Aimee Patton

A pleasantly eccentric take on politics

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

Thank you,

Aimee

 

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Missouri Parents – Your Child’s Teacher Could Be Carrying A Gun and You Won’t Know

  1. 3boxesofbs says:

    I’m confused; you trust the teachers to be with kids hours each day. You trust them not to abuse them, not to strangle them, not to bludgeon them to death — but you don’t seem to want to trust them not to shoot them?
    How exactly does that make sense?

    Here’s the kicker – you won’t be informed if your teacher is carrying a weapon.
    Wouldn’t public knowledge of who is or who isn’t carrying a firearm defeat the purpose of having armed teachers?
    After all, the Air Marshals who fly aren’t identified. Undercover police officers aren’t identified. Pointing out which teacher is armed either makes them a target or allows aggressive actions against all the other teachers because they aren’t armed.

    The odds are low of something every happening at a particular school but the stakes (as seen at Columbine and Sandy Hook ) are huge. Most (as in almost 99%) of all mass shootings are stopped when the shooter is confronted by armed resistance. They are either shot by the resistance or they suicide. Doesn’t it make sense to reduce the time it takes to have a firearm brought into play?
    It isn’t like armed security is a new idea either. Many campuses have ‘school resource officers’ — a fancy name for a cop on campus.

    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.

    You seem to be mixing deaths and injuries in the same paragraph there. Is that a deliberate attempt to make it seem worse than it is. And over half of the ‘misuse of firearms’ is suicide; hardly applicable to the situation being discussed here is it?

    If a school district feels the need to increase security then do so with the knowledge of the parents.

    Most districts do announce they are implementing this type of program. If not, ask. But seriously; what is the objection to having teachers you trust to take your kids on field trips, to supervise science experiments, football/physical activity, feeding them, etc to being armed?

    Bob S.
    3 Boxes of BS

    1. Hi Bob,

      Thanks for reading and commenting. I have a right to send my child to a gun-free zone. The difference between a school protection officer and air marshals or undercover officers is that undercover officers or air marshals do that as their full-time profession. They are highly trained. They do not take a few extra classes that make them qualified. There is a HUGE difference. I ask you – why make this huge element of surprise? What could be more of a deterrent than an armed guard sitting at the entrance of a school? Also, what if the armed person walks into the wrong classroom? If you only have one person armed and they are at the other end of the building, what does that solve?

      The potential for accidents outweighs any potential deterrent. Why put our children at unnecessary risk to ward off a potential threat that is so small? It seems like a highly unnecessary risk to me.

      Again, thanks for commenting!
      Aimee

      1. 3boxesofbs says:

        Your right — as you claim — does not mean you have the right to demand everyone else meet your demands. If you want to send your child to a gun free zone; (which is ironic considering the school protection officers) then you can enroll in a private school.

        The difference between a school protection officer and air marshals or undercover officers is that undercover officers or air marshals do that as their full-time profession.

        Sorry but that simply isn’t true of most basic law enforcement officers. The basic requirements aren’t high and definitely many concealed carry license holders have as great of proficiency with their firearms. Certainly this is true of the school teachers and staff that take additional training in order to carry at work.

        What could be more of a deterrent than an armed guard sitting at the entrance of a school?

        Because the student or adult mass murderer knows exactly where that person is and can attack else where or start by killing the guard. The fact that one or more teachers / staff could be behind the murderer is a huge deterrent. Fixed or static check points are seldom effective in stopping a criminal. Look at home many times a bank security guard is disarmed.

        Also, what if the armed person walks into the wrong classroom? If you only have one person armed and they are at the other end of the building, what does that solve?

        And what happens if the armed police walk into the wrong room or at the other end of the building? Same issues apply but at least the staff and teachers know each other and are in place to respond faster.

        The potential for accidents outweighs any potential deterrent.
        Given that has been said just about every time a firearm related law allowing carrying of firearms has been passed, it should be obvious the potential for accidents is incredibly low. I find it ironic you think the potential for accidents with firearms is so great but don’t seem to worry greatly about chemistry, food poisoning, shop classes, etc.

        Why put our children at unnecessary risk to ward off a potential threat that is so small? It seems like a highly unnecessary risk to me.

        So the risk that an active shooter will target a school is so small (Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, etc) but the risk a trusted, trained staff or teacher will cause an accident is too high — all the while you would prefer having armed police officers on campus instead?

        I’m really lost in your risk analysis. Shouldn’t an officer be a higher risk? Their firearms are carried openly, they are easily identified, etc.

      2. Why does your right trump mine? Don’t you think that asking for the risk potential to be even 1% to increase the accident potential is reasonable? Why should I have to send my child to a private school and not the other way around? Think about it – you can have a private school with all the religion and gun toting you want and leave the public schools alone. I honestly don’t think an armed guard or armed teachers are necessary.

