Gun found on campus prompts calls for gun-free schools

Julie Jacobson

Schools are one of those places where, at least in most places, you can’t take a firearm even if you have a carry permit. There are exceptions, but those are somewhat rare.

If you’re a student in high school or below, though, there’s absolutely no way to carry a gun on campus. It’s just not going to be lawful no matter what.

But it happens, and now some in Boston are saying that learning should be gun-free.

Another week, another loaded 9 mm pistol found in a Boston school, leading to a call for metal detectors or “whatever it takes” to ensure guns never find their way into schools.

In the latest of at least eight firearms found in Boston schools since September, the gun was discovered Monday in the fanny pack of a 16-year-old boy at the grades-6-to-12 Dearborn STEM Academy in Roxbury, according to Boston Police.

The gun had six bullets in the magazine, police said, and the boy was charged with three counts of delinquency: one for having a gun on school property, one for having a loaded firearm and one for having ammunition.

“There could have been an enormous tragedy,” said the Rev. David Searles of Central Assembly of God Church in East Boston and a member of Boston S.O.S. (Safety of Our Schools), a local movement made up of parents, clergy, and community leaders.

“We’re demanding whatever it takes to keep schools gun-free,” Searles said. “If a gun made it into a white, suburban school one time, there would be such outrage to preclude it from ever happening again. But when it happens here, the attitude is well, that’s Dorchester, or Roxbury, or Mattapan. And we say that insidious view smacks of racism.”

Uh…schools in Boston are already gun-free as a matter of law, for one thing, just as it is everywhere else in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. What else should officials do to appease Searles and his followers?

First, understand that schools have never been gun-free.

For a while, they were acceptable because students generally weren’t shooting up the neighborhoods. I remember seeing shotguns and deer rifles in the back of trucks at my school and no one was ever disciplined for it because, well, it wasn’t an issue.

Later, laws changed and guns were banned on school campuses everywhere because of what gang members were doing in inner cities.

You know, places like Boston.

Yet guns still showed up and will continue to show up. Now, though, students can be punished if and when they’re caught.

That includes “white” schools.

Of course, as a southerner who was born in the immediate aftermath of desegregation, I’m shocked to learn Massachusetts has “white” and “black” schools. And to think folks up there believe everyone down here is racist, yet they have segregation? Fascinating.

But what about Searles’ point? Should something be done about guns on school campuses?

My point is that everything the government can do is already being done. Especially somewhere like Massachusetts that doesn’t even want fully-grown adults to have guns.

It sounds like it’s really up to the community to step up and stop pretending this is a racial issue and start helping the police deal with the people who commit the acts of violence. Get them off the streets and they won’t be able to influence the younger generation. They’ll be less likely to be venerated by them.

There’s not a campus in this nation that would accept a loaded firearm being found. To try and make it a racial issue is ridiculous.