and the idea seems to appeal to some readers.
Pike will be officially sworn in on Monday.
Guns in schools is not just a local idea, nor is it the brainchild of the National Rifle Association. The NRA took some heat, and also garnered support when Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre announced, after a week of silence in December following the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy, to unveil his organization’s proposal for armed teachers.
When former President Bill Clinton made the same suggestion back in the late 1990s, he wasn’t savaged by the mainstream press, so why did LaPierre receive such a negative media barrage? Armed security is already present in an estimated one-third of the nation’s schools, so what about the NRA’s approach is so earth-shattering?
Perhaps Pike will have an opportunity to discuss her proposal, and it’s a safe gamble someone in the audience will be asking about it. The Battle Ground event runs 10-11 a.m. while the Camas gathering runs 2-3 p.m., the newspaper said.
Perhaps not surprisingly, a fair number of Washington state teachers have applied for limited slots in a self-defense course being offered by an Ohio group, which the Seattle Weekly has already demonized.
One thing standing in the way is the Gun-Free School Zones law. Gun activists want that repealed as part of a larger strategy to provide school safety and put teachers and administrators on a level playing field in the unlikely event some nutcase should come charging through the doors.
Many people talk about school security in the wake of Newtown, but the resistance to armed security seems to be more in the nature of opposition to any idea with the “NRA” stamp on it. The NRA offers training programs for private citizens and law enforcement, and that covers a lot of ground. Simply because the organization now has suggested one possible safeguard against a school shooting – not a panacea as the gun-free zone solution was pandered several years ago – suddenly the idea is poison.
State lawmakers can demonstrate how serious they are about school safety by giving Pike’s proposal a fair hearing and fair consideration.