  2. 3boxesofbs says:

    Why does your right trump mine?
    Because your right interferes with mine in a way that impacts a real tangible way; your right to a gun free zone isn’t protected the Constitution.

    Do I have a right to demand everyone walks to school because I’m afraid someone will run over my child with a car? No. I don’t have the right to demand everyone dresses in blue because every other color scares me or offends me. Your right to demand I comply with your wishes is limited by the Constitution; we aren’t a democracy but a Constitutional Republic.

    Why should I have to send my child to a private school and not the other way around?
    Because you are the one demanding something that is already legal (firearms) be avoided around your child or self.

    you can have a private school with all the religion and gun toting you want and leave the public schools alone. I honestly don’t think an armed guard or armed teachers are necessary.

    And there is the irony you completely miss — you want to have a gun free zone; enforced by guns, in a school protected by guns. Most campuses either have armed personnel already there or patrolling them frequently. This really doesn’t change the status from “gun free zone” to gun zone. That genie is already out of the bottle. Nor does it make sense to think that a criminal won’t target a school; your very own numbers show it does happen.

    Using your unlikely to happen argument doesn’t make sense; we have fire extinguishers in schools but fires rarely happen. We wear seat belts but rarely are individuals in accidents. We have life insurance and medical insurance but rarely are they needed for emergencies. So why the irrational response to the security of our children?

    1. As much as I would love to go round and round with you on this, I don’t have time. I don’t want guns in school period. I don’t armed guards. I don’t want armed teachers. The odds that my child will be the victim of a mass shooting at school are almost zero. Yes, there is the 2nd amendment, but like your seat belt argument many things we do to reduce risk are regulated. Firearms around children are dangerous with or without safety classes. I don’t want to increase the risk around my children in order to protect against a harm that probably won’t happen. If the 2nd amendment is so absolute, then why require these additional safety classes for teachers?

      In a time when GOP lawmakers are yelling about too many government regulations, how can you stand by and applaud this action that takes the power out of the hands of the parents and puts it in the hands of over regulation? We aren’t ok with teachers teaching science without parents approval, but arming teachers is a-ok? The hypocrisy is maddening. I guess when it comes to anything involving the 2nd amendment these days anything goes.

      Thanks again for taking the time to write. I guess we will just have to wait and see what Governor Nixon does.

      1. 3boxesofbs says:

        Because the parents control the school district; don’t want your district to have armed security make it happen.

        But don’t try to tell people in other districts they can’t. Talk about governmental regulations; you want to make your feelings the laws.

  3. lwk2431 says:

    “Missouri Parents – Your Child’s Teacher Could Be Carrying A Gun and You Won’t Know”

    Not 100% sure of Missouri laws in detail, although I do know that they have concealed carry there (have relatives there and have concealed carry license from Texas so had to check that when travelled to Missouri I could carry there legally too – I can). So all the time in grocery stores, the library, and maybe the park you and your kids are walking by people who are legally carrying a concealed handgun all the time and don’t know it. In Texas I can legally carry in church (and do).

    Funny old saying about what a Liberal atheist would do if a a dangerous criminal broke into his house at night: “Pray for a policeman with a gun to show up and save his butt!” 🙂

    We have at least one (maybe two now?) school districts in Texas where the principal can approve a teacher to carry a handgun if they have gotten a Concealed Handgun License from the state. Read somewhere else there will be some additional mandated training for teachers who do this in Missouri too. In Texas this has worked fine for years now without any problems whatsoever. The initial motive was the school was pretty far from possible police response.

    You replied to someone else:

    ” I have a right to send my child to a gun-free zone. ”

    I do not believe you have such a right if it is a public school. But I am all for you being able to send your kid to a private school that respects your wishes (or homeschool). Actually if I had my way we would start by closing the public schools and make all schooling private (vouchers for example). All of my kids had some homeschooling, one all the way to college.

    “He believes the “element of surprise” is essential when stopping an armed intruder.”

    There are two essential elements involved (surprise is the second). First and very important is the fact that the crazies come to realize that if they intend mass murder in a school they are likely to be met with deadly force. That is very important.

    The crazies like the one at Newtown and others do want to die in the end. But it is _very_ important to them how they die, by their own hand and not someone else’s. To be killed by someone else takes away from the fantasy of power they have created in their mind. Most often when the police arrive they either kill themselves, or surrender if at the last moment they can’t put the gun to their own head. Very rarely do they try to fight it out with police (Columbine was an anomaly there, but the single policeman who engaged them did not aggressively try to enter the building and take them on – he called for backup which was current police strategy then).

