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Comments about ‘My view: Smart gun laws should be the first step in protecting children’

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Published: Sunday, Jan. 20 2013 12:00 a.m. MST

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Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

I'm an educator, and I carry concealed, having gotten the proper licenses. I have had many hours of firearms training, and I continue to train several times a year, just in case.

Now, if that's an issue, please see the constitution (specifically the 2nd amendment) for reference. Otherwise, I'll continue to exercise my rights as an American citizen, and be prepared to protect my students from any individual with intent to kill.

I'm also willing to sacrifice myself for my students, but not simply throw my life away. You quote the AAP, but what deranged individual will care about their words? At the end of the day, that's all they are: words; & neither do their words eliminate illegal gun violence. I am doing more than simply spouting words; I am taking action. I am prepared, and ready, though I pray the day for such action never occurs.

So, perhaps you ought to homeschool your children, where they'll be more "safe," or maybe leave this state and move to any of the other 46 states that feel "gun-free zones" aren't really the kill zones that they truly are. It's your call.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Mrs. Walkingshaw, your stance is understandable, but is based only on emotion. School shootings and mall shootings and theater shootings happen in "gun-free zones." They do not tend to happen in locations where it's well known that law-abiding adults are allowed to carry concealed firearms.

Also, the American Academy of Pediatrics is seriously wrong on this issue, just like they have been on other issues in recent years when they make unfounded political statements rather than scientific ones.

Teachers should not be forced to carry a concealed firearm, of course, but if they want to, and are willing to go through a mental evaluation and be trained, they should be allowed to do so, with the blessing of the administration. When teachers are properly trained, they'll know what to do and what not to do -- just like police officers. And, to me, "trained" isn't a 2-hour lecture, it's a 3-day, intensive, hands-on course, with periodic refresher training.

If one of these rare-but-horrific incidents starts, our wonderful teachers are already right there on the scene. Let's let them protect the kids, for Pete's sake.

SLars
Provo, UT

"For every one time a gun in a home was used in self-defense,"

We are thankful they are still alive.

I still like the idea of having police do their paperwork in schools. Visible presence is a deterrent.

travelrus
murray, UT

As a parent and grandparent I absolutely agree with this article. I for one do not want my children and grandchildren in a classroom or school where guns are allowed. I do not believe that the concealed weapons permit requirements give someone the skills necessary to defend themselves much less anyone else if faced with an armed assailant. Also, I believe adding more guns into a public school will only increase the chance of a tragic accident. Why should a parents right to know and keep their child from harm be less than the right to bear arms? Our Nation is under an epidemic of gun worship. To me it borders on insanity.

cns
St George, Utah

Please Ms Walkingshaw -- what is your "Constitutional" right to know whether there is a gun in your child's classroom? The fact that you want to know something and believe you have a right and a need to know something does not give you a Constitutional right to know it.
Regarding the title of your column -- how about adding "effective" to "smart?"
I like the idea of a properly trained and motivated adult having access to a gun in a school. However, I would be willing to consider proposals to ban such access when I am convinced such proposals would ban introduction of all firearms from all sources by all people and not just the law abiding.
If the mere enactment of laws would prevent a Sandy Hook tragedy then Sandy Hook never happened because what that horrible person did was, in fact, illegal.

D.balance
Logan, UT

"For every one time a gun in a home was used in self-defense, there were four unintentional shootings, seven criminal assaults or homicides, and eleven attempted or completed suicides."

I went to Utah.gov and looked at the vital statistics. I'd love to have the exact link because the vital statistics for 2011 (as far as I can tell) say there were only two- three deaths due to "accidental discharge of firearms" and 28 homicides due to the discharge of firearms. Anyone find the link where this stat came from?

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

20 children are dead.

There is a gun shooting in America almost every month.

Columbine.

Trolley Square.

We need to do something different.

Not the same.

louie
Cottonwood Heights, UT

If you are using a gun for protection is it really an assault weapon with a 100 round gun clip?

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

@peanut

"but if they want to, and are willing to go through a mental evaluation and be trained, they should be allowed to do so, with the blessing of the administration. When teachers are properly trained, they'll know what to do and what not to do -- just like police officers. And, to me, "trained" isn't a 2-hour lecture, it's a 3-day, intensive, hands-on course, with periodic refresher training."

I agree with you peanut. I believe that most people would also. However, under Utah law, one must only undergo a 4 hour classroom training class with no requirement for actually shooting the gun, in order to obtain a CCP. No ongoing refresher training is necessary.

Could you imagine someone getting a drivers license without showing proficiency in actually operating a vehicle?

Gun ownership is a huge responsibility. A responsibility that many are not equipped to handle.

I am also quite certain that the NRA would balk at your requirement for such "intensive" training.

cjb
Bountiful, UT

To parents against teachers having guns in school,
Please understand if your childs classroom is never
attacked, your child isn't likely to ever even see the
gun.

If the classroom is attached, that armed teacher will
likely mean the difference between your child and
other children surviving or not.

Consider joining me in asking your state
representative to offer police firearms training to
teachers who volunteer to take on the added burden
of helping to defend the children.

Keep in mind that the presidents children attend a
school that is protected by armed guards. Our nations
best security experts have determined this is the
best way to keep them safe.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Pagan: Yes, we do need to do something different. We need to get rid of "gun free zones" and encourage more concealed carry by responsible, stable, law-abiding adults.

Re: D.balance: I too question the statistics quoted by Mrs. Walkingshaw. Studies have shown that in the U.S. each year guns are used to prevent crimes more than 2 million times, usually without a shot being fired. But if we are to believe Mrs. Walkingshaw's statistics, that would mean many millions of murders and suicides. Sorry, but her numbers don't match with reality.

