Atlanta school system to focus on safe firearms storage

MikeGunner / Pixabay

All over the nation, there has been a problem over the last year of kids bringing guns to schools. We’ve seen this over and over again.

It’s not overly surprising when you think about it. The same forces causing a surge in violent crime also pushes kids to try and take guns to school with them.

Couple that with the shooting in Oxford, Michigan and you’ve got a lot of concerned school administrators, staff, and faculty.

To address this, the Atlanta Board of Education has decided to urge parents to store their firearms safely.

The Atlanta Board of Education, which governs the Atlanta Public School district, adopted a resolution to “promote safe and responsible storage of firearms.” It is an unusual resolution adoption because it is not education-related, but more of a public outreach effort.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported that the public school district reacted this way due to the November shooting at Oxford High School in Michigan, which left four students dead. The student charged with the shooting and his parents are on trial, but the case is controversial because his parents are accused of knowing about their child’s erratic behavior and chose not to properly store a firearm that was used in the deadly shooting.

The board’s action pushed the district to work with law enforcement and non-profit groups to educate the community about proper firearms storage within their homes. Board Chair Jason Esteves said, “One of the simplest and most effective ways to get guns off the street, to prevent suicide amongst youth and to prevent school shootings is by having parents and family members store their guns securely and promote responsible gun ownership.”

Now, I’m of mixed opinions on this.

On the one hand, this is simply asking people to make sure their guns are kept in such a way that their kids can’t take them. I’ve long argued for people to keep guns out of curious but unauthorized hands. This isn’t overly different from that.

Yet on the other, I can’t help but be annoyed by the fact that this is focused on one incident–Oxford–and ignoring all the kids who have brought firearms to school that they obtained through black market transactions. These make up a large portion of the total number of guns taken to school.

What happened in Oxford is more of an anomaly than the norm. These were parents who apparently trusted their kid with firearms access when they should have known better. Most parents don’t make that mistake, so focusing on them isn’t overly helpful.

The real upside here is that there’s no real law that can come out of this. Georgia is a preemption state, which means that even if the school system wanted to create regulations, they’d have to go through a very pro-gun legislature to make them happen.

That’s simply not likely to happen.

I think they know that, which is why they’re taking this approach. Don’t expect much of anything to come of it, though.