CCW on Campus gets several boosts, Ted Cruz knocks down the anti-Stand Your Ground argument (in front of Trayvon Martin’s mother no less), and a verdict on the Virginia Tech shooting absolves the school of any responsibility. Solid week in gun news.
1.) Schools. Lead story this week is the concept of guns in schools. We begin in the small town of Briggsdale, Colorado. Far from going in the anti-gun direction the State legislature has, they have allowed teachers to carry concealed weapons so long as they commit to heading to the range and firing 100 rounds per month. (Because what shooter doesn’t like a little range time?) Same thing is happening in St. Helens, Oregon, which builds upon Oregon’s current law, allowing basically anyone with a permit to carry on school grounds.
This is making the wait for Georgia’s session painful for me.
2.) Stand Your Ground. Two major stories in Stand Your Ground news this week. The first is a hearing on Capitol Hill over the laws, the highlight of which was when Republican Senator Ted Cruz stated that the “hearing” was essentially politically motivated, and that the crux of the hearing, the Zimmerman case, was irrelevant seeing as how SYG was never used as a defense. The mother of Trayvon Martin, who Zimmerman shot and killed, was present at the hearing as well. Martin’s family has been pushing for changes to the Stand Your Ground laws across the nation for quite some time.
On the flipside, we have a lawsuit by Jesse Jackson here in Georgia. He claims that the laws encourage violence. He announced the suit at a press conference flanked by people claiming to have been “victims” of the law.
3.) Virgina Tech. It is often noted that the police have no explicit duty to defend/protect you. This has been held up in the past by the Supreme Court’s ruling in Warren v. District of Columbia. Now we have a more recent example of this with Virginia Tech. Virginia’s State Supreme Court revesed a wrongful death verdict in the case, stating that “as a matter of law” the commonwealth “did not have a duty to protect students against third party criminal acts.” In other words, they are not responsible for the safety of the students.
Which begs the question; if they aren’t…..who is? And if they aren’t, why do they still dictate what your options are?
4.) Airport shooting. Despite not having much value in terms of the overall gun news, to not mention the LAX shooting would be ignoring a rather large elephant. The reaction to the shooting has been interesting, in that we’ve seen calls from people for “more” security and laws in the wake of the shooting, oblivous/ignorant of the fact that airports are supposed to be among the most secure sites in the country.
If there is anything to take away from it, it’s that he managed to get into the terminal of one of the busiest airports in the country, past hundreds of thousands of dollars in security tech with little more than a rifle and a backpack. Any security, online or off, can be broken.
Which brings me nicely to another major reaction that we, as a country, really need to get past. Preparing for disasters, talking about “if” a person is attacked, and essentially wargaming for when things get real bad real fast is currently seen as “paranoid” or “hoping for something to happen.” And yet, after every major event, you always hear the same refrain:
“I didn’t think it could happen here.”
We have heard it for years now. Meanwhile, shootings have taken place in small towns and big cities, in schools and theaters, and in malls and places of worship. These things are rare, but not impossible
It might be time to stop acting shocked when these events occur, and to start fighting against the people who don’t care who they kill, so long as their message gets across. To stop thinking that people with no regard for the law or human life will listen to more laws because “they have to, it’s the law.”
In other words, it might be time, as a country, to stop thinking “it can’t happen here” and start planning for what can be done if it did.