Imagine this scenario: you’re taking your third-grader to school and you look over and there’s a guy in front of the school with a handgun strapped to his hip. What do you do? Is this a crazy guy who is going to start shooting the place up? Is it just a gun-loving lady making a point about her Second Amendment rights?
What if you’re a teacher or the principal of the school? Do you just let it go and hope everything turns out all right? After all, several hundred children are under your watch and their lives and safety are your responsibility for the next several hours.
This is a very real scenario in Michigan where you are allowed to bring a handgun into our schools as long as you have a concealed pistol licence (CPL) and the gun is being openly carried. One school system in Michigan, the Huron Valley Schools in the area northeast of Milford has a plan figured out: put the school in lockdown and call 911. When the police arrive, they are the ones who decide if the armed person is legitimate or not:
I think this is a terrific plan. If gun fetishists want to create drama around their carrying of a gun, so be it. Give them as much drama as they can take. Nobody walking into a school with a gun strapped to their hip is doing it for any reason than to create drama. Sure, they say they are there to stop bad guys from shooting up the school but, in final analysis, they want the attention they get from doing walking around with a gun visible. And, honestly, is a gunfight really what we want in the schools where our children are present? Do you really think a mentally ill person looking to kill people and themselves cares one bit about some mom or dad with a handgun?
The school board had a public meeting about the plan on Monday night and, of course, the audience was filled people carrying guns openly. Funny thing, most of them weren’t even from the district:
Several dozen gun-toting men and women – a few local residents but most from elsewhere – packed the Huron Valley Board of Education meeting Monday to speak about the right to carry a gun on school property.
The school administration is not backing down, however:
School Board President Rebecca Walsh told those in attendance the board is committed to following the law, and also committed to providing a safe environment for all students, staff and visitors to district buildings.
The district, she said, has an emergency plan in place for instances when weapons are brought into school buildings.
“If this occurs during school hours, the building will immediately go into lockdown status, and 9-1-1 will be called so law enforcement agencies can make a determination on the status of the person with the weapon,” Walsh said, adding the same policy applies when school is not in session, minus the lockdown. “Any visitor who brings a gun will be treated the same, and the police will be summoned. This is essential because the district has no way to know who is violating the law and who has a valid permit and fits into the exception.
Once the actions of gun fetishists starts to have a tangible impact on the people around them, maybe more people will get into the conversation and help create change in our laws. In addition to that, this plan of action will make a pariah out of the people who flaunt their guns. It will only take a few lockdowns where parents are called to school to pick up their kids before the rest of the parents will put social pressure on them stop with the grandstanding, grandstanding that has no tangible impact on the safety of our school kids, no matter how much pro-gun rhetoric they spew.