Gun Free Zones

March 28, 2013

735107_354527281332922_327288768_nThis is my 13 year old daughter, Emma.  Much like her Mommy, she feels very strongly about when things don’t seem just.  I have four children.  She, out of all of them, asked me if she could participate in the 2nd Amendment Rallies I was participating in.  Forever being a home school parent, I asked her “why?”  I wanted to know if she really understood why I felt so strongly about this issue.  Her first response to me was “because people are trying to take away our guns.”  Like me, to her this doesn’t make sense.   The reason it doesn’t make sense is because we have taught our children how great a responsibility it is to own and operate one of these tools.   If it ever is to be used as a weapon, it is used as a DEFENSE weapon, for our self protection, as well as a hunting tool, amongst other reasons.

Now, I understand many of you may disagree with me on this topic.  I am not here to rile anyone’s feelings.  But in all honesty, we need to look at this issue aside from our feelings.  We need to use common sense and logic.  Part of the biggest problem coming from the anti gun side of the argument is that they are using grief and fear to take away our Constitutional Rights.  As a law abiding and responsible gun owner I don’t understand how disarming me is going to keep me or my children safe.  I have not seen one clear argument using logic.  Logic is what must be used to solve these serious problems we are facing today, not propaganda.

I told my daughter if she wanted to participate in the rallies she needed to come up with a reason that directly affects her.  Gun free zones are what directly affect her.  One of these illogical arguments made into law.  She sees the idiocy of advertising that a vulnerable group of people are unarmed.  No child should be forced to be somewhere for six hours a day, knowing that if a mentally unstable person wished them harm, they are sitting ducks, completely defenseless.  That is essentially what we have done by creating these “zones”.   Misguided politicians making laws that have no base in logic but make them feel better thinking they have done “something” that will keep us safe.  Only it’s had the reverse effect.

The Gun Free Schools Zones Act of 1990 has done just that.  It’s had a reverse effect.  Simply by posting a sign in front of a school and declaring it gun free does NOTHING to protect my children.  Laws are  just words on a paper.  FYI to all legislators:  CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY LAWS!  That is why they are called criminals.  These so called “zones” have attracted those intent on doing the most reprehensible violence on our most vulnerable.

I would love for someone to please explain to me how sticking a sign outside of a school advertising that it is a Gun Free Zone is going to keep my children safe?!  Time after time this has been proven to not work.  I equate this logic to putting a sign on the windshield of my car telling everyone I left the keys in the ignition.  You are asking for trouble!   Most criminals go after the easiest targets.  The psyche of the mentally ill who are involved in these mass shootings at schools,  malls, or any other Gun Free Zone is to do the most carnal damage with the least amount of resistance.  If they truly were looking for confrontation they would walk into a police station and start shooting.  Now I do know that this has happened once or twice but we  definitely don’t see that happening on the reoccurring basis of school shootings, now do we?  Time and evidence has proven this to be true.   So WHY are we putting our most vulnerable and precious loved ones at risk when they don’t need to be?

We need to put our focus on the real issue behind the violence.  Over 66 shootings and acts of violence at schools in the US have a common link.   What is the common link?   Antipsychotic prescription drug medication.  I won’t go off on a tangent on this issue because I want to focus another article on this.  But instead of focusing on the real issue they enact laws that leave us all vulnerable.   Has anyone noticed the bulk of these new laws are targeted towards law abiding citizens?   Very little has to do with enforcing current laws or reexamining what is already on the books and how  we make those better.  Instead, they are using fear and propaganda to enact gun control over us.   I have come to realize that the phrases “for our safety” or “the safety of our children” are just Red Herrings.   Gun control is really about people control.  The Federal government has increased its power hungry efforts to control the American people.  Government and more government  is the answer to them.  I declare “It is NOT!”

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman is an internationally recognized scholar, author, soldier, and speaker who is one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.   He has spoken about active shooters in schools.  I find his assessment to be sound.   Here is an excerpt from one of his talks: “… you’ve still got those fire sprinklers, those fire exit signs, fire hydrants outside, and fire trucks nearby! Are these fire guys crazy? Are these fire guys paranoid? No!  Because this fire guy has redundant, overlapping layers of protection, not a single kid has been killed by school fire in the last 50 years!

“But you try to prepare for violence — the thing much more likely to kill our kids in schools, the thing hundreds of times  more likely to kill our kids in schools — and people think you’re paranoid. They think you’re crazy. …They’re in denial.”

“Never call an unarmed man ‘security’,” Grossman said.

“Call him ‘run-like-hell-when-the-man-with-the-gun-shows-up’ but never call an unarmed man security.

“Imagine if someone said, ‘I want a trained fire professional on site. I want a fire hat, I want a fire uniform, I want a fire badge. But! No fire extinguishers in this building. No fire hoses. The hat, the badge, the uniform — that will keep us safe — but we have no need for fire extinguishers.’ Well, that would be insane. It is equally insane, delusional, legally liable, to say, ‘I want a trained security professional on site. I want a security hat, I want a security uniform, and I want a security badge, but I don’t want a gun.’ It’s not the hat, the uniform, or the badge. It’s the tools in the hands of a trained professional that keeps us safe.

“Our problem is not money,” said Grossman.  “It is denial.”

I will share the link to this article at the end of my piece.

Taking control back from the government and allowing communities to decide locally the kind of control they want to put into place  would in my estimation be common sense measure that will ultimately create a safer environment.  I would love to see those Gun Free Zones thrown to the way side.  I would love to see schools that already have SRO’s (School Resource Officers) to have armed SRO’s.  Armed SRO’s or armed security has worked at schools.  It worked in Pearl, Mississippi as well as Atlanta.  I know here in Maine, Senator David Burns, of Washington County, submitted a bill that would give school districts the authority to allow teachers and other school employees to carry concealed weapons on campus.  Sen.  Burns is a retired Maine State Police Trooper.  I supported this idea but it truly shocked me at the number of people who reacted to this idea out of fear and not logic.

This bill was not a mandate.  It would just make it legal for anyone on the staff who is a responsible gun owner to be another layer of protection for our children.   We have seen from Newtown that just having the school locked isn’t enough to keep a gunman out.   At a time where school budgets are astronomical and towns are trying to figure out how to keep up with the rising costs of education, this measure is the most effective and cost efficient way to put another layer of protection for our children.  Most rural towns do not have SRO’s on staff.  Most rural towns cannot afford to add an SRO to their ever growing budget.  So what other options are there?

When I read the reactions to those who opposed this idea, all I read was fear and outrageous accusations.  One woman said the idea scared her because if a teacher lost her cool she could shoot the children.  I’m sorry, but that is just offensive to all the teachers who dedicate themselves to our children on a daily basis.  If you have such a level of fear that you would falsely accuse the teaching staff at a local school for being that volatile, then why are you even sending your kids there?

In South Dakota such measures have been signed into law.  The Governor signed into law a take it or leave it bill that makes it allowable for schools districts to choose the option of teachers and staff to conceal carry.  This is a common sense measure that could ultimately create an even safer environment for our children.   South Dakota is not alone.  This has been in effect in Utah for more than a decade.  Georgia, New Hampshire, and Kansas are also considering a similar measure.

I feel it is time for us to stop and think.  Take into account what has been tried and what isn’t working.  We need to take into account, aside from the fear, the facts and look at the history of these shootings.  We need to involve those who work in this field, local law enforcement, and figure out how we can add more layers of protection for our children.

Maria Solorzano


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