Home > Uncategorized > Trump’s Pledge on Gun Free School Zones… Revisited

Trump’s Pledge on Gun Free School Zones… Revisited

April 20, 2018

As noted in earlier posts, I am on a vacation away from the internet and so I am re-publishing some posts on “guns in school” from years past… in part to keep the webpage “alive” in my absence, but, as is true in this case, to illustrate that BAD ideas prevailed in the 2016 election and are literally killing children. I hope there are many marching today…. 

“I will get rid of gun-free zones on schools, and — you have to — and on military bases. My first day, it gets signed, okay? My first day. There’s no more gun-free zones.”


The Trace, “…an independent, nonprofit news organization dedicated to expanding coverage of guns in the United States” posted nine quotes yesterday that outline President-elect Trump’s stance on guns, one of which is featured above.

What is the basis for thinking that schools would be safe if guns were allowed? In 2012, Larry Pratt, the Executive Director of the Gun Owners of America had the answer following the Newtown CT shootings:

A gunman whose name we do not need to memorialize took advantage of our gun-control laws to slaughter 20 children and six adults in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

In addition to the gunman, blood is on the hands of members of Congress and the Connecticut legislators who voted to ban guns from all schools in Connecticut (and most other states). They are the ones who made it illegal to defend oneself with a gun in a school when that is the only effective way of resisting a gunman.

What a lethal, false security are the “gun-free zone” laws. Virtually all mass murders in the past 20 years have occurred in gun-free zones. The two people murdered several days earlier in a shopping center in Oregon were also killed in a gun-free zone.

Israel finally came to grips with this in the early 1970s and have decisively stopped these attacks after a busload of children was massacred by Muslim terrorists. When I was there in the late 1990s, if you saw a busload of students, you saw at least one young teacher with a machine gun protecting the groups of students.

The Israelis have decisively stopped these school-related attacks and proved they want to live. Do we?

During the decade of the Clinton ban on semiautomatic rifles (the so-called assault weapons) and high-capacity magazines, crime did not go down. Reinstating it would simply be another example of repeating the same failed policy and being surprised with the same failed result.

We must tell our elected officials that they are acting as the criminals’ friends as long as they continue to support legislation that protects only criminals, not decent people.

Oh, and we must also insist that these criminal-friendly elected officials not even try to blame gun owners and our “gun culture” for what a criminal did.

Had a few of us been available with guns at the Newtown school, most of the victims might still be alive.

This sentiment is echoed in President-elect Trump’s pronouncements about guns… but it is a sentiment, it is not rooted in logic. The analogy to the young teacher with a machine gun on the bus is, presumably, a “good-guy-with-a-gun” at the door… like the one at Columbine who was overpowered by two teenagers? Or is it a teacher in every classroom with a machine gun?

As one who worked in and broke up fights in a gang-plagued urban junior high school in the early 1970s, I cannot imagine allowing the high school-aged drop-out who congregated around the school every day to carry guns without being challenged by police. As a high school disciplinarian who held several tense conferences with angry parents I could not imagine sitting in those meetings with a concealed handgun to protect myself in the event an angry parent packing a gun might become upset with a decision I rendered…. and the thought of allowing gun toting spectators into a basketball game between arch rivals is chilling. As a School Superintendent who stood in front of hostile audiences because I recommended school closings, re-drawing of school boundaries, elimination of athletic programs, and the retention of controversial books in the curriculum I would not welcome an armed audience.

From my perspective, the gun right’s activists fear-based position on guns is further evidence that we are losing our bearings as a culture. Exhorting citizens to buy arms to protect themselves while exhorting other citizens to feel free to engage in hateful sexist, racist, and misogynistic speech seems like a recipe for disaster. Mr. Trump used hateful rhetoric to get elected and now wants to unify us. Giving everyone access to machine guns does not seem like a path to unity.

And here’s what I find depressing: if any of these ideas get introduced to the legislature by our newly elected NH Governor-elect Chris Sununu, I can testify against them. But if they are proposed in Congress, I will just have to watch helplessly from the sidelines as my two Senators and House representative get outvoted by their Republican and NRA-supported Democrats.

Categories: Uncategorized
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