I had my sights on this one, but unfortunately the baby is cutting new teeth, we’re going to Maine for a family function this weekend, and I think the little disease vector has gotten me sick, so it was on the back burner. Go read his fisk, it covers all the points I wanted to get across.
There was one issue he touched upon I wanted to expand upon. Jason does a little link dump of incidents with guns in schools by trained officials as a way to say that changing schools from “gun free zones” to places where people can be as armed as they would be if they weren’t at school is a bad idea.
Let’s look at the stories. The first one is the most severe
According to KLTV, multiple sources identified the employee as Glenn Geddie, a maintenance worker for the district.
“At the conclusion of the CHL training on February 27, 2013, one certified person stayed for private instruction with the instructor and had a mechanical malfunction with his weapon,” Van Independent School District said in a statement. “With the assistance of the instructor, the malfunction was addressed, but the gun misfired and the bullet ricocheted coming back to strike the VISD employee in the left leg.”
No idea what the malfunction was, but there is enough information that suggests it was an actual ACCIDENTAL discharge. That is a malfunction of the gun that lead to the discharge not any negligence. This does rarely happen. In this case the maintenance worker was at a GUN RANGE (not a school) getting training, and the gun discharged and a bullet fragment hit the instructor in the leg.
Now this sucks, but it isn’t the end of the world. You shoot at hard stuff long enough and eventually you’ll catch a little lead. It isn’t fun, and it should be avoided, but I know several people who have been hit with ricochet fragments. None needed anything but a band-aid. To transpose this event to schools seems a bit silly.
Next we have two stories of officer guns in the bathroom.
The Chatfield School, a charter school that teaches K-8 students, hired a retired police weapons instructor to provide armed protection after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary. The result wasn’t exactly what they intended:
The security officer “made a breach in security protocol” and left an unloaded weapon in a restroom “for a few moments,” said Chatfield School Director Matt Young.
Young said the school has been in contact with local authorities about the matter and wouldn’t discuss any possible repercussion for the officer, calling it “a personnel matter.” Young also declined to name the security officer.
He links the story TWICE to make it appear like it is two separate events. Then there’s this one:
Police Officer Sean McCutcheon for the town of Lloyd, N.Y., accidentally fired his gun at 1:38 p.m. Tuesday in Highland High School’s hallway, the district said. No one was injured, and no students or staff were nearby when the gun went off.
John Nelson, whose daughter is a sophomore at the high school about 65 miles north of New York City, asked Haab on Tuesday night what a loaded gun was doing at school.
“I’m just shocked,” Nelson said before the meeting. “I don’t understand how a gun could just go off.”
It probably didn’t, the officer likely was handling his gun inappropriately and NEGLIGENTLY discharged it.
Now these events aren’t rare, and aren’t isolated in schools. Cops, sadly, leave guns lying around all the time, I’m sure there are lots of cases where the incident doesn’t even get reported.
When it DOES get reported the officer gets reprimanded and goes BACK TO WORK! Get that? There really isn’t much as far as consequences for this act. Get caught speeding, you get a ticket, and move on. Park in a handicapped spot, you get a ticket and move on. Forget you had a pocket knife on your keychain when you go on a flight, you lose the knife and board the plane.
It really isn’t a big deal. Or is it?
Now meanwhile if this maintenance worker had put a round in the floor while he was at school he’d LOSE HIS JOB! When looking for new jobs he’d need to explain why he’s out of work. Employers will google his name, and call his former employers and they will likely hear the story about the man who way playing with a loaded gun on the job.
Now in all of these cases nobody was seriously hurt, and no school kids were hurt, and in the case of officers acting negligently, it wasn’t the best career move, but it was hardly career ending. Turn that to school staff carrying guns for protection, it becomes different. I know lots of people who carry guns in public, I don’t know anybody who has touched off a round negligently in public. I know this isn’t just people being silent, because we’d read about it in the news.
Seems when there is more at stake than just getting a nasty letter from the chief you get a lot safer gun handling.
More reason to end the foolish behavior of making schools “Gun Free”.