With President Trump calling for the arming of school teachers rather than a ban on assault weapons as his prescription for the plague of school shootings in this country, the news from Utah yesterday, according to a report on MSNBC, should hopefully combine with the opposition of a substantial number of teachers to help torpedo that ridiculous proposition.
Utah is one of the states that allow holders of concealed weapons permits to carry their guns onto school property. Michelle Ferguson-Montgomery, a teacher at Westbrook Elementary School in Taylorsville, was taking advantage of that dubiously-enacted liberty while visiting the faculty restroom before school started.
Having completed the mandatory safety training course for concealed weapons permit holders, Ferguson-Montgomery was in complete compliance with the law, including the provision that her gun is in her possession at all times while on school premises so that students couldn’t stumble upon it in a drawer or locker.
Whatever Ferguson-Montgomery was doing in the faculty restroom yesterday with her legal firearm, she somehow managed to shoot herself in the leg while doing it. Luckily, since it was before school had opened, no students or other staff were present and her injuries were not life-threatening.
In a letter to students’ parents after the incident, Westbrook Elementary School Principal Karen Chatterton said:
“Neither the district nor school can restrict access to our campuses for concealed weapons permit holders. While this can be a highly emotional issue, we encourage you to have civil dialogue with our elected officials.”
Civil dialogue vs. NRA campaign contributions, hmmm, guess which one will influence politicians more.
Oddly enough, a similar incident took place in neighboring Idaho just last week, when an Idaho State University professor accidentally shot himself in the foot with his concealed handgun while walking on campus just months after a new law allowing concealed weapons on college campuses took effect.
While the right-wing and the NRA continue to call for more guns in schools as the best response to school shootings, claiming that only a good guy with a gun can stop a bad guy with a gun, they refuse to acknowledge the facts that countries with fewer guns suffer from fewer gun deaths. Besides, they never answer the question as to who decides who the good guys and the bad guys are.
Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, released a statement yesterday saying about the claimed need for more guns in schools:
“Moms and dads across America know that’s not true. This incident only strengthens our resolve to fight them with everything we’ve got so we can raise our children in a nation with sensible gun laws and a responsible gun culture.”
That a nation with sensible gun laws is a goal worthy of pursuing is indisputable. Exactly what constitutes sensible gun laws is the biggest question to be resolved, but note that when Australia passed a ban on most major weapons after a mass shooting in 2002 and conducted a national gun buyback, mass shootings ceased in the country.
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