There’s a whole lot of people out there who are concerned. While the coronavirus is a newer concern, many are still hung up over the idea of a supposed “epidemic” of mass shootings at schools. It’s a concern that’s been growing since Parkland and will likely continue to grow for some time to come. This despite evidence that the problem isn’t growing.
Yet, if one were to be concerned about some maniac walking into a school and opening fire, there’s one common-sense solution that would address the problem quite well. That’s to allow people to lawfully carry firearms in schools.
While the idea is controversial, it’s already the law in a couple of states. Now, an Idaho state senate panel is taking up the issue.
The Senate State Affairs Committee is weighing a bill to let school employees with enhanced permits carry concealed weapons on school grounds.
“The reality is that law enforcement response time is measured in minutes,” sponsor Sen. Todd Lakey, R-Nampa, told the committee Wednesday. “In these situations, lives are snuffed out in seconds.”
Lakey said he hopes the bill will help deter school shootings and give some protection to school staff and students. Currently school boards in Idaho can vote to let employees carry weapons, but very few have.
Lakey’s bill would let any school employee with an enhanced concealed carry permit carry concealed. They would be required to notify the school principal and district superintendent, who could tell school trustees. No one else, including parents, would be told, except for law enforcement in situations where it is necessary. No employee could be required to carry a gun, and anyone who does would have to keep it concealed and on their person.
“I’m very passionate about our children and our schools and their safety,” said Rep. Chad Christensen, R-Ammon. “This isn’t about toting guns or puffing up. It’s about our children and safety.”
Christensen introduced a bill to let school employees carry concealed last year that never got a hearing, and he continued to work on the issue this year. He said Lakey’s bill would help made Idaho schools safer. He said similar laws passed in Utah in 2001 and South Dakota in 2013 and haven’t led to any problems.
And really, why would it? People with concealed carry permits have been found to be more law-abiding than the police, politicians, and judges. They’re not people who go out breaking the law, hence why they get a permit to carry rather than just toting a firearm around like the bad guys do.
As such, they’re not going to pull out their gun and go all John Wick on people like some anti-gunners seem to believe is inevitable. It doesn’t happen, so there’s even less reason to restrict people from carrying guns in the kinds of places where they would do the most good.
If you’re going to require special permits for that, so be it. I’d rather they didn’t (it says “shall not be infringed,” after all), but I’d rather have guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens should something go wrong than not. It’s moving the needle on the Second Amendment more toward freedom, so that’s a win.
Let’s hope the panel sees sense in this.