    The prospect of armed people trained to shoot back does not fit into their fantasy and just the existence of armed people in schools is likely to deter many of these crazies. Secondly people who do get concealed carry licenses in the U.S. have proven over more than two decades now that they are some of the most responsible and law abiding people around. They do get arrested sometimes for firearms violations but no more often than sworn police officers getting arrested for a firearms violation. It just doesn’t happen very often.

    In every state when concealed carry was debated, and I remember particularly in Texas, the antis screamed about blood running in the street and horrendous accidents, etc. Guess what? It never happened. It has not happened in any state. People who get licenses self select themselves and they have proven extraordinarily responsible as a class of people as a whole.

    And yes, he is right – concealed carry gives a defender the advantage of surprise. The bad guy finds out, but usually by that point it is too late for him. That is the way it should be.

    “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.”

    Yes it is a gun rights issue. More importantly it is a kid’s rights issue, the right to be protected by responsible adults. A school district can inform you that some teachers have been approved (as is done in Texas in one school). But you have no right to know whom. That is for your safety, and your children’s safety, and the safety of teachers.

    We protect our money in schools with armed people. Was in a jewelry store the other day and they were protecting their diamonds with an armed man. Big box stores have men in an armored truck and with guns collect their money and protect it. We protect a lot of valuable things with guns. We even protect a lot of slimy politicians with guns. If you look at the President he is never in a “gun free” zone but surrounded by Secret Service agents with a literal arsenal, including fully automatic machines guns.

    So if we protect all those things with guns,when did someone decide that kids weren’t valuable enough to protect with guns?

    I posted this essay on my blog by Jeffrey Snyder. You ought to read it some time:

    A Nation of Cowards
    http://free2beinamerica2.wordpress.com/a-nation-of-cowards/

    regards,

    lwk

    1. Thanks for reading and replying. So my biggest question in all of this is why if so many people are concealing and carrying – why hasn’t the murder rate and mass shooting rate sharply declined? If the tactic is so effective wouldn’t we have seen a sharp decline? If anything the mass shooting rate continues to increase which shoots your theory right out of the water (sorry I totally had to go there). Thoughts? Thanks, Aimee

      1. 3boxesofbs says:

        The murder rate has gone down.

        Compared with 1993, the peak of U.S. gun homicides, the firearm homicide rate was 49% lower in 2010, and there were fewer deaths, even though the nation’s population grew. The victimization rate for other violent crimes with a firearm—assaults, robberies and sex crimes—was 75% lower in 2011 than in 1993. Violent non-fatal crime victimization overall (with or without a firearm) also is down markedly (72%) over two decades.

        Despite national attention to the issue of firearm violence, most Americans are unaware that gun crime is lower today than it was two decades ago. According to a new Pew Research Center survey, today 56% of Americans believe gun crime is higher than 20 years ago and only 12% think it is lower.

        http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2013/05/07/gun-homicide-rate-down-49-since-1993-peak-public-unaware/

        Wonder why the media keeps playing up a few sensational stories over and over again? It is to keep the perception that crime is still higher.

        The mass murder shootings are almost exclusively in ‘gun free zones’. Check the information yourself; Washington Navy Yard, Columbine, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook. Over and over again the criminals choose gun free zones; the Aurora Colorado theater murderer passed up several closer theaters that allowed concealed carry to pick the one that didn’t allow it.

        If anything the mass shooting rate continues to increase which shoots your theory right out of the water

        Sorry but once again reality intrudes on a good story and shows that the rate hasn’t increased. What we’ve seen is attributable to the voracious 24/7 media cycle; the media is filling hours and hours of air time with the same reports making everyone think that mass shootings are on the rise.

        Researchers James Alan Fox and Monica J. DeLateur analyzed research and important statistics to debunk 11 common myths surrounding mass shootings including:

        Mass murderers snap and kill randomly – Mass murderers typically plan their assaults days, weeks, or months in advance. Their motives are most typically revenge, power, loyalty, terror, and profit.
        Mass shootings are on the rise – According to FBI data, over the past few decades there has been an average of 20 mass shootings a year in the U.S.

        So my biggest question in all of this is why if so many people are concealing and carrying

        More importantly is to answer this question in my opinion.
        I think more and more people are becoming aware of two facts; the government can not protect people all the time. In fact, court case after court case have determined the police have not responsibility to protect individuals. The second fact is people are becoming aware that the police are increasingly viewing the world through an “us versus them” mentality. With everyone not a cop as “them”. Too many reports of people shooting family pets, raiding the wrong house, shooting the wrong person, etc. Look at the increasing militarization of the police; tanks, Mine Resistant Ambuh Protected Vehicles (MRAPs) — SWAT teams being called to serve warrants on non-violent offenders.

