Students Have Right To Carry Guns



I wonder why Brenda Mooney (“Guns in classroom not in the best interest of students,” Feb. 21) believes a gun carried by her into a classroom, and presumably kept on her person or secured in a locked desk, is somehow a danger to her students? Does she somehow believe she is a danger to her students? Or does she somehow believe a gun has the ability to jump out of her purse or her locked desk and commit 360-degree mayhem all by itself?

I will agree with Richard Meyer (“911 — weapon on campus”) that requiring schools to install lockers to secure weapons if the school wants to prohibit weapons in the classroom is counter-productive. The classroom is the most likely place needing to be defended from wackos like Seung-Hui Cho (the Virginia Tech shooter). But on the other hand, it is clear that provision was an incentive for the schools to recognize the right of adult, 21-year-old students with CCW permits to be armed in their own defense and in defense of their fellow students. Lockers are expensive; if the schools want to deprive people of their fundamental rights, there is a price to be paid, and rightfully so.

I am particularly annoyed, however, by Mr. Meyer’s assumption that the reason we no longer carry a weapon in public is “civilized behavior.” No, it isn’t. In fact, exactly the opposite is the case. Until recently we no longer carried a weapon in public because government made it illegal, in direct and flagrant violation of Arizona Constitution Section 26. And Arizonans suffered very uncivilized behavior for many years, often resulting in injury, maiming, and death, because they could not defend themselves. To add insult to injury