reposted with Brad’s permission — Rich
School Safety Through Firepower
By Bradley Harrington
Published in the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on February 13, 2015.
“Any politician who won’t trust you with the weapon of your choice clearly cannot be trusted with the power he desires over your life.” – Aaron Zelman and L. Neil Smith, “Hope,” 2009 –
Most citizens would agree that a person’s right to life doesn’t mean much without the corollary right to self-defense that must accompany it as well.
Some local school officials and parents, however, don’t seem to have much use for either, judging from the nonsense they’re spewing regarding Wyoming House Bill 114 (which would abolish nearly all of Wyoming’s current “gun-free zones,” including in the public schools).
Regarding this bill, already passed in the House and now before the Senate, LCSD1 Superintendent John Lyttle said:
“’This needs to be balanced with safety of students and staff’… One of the first priorities for the district is to provide students with a safe environment, he said.” (“Officials: Guns not welcome in school,” WTE, Feb. 10.)
Hmmm… Let’s consider some historical facts of reality – for, unfortunately enough, the inability for a good guy to quickly gain access to a firearm didn’t do much to help the 20 kids and six staff members brutally murdered in 2012 by a disgruntled, gun-firing nutcase at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Nor did that inability save the lives of the 32 people shot dead by another disgruntled, gun-firing nutcase at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute back in 2007.
[Sidebar: Sadly enough in regard to this last massacre, Mr. Lyttle’s brain-brother, Virginia Tech spokesman Larry Hincker, praised the Virginia State Legislature’s scuttling of a bill just a year earlier that would have eliminated their “gun-free” zones: “I’m sure the university community is appreciative of the General Assembly’s actions because this will help parents, students, faculty and visitors feel safe on our campus,” he said. (“Gun bill gets shot down by panel,” Roanoke Times, Jan. 30, 2006.)]
So, Mr. Lyttle: just how, exactly, do you intend on providing a “safe” environment? By going after the next disgruntled, gun-firing nutcase who might decide to show up on one of your campuses with a pair of scissors?
Just to prove that Mr. Lyttle is not the only well-meaning fool promoting his topsy-turvy concept of “safety,” however, we can also add some parents to that mix as well:
“He [Lyttle] added that some parents already have said they will move their students to schools in Colorado if the bill is approved.”
Now there’s a great idea. Down to Columbine High School, possibly, where yet another pair of disgruntled, gun-firing nutcases slaughtered 12 students and a teacher back in 1999?
Here’s a couple of questions for both Mr. Lyttle and those parents: how “safe” do you think those Columbine students, ensconced in their “gun-free zone,” felt 30 seconds before the bullets started to fly, as compared to three minutes later?
In answer to those who claim that granting teachers, staff and other adults their right to pack weapons won’t help stop these atrocities, history says you’re wrong – for that’s exactly what happened at both Virginia’s Appalachian School of Law in 2002 and Mississippi’s Pearl High School in 1997.
But, in both of those instances, it bears mentioning, the individuals who finally subdued the shooters had to first run to their vehicles to retrieve their weapons before they could act.
So, regarding those two shootings, here’s a third question, the same question I asked of the University of Wyoming’s Faculty Senate a few months back, regarding their desire to maintain a “gun-free zone” on campus:
“What would have happened in those ‘gun-free zones’ if students and/or faculty had already been armed at the time the shootings began?” (“Call it a ‘shoot-me zone,’” WTE, Oct. 10, 2014.)
So, since true safety is obviously not a concern for Mr. Lyttle, what’s he really worried about if HB 114 passes? “Some federal money is tied to the fact that a school is a gun-free zone, and there hasn’t been any guidance given on how to manage that, he said.”
And there you have it. God forbid that Mr. Lyttle might lose his “free” federal dollars, and just what is he supposed to do when his federal masters fail to provide him with the proper “guidance”?
This, ladies and gentlemen, is what passes for “administration” at LCSD1. What a tragedy, both now and in the making. The LCSD1 Board should seriously consider relieving this man of his duties and find someone who truly cares about the health and welfare of the students in his charge.
As for the Wyoming Legislature: kudos to the House members who voted for passing HB 114, and may their colleagues in the Senate have the foresight, fortitude and respect for an individual’s right to defend their lives to pass it there as well.
Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming; he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.