Dec 19, 201202:30 PMBlaska's Bring It!
with David Blaska
Let’s make Wisconsin schools murder-free zones, not gun-free zones
(page 1 of 2)
What stopped the slaughter at Sandy Hook Elementary last Friday?
We know it wasn’t a sign on the wall. We know it wasn’t a law on the books. It wasn’t the outstretched arms of the desperate principal. Or common human decency. Only one thing stopped the slaughter at that Newtown, Conn., school: the imminent arrival of people with guns (aka police).
The 20-year-old shooter killed himself as he heard police arriving. Even so, he had time to shoot 20 young children and six school personnel, apparently each of them twice. What do they say? When seconds count the police are only minutes away.
What if that brave school principal, instead of fatally lunging at the shooter, had fired her drawn weapon? Perhaps she would have missed. Perhaps she would have hit an innocent bystander. (The entire student body, faculty, and support personnel were innocent bystanders.) Perhaps the shooter would have still gunned her down. Or, she might have found her mark; or he might have run. Perhaps a second teacher would have opened fire. In any of those scenarios, could the carnage have been any worse?
The cruel irony, of course, is that Sandy Hook Elementary was a gun-free zone. Except for that one person on Dec. 14, 2012, of course.
Wisconsin’s schools, public and private, are also gun-free zones. Anyone who carries a firearm into a school in violation of Statute WI 948.605 is guilty of a Class One felony. That’s the same category as murder.
Law enforcement is exempted, of course. But it means that Wisconsin citizens who took training; submitted to criminal background checks; have never committed a felony, been adjudged mentally deficient, or were the subject of a domestic abuse or harassment order – in other words, law-abiding folks who did what the state of Wisconsin commands and paid $50 for the privilege – are not trusted by the state to carry a concealed firearm into a school.
The state of Wisconsin does not trust the principals or teachers of East High School, or Toki Middle School, or Sandburg Elementary to have weapons – no matter how well trained they are – nor, I suspect, does the Madison School Board.
That has to change. I have reached out to several legislators’ offices to change the statute.
‘Pretend gun-free zones’
“Many of these attacks today unfortunately take place in pretend ‘gun-free zones,’ such as schools, movie theaters and shopping malls. ... The problem is that by the time the police arrive, lots of people are already dead. So when armed citizens are on the scene, many lives are saved,” writes a law-school textbook author of “Guns, Mental Illness and Newtown” (The Wall Street Journal).
Real gun-free zones are a wonderful idea, but they are only real if they are created by metal detectors backed up by armed guards. Pretend gun-free zones, where law-abiding adults (who pass a fingerprint-based background check and a safety training class) are still disarmed, are magnets for evildoers who know they will be able to murder at will with little threat of being fired upon.
The massacres at Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the Century 16 movie theater in Aurora, Colo., all took place in posted gun-free zones. (The one exception was the outdoors attack on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson, Ariz., in 2011.)
What stopped all of them was armed intervention, including the August 2012 massacre of six worshipers (with four injured) at the Sikh temple in suburban Milwaukee.
The gunman’s rampage ended when one of the first police officers to arrive shot and killed him. – New York Times.
William J. Bennett, former U.S. secretary of education, provides more examples:
In 2007, a gunman entered New Life Church in Colorado Springs and shot and killed two girls. ... [A] former police officer stationed as a volunteer security guard at the church, drew her firearm, shot and wounded the gunman before he could kill anyone else.
In 1997, high school student Luke Woodham stabbed his mother to death and then drove to Pearl High School in Pearl, Mississippi, and shot and killed two people ... but Joel Myrick, the assistant principal, ran to his truck and grabbed his pistol, aimed it at Woodham and made him surrender. – CNN, “The case for gun rights is stronger than you think”
Bennett could have recounted the following:
- A 2002 terrorist attack at an Israeli school was quickly stopped by an armed teacher and a school guard.
- A 2002 law school shooting in Grundy, Va., came to an abrupt conclusion when students carrying firearms confronted the shooter.
- A 2007 mall shooting in Ogden, Utah, ended when an armed off-duty police officer intervened.
- At the recent mall shooting in the state of Oregon, the gunman took his own life minutes after being confronted by a shopper carrying a concealed weapon. (Details here.)