        The people are becoming aware the government is limited in so many ways and not focused on putting away the actual bad guys. Clearance Rates for crimes is appalling; the FBI reports that for Homicide, the clearance rate is approximately 66% ! And that is the HIGHEST clearance rate; it goes down hill sharply from there.

        So why is crime going down? Maybe you answered it — people are carrying more often, eh?

      2. lwk2431 says:

        “…why hasn’t the murder rate and mass shooting rate sharply declined?”

        As I think someone else has said the homicide rate today is roughly half of what it was in the early 1990s. We have been seeing decreasing homicide rates now for about two decades (and declining accident rates also). However much I would like to credit that to law abiding people carrying concealed handguns I don’t actually believe the huge decline is actually the result of that. But in fact the murder rate _has_ sharply declined in the last two decades.

        A Dr. John Lott did some extensive statistical analysis of correlation between concealed carry laws and violent crime rates and claims a correlation between lower crime and concealed handgun laws. However his results are controversial and the difference, if true, is not enormous.

        Here are my thoughts on this. Concealed carry is not going to stop a lot of murders. I believe I have read that the majority of homicides involve people that know each other or aquainted, not random street crimes where the victim is unknown to the perpetrator beforehand. What I do think concealed carry is more likely to do is reduce violent crime like rape, robbery, etc. Dr. Lott saw evidence that some violent criminals seemed to change their behaviour to less confrontational crimes (burglarly of an unoccupied home vs. robbing a person on the street).

        Dr. Kleck’s study in the 1990s indicated that in the vast majority of case a victim never fired a gun in self defense. The intended victim displayed that they had a firearm and the would be attacker decided to go somewhere else. A very large number of these every year are not reported to police for various reasons.

        So here is what I think. The vast majority of people who get a concealed carry license and carry will never ever fire that gun in self defense. Most will never even pull a gun to threaten someone to leave them alone, but if they do the chances are very low they will actually fire the gun or wound or kill anyone. Those are very rare exceptions.

        The above is actually true of police officers too. The majority will never fire their gun in the line of duty (they are more likely to die by suicide with their gun and than shoot a criminal, unfortunately).

        Also, even though there are probably at least a couple million people with licenses in the U.S. they are still a tiny minority. If we could increase that that to 20-30 million it might make a big difference. But again there are other factors that complicate it.

        In 2011 according to FBI statistics where the race of the offender was known it was black over 52% of the time although blacks were less than 14% of the population at the time. The homicide rate in the U.S. is I think 4.7 per 100,000. Now. In many rural and suburban parts of the country the rate is much lower, usually zero in my small town in Texas.

        However in New Orleans it has been over 50 per 100,000 for a number of years. I have been in war zones that were probably safer than the Ninth Ward in New Orleans. If you look at big cities with large inner city ghettos you will see the same pattern over and over again of highly concentrated violence, often among young black men and boys involved in gangs and drugs.

        Chicago is often in the news over its homicides and number of people wounded with guns. It is highly concentrated in parts of the south side of Chicago where gangs dominate. Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Detroit, etc. – same pattern over and over again. A study was done recently on voting districts and violence. One pattern emerged as the single most likely predictor of violence – highly crowded inner city where blacks were at least 35% of the population. Poverty, dependence, joblessness, and hopelessness are also attendant to the populations of these areas.

        The problem of violence and gun crimes in the U.S. has a very large racial component. That is simply a fact. You can point to the facts, to FBI stats, to studies on violence and no matter how many facts someone on the Left will accuse you of being a racist.

        And that is why the Left is a large part of the problem, the refusal to see facts and accept them. But then their policies over the last half century have served to create these pockets of violence and hopelessness. They destroyed the black family and it is well known that children growing up without a father figure in the home are much more likely to have problems. What is the unemployment rates in these areas? Horrendous by any standard.

        What I think we have is a social and economic problem, not a gun problem. Work on the real problems and the gun problem will largely go away.

        Now back to concealed carry. The majority of the people who get a concealed carry license I think do _NOT_ live in those inner cities. In Chicago until very recently was impossible to get a license. I doubt there are hardly any legal concealed carry folks in the most violent parts of Chicago right now – would be surprised. Restrictive laws are very common in most of these cities (controlled by Democrats for generations).

        The majority of concealed carriers live in much safer areas. So the conundrum really is that where you need them the most there are the fewest, and where you need them the least there are the most.

        Detroit Police Chief James Craig has supported citizens owning guns for self defense in Detroit. He has said that the police can no longer protect people there. And he is a Democrat I am sure.

        In summary guns in the right place might help, but for the most part the vast majority of guns in inner cities are in the hands of gang members and drug dealers. Ultimately though the problem has to be a drastic change in social and economic policies. Guns in good hands can defend the innocent, and no one should deny them that right, but we have to place our hope on changing society in the long run.

        regards,

        lwk

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