Yes, Mrs. Walkingshaw, we do know better than the UEA and the NEA on many issues. And if teachers are willing to go through a mental evaluation and serious training (see my previous post), they deserve your respect and gratitude, not your condescending accusation of being vigilantes. But I will concede one of your points: A purse is not a secure way to carry concealed. It's much better for the firearm to be concealed ON THE PERSON.

one vote
Salt Lake City, UT

Another shooting, this time a fifteen year old in New Mexico. How do you know which 15 year old is a good guy or a bad guy? If he did not have access to lethal force and an apparent assault rifle, five people may be alive

GiuseppeG
Murray, Utah

re: Louie...is a semi-automatic 22 caliber REALLY an assault weapon? And it only takes 1/2 second to swap out a clip. So the difference between a "100 round clip" and 10 10-round clips is 5 seconds. So if we're going to DO something to try to stop predators from killing innocents...by the way, something that has occured in our history for far longer than guns have been around and with much greater efficiency...then let's look at things that are real solutions rather than some foolish, feel good, trampling of others' rights that has NO chance of fixing the problem.

To the author of the article. Feel your angst, especially since we've been made to fear guns over the last 30 years or longer. But, this has been in place for awhile now in Utah...how many teachers carrying concealed in Utah have had their guns stolen by students, or left them around for accidental shootings? I haven't heard of any....have you? Perhaps there is some comfort there for you, I don't know.

PeanutGallery
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: JoeBlow: I'm not suggesting that 3-day intensive training be required for concealed carry in general (although more training is always good). But for teachers who want to carry concealed in schools, I am highly recommending that they attend such intensive training. The training should be supported and paid for by the school district (not the federal government, please).

Intensive training is also a good idea for concealed carry in general. But absolutely requiring it? No, I think that would leave too many responsible, law-abiding citizens defenseless. High quality, intensive self-defense firearms training is quite expensive, especially for individuals. But for school districts it's relatively cheap when compared to the cost of hiring full-time security guards. Teachers are already there on the job, in the classroom with the children, and are in the best position to take quick action if needed.

If teachers are properly trained and evaluated, I'm fully in favor of letting them carry concealed. Our kids will be safer for it. And if it's WIDELY KNOWN that teachers are supported in carrying concealed, then these horrible incidents will be even less likely to start in the first place.

Mad Hatter
Provo, UT

Cool Cat Cosmo Payson, UT

Conservative gun advocates often say "When guns are outlawed, only criminals will have guns." However, many people in states with strict gun laws will travel outside their state and purchase guns and take them back to there home states in violation of state law. Since the Second Amendment does not apply to this situation, does that mean that these people "legally" purchasing guns in one state and taking them "illegally" into another state are now criminals?

Also, it appears that the ineffectiveness of legislation designed to reduce gun violence comes from NRA and gun rights lobbying efforts to subvert that legislation as it goes through the process of becoming law. Not only that, but often the NRA, through a supporting member of Congress, will insert amendments to unrelated legislation to change the law and therefore making current gun laws useless.

Oftentimes, these legislators say one thing to appease the general public regarding gun violence issues while circumventing gun safety issues in compliance to NRA directives. This is consistant with the NRA philosophy of favoring guns over public safety. The "more guns, the better" attitude makes for immense profits and appeals to its extreme fringe.

JoeBlow
Far East USA, SC

"If teachers are properly trained and evaluated, I'm fully in favor of letting them carry concealed. Our kids will be safer for it."

Completely agree.

"I'm not suggesting that 3-day intensive training be required for concealed carry in general (although more training is always good)"

Do you feel that a 4 hour class with no range time is reasonable for the average person to then be allowed to carry in public? I fully support concealed carry, but feel the requirements should be stepped up.

Cool Cat Cosmo
Payson, UT

@ Mad Hatter:

Are such people criminals, who cross state lines to avoid oppressive laws that infringe on their second amendment rights? Perhaps technically; yet so were our forefathers, who stood up against tyranny in government, during the American Revolution, and some would argue during the Civil War.

We hail such as heroes today (i.e. George Washington, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, etc.), but in their time they were the "right-wing gun-nuts," and would be by today's standards considered terrorists. They were also the minority in their beliefs and desire to resist the British and their policies, yet I think we'd all agree (at least I hope so) that we are immensely grateful they stood up for what was right anyway and sacrificed everything to establish our nation.

The second amendment was NOT simply established for recreation or hunting (as some argue/imply); it was established to prevent tyranny, as a deterrent to tyrannical American government and also as a reminder of the sacrifice of our forefathers. In my opinion, those same battle-lines are being drawn today. We each have to decide where we will stand. I think you know my position.

not here
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO

What i want to know is for all you that say on here that you would us your gun(s) to defend this that and the other and you all have your CCP. My question to you is this when a shoot went off at the gun show s ovee rthe weekend how come it is that all those people with the weapons permits not run to the sound of the shots in stead of running away? And if we give Teacher's guns will they do the same? Remember they only have a what two hour class that just makes me warm all over.

Eric Samuelsen
Provo, UT

What an excellent letter. I can't agree more. As for those of you teachers who want to carry a concealed weapon in the classroom, understand--we know enough about the training your receive to consider it completely inadequate. We do not trust your training or your temperment. And we are much more afraid of a cross-fire, with a panicked, undertrained gun wielding teacher exchanging fire with a lunatic, than we are with the lunatic himself, however lethal he might be.

Screwdriver
Casa Grande, AZ

The conservatives didn't trust teachers to teach spelling last month but now feel they are super heroes that should be packing.

Let me guess, they will still not be getting a raise?

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