Dear Missouri Parents,
It’s the end of a school year. If you are anything like me, it’s been an exhausting year of keeping up with your child and all of the things that go along with elementary school – homework, after school activities, friends, lice outbreaks, the occasional illness. Next year you may have one more thing to add to the list – not knowing if your child’s teacher is armed. That’s right, because last week the Missouri Senate passed SB 656 that would allow for certain teachers to become School Protection Officers. School Protection Officers would be allowed to carry armed weapons into your child’s classrooms. Here’s the kicker – you won’t be informed if your teacher is carrying a weapon.
Let that little chicken nugget sink in for a moment. If your child’s school is anything like my child’s school, I am notified about EVERYTHING. I receive an email or text message almost daily about carnivals, skate parties, art projects, lice outbreaks, strep throat, disciplinary issues, stranger danger, healthy food suggestions, music recitals, the veggie of the week, teacher appreciation weeks, Valentine’s Day, Christmas recitals, early dismissals and the list goes on and on and on. Interestingly absent from this list would be if Mrs. Baker would be packing heat – the one thing that some would argue could keep little Suzie safe and I would argue could kill her.
The biggest champion of this bill is Representative Rick Brattin. You might remember this guy – he was the one who wanted parents to be able to opt-in to teaching evolution in schools. I’m a little lost on his logic. He wants parents to be able to opt-in when it comes to science, but doesn’t want to give parents the same courtesy when it comes to knowing when there is a loaded weapon in our child’s classroom. He believes the “element of surprise” is essential when stopping an armed intruder.
“Nobody wants to do this. I don’t want to even think about having to put teachers into school with firearms but it’s a reality of the world today,” said Rep. Rick Brattin, R-Harrisonville, who has pushed for the creation of school protection officers.
Rep. Brattin – no we actually don’t have to do this. It’s isn’t the reality of the world we live in today. Let’s run some number shall we?
In 2011, according to the Department of Education there were 98,817 public schools in the United States. Since Sandy Hook, there have been 44 school shootings in the United States. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/answer-sheet/wp/2014/02/13/at-least-44-school-shootings-since-newtown-new-analysis/
So if I do the math – that is .04% of all public schools have experienced a school shooting.
Ok, so now that I proved that the numbers don’t add up, we really don’t really have to do this. It’s weird to me how politicians could have taken this simple step to prove the same point BEFORE passing this bill. This took me all of 5 minutes and I’m just an average mom with a blog.
Now I googled fire arm accidents. I went to a neutral source and avoided sources like the Brady Center To Prevent Gun Violence and the NRA for statistics. I found this one from ask.com: The approximate number of gun accidents that happen per year is 100,000. One American dies every fifteen minutes due to misuse of firearms. The most common causes of gun accidents are unsecure firearms and hunting accidents.
So based on these statistics, adding a loaded firearms to our Missouri schools would increase the likelihood that our children may (God forbid) be a victim of an accident to ward off the extremely low to almost non-existent threat of an armed intruder entering our schools.
Based on this, I ask that you call the Governor’s office and ask him to veto this bill. This isn’t a “gun rights” issue. If a school district feels the need to increase security then do so with the knowledge of the parents. If a school district really feels at risk, add armed security guards at the school. Don’t put teachers in the position of carrying firearms around our children. As parents, we have a right to know whenever a loaded weapon is added to our children’s school.
Here is Governor Nixon’s contact information. Please spread the word. Contact the Governor and tell him Missouri parents won’t stand for this bill. Contact your Representatives and Senators and tell them this bill isn’t necessary. Speak up and make your voices heard.
Office of Governor Jay Nixon
P.O. Box 720
Jefferson City, MO 65102
Phone: (573) 751-3222