FACEOFF: Allow guns on campus

Click the link to read the other “Faceoff” article – “Keep guns off campus”  by Jodi Tandet 

As the Mayans put it, 2012 will be “the end of the world.” While the Earth may still be rotating on its axis, the world of guns as we know it may have started to end.  As the talk of the Aurora, Colo. shooting died down, we were faced with yet another massacre — one that left 20 children and six adults dead at Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn.

This latest massacre really has people advocating stricter gun control. What most of these people tend to forget, is this: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” This sentence is the second amendment of the United States Constitution. According to our founding fathers, every citizen has the right to own whatever gun they see fit.

While some people believe we should ban guns, there are others who still believe in the rights given to us in the second amendment. Some even go as far as saying that the people that watch over kids day in and day out —teachers— should be allowed to carry guns with them in school. I firmly believe in this train of thought. I mean, who could be better first responders than those who are already at the scene of the crime?

As David Thweatt, superintendent of the Harrold Independent School District in Wilbarger County, Texas said “We need to be here to protect our children. Not four, five minutes or six minutes from now.” I believe that this is a great point, especially since his school is at least 30 miles away from the nearest police station.

There are many people who think teachers should not be allowed to carry, mainly because they only believe what the mainstream media decides to run on their newscasts and in their papers. There are a lot of stories and statistics that the press decides not to run. These statistics and stories are why I believe that teachers should be allowed to carry firearms while at school.

One of the biggest statistics that most people do not hear about is that our own state of Florida has the highest amount of concealed weapons permits issued in the United States — 995,202 to be exact. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which regulates the permits, runs a report every year of the amount of applications received, permits issued and permits revoked. From July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 only 642 permits were revoked; that’s only six percent of all concealed weapons permit holders. Why punish those who follow the rules for the acts of a few that do not?

One incident that has, for the most part, been overlooked was when 16-year-old Luke Woodham walked in to Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi with a .30-30 caliber rifle and killed two students.  During the 1997 shooting, Woodham killed his mother, before heading over to the school to fire rounds at innocent students. The principal of the school called 911, but before the cops could get there the shooting had stopped.   While the principal was on the phone, the assistant principal, Joel Myrick, retrieved the .45 caliber pistol he kept in his truck and subdued Woodham, by pointing the gun at him, before he could escape or take anymore lives.

Thweatt and the rest of the school board has implemented what they are calling “The Guardian Plan.” What this plan entails is that an unspecified number of school employees are authorized to carry concealed weapons while at school. The only people in the district who know which teachers are “Guardians” are Thweatt and the school board.  The requirements are that each employee must have a Texas concealed weapons permit and they must be reviewed by Thweatt and the school board. Once an employee is selected as eligible, they must go through advanced training mainly working on accuracy. Since the plans implementation in 2007, there have been no incidents and 82 percent of kids attending school in the district are transfers from nearby districts. Would I be wrong to say that the plan is working?

While I’m not saying we should revert to the Wild West and let everyone run free with guns, we should have the right to carry for protection — especially those who watch over our nation’s kids when parents are at work. So, instead of punishing those who are responsible with the weapons they own, let us allow them to utilize the words of the Constitution and protect our society.

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