Monday, November 28, 2016

State lawmakers should ignore calls to arm up our schools

Concealed carry on school grounds makes little sense, given its failure to deter crime elsewhere in WI so far

Perhaps because of their big electoral wins in November, several voices on the right are now calling for an even stronger conservative agenda, including even more loosening of gun laws in the state of Wisconsin. Among them is Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers, who is advocating for concealed carry to be legal on school grounds across the state.

He recently wrote in the West Bend Daily News:
There is no rational justification for continuing banning guns on school grounds… Despite the dire warnings of opponents of the Second Amendment, Wisconsin has not turned into the Wild West and neither has any other state that permits concealed carry.
Of course, the notion that Wisconsin must turn into the “Wild West” in order for something to be seen as a failure is utterly preposterous. Concealed carry itself was sold on the idea that it would deter crime in Wisconsin. It has not, and in fact violent crime and murder rates have gone up since its implementation, the latter going up by more than 72 percent in the first five years of concealed carry being signed into law.

So we can dismiss the notion that concealed carry has been a success. We should similarly dismiss the idea that it would make our schools safer.

Teachers should not be armed in the classroom -- accidents can and have happened, and we shouldn’t be delusional to believe that arming more educators will somehow make things safer.

The track record for concealed carry holders stopping mass shooting events has also been spotty, at best, and at worst non-existent.

To believe that teachers -- who would not be trained as law enforcement officers are -- would somehow be able to shift the trend is a fantasy of lawmakers hellbent on arming society to the teeth.

To reiterate the main point: concealed carry doesn’t deter crime. Nor does it lower instances of violence. Wisconsin is a case study in that.

We shouldn’t willingly ignore the evidence in order expand the practice of concealed carry into the classrooms. And we shouldn’t ignore the fact that a majority of Wisconsinites -- including a majority of gun-owning citizens in the state -- oppose the idea also. In short, calls for allowing concealed carry on school grounds should be ignored; and Gov. Scott Walker, should he receive such a bill on his desk, should soundly veto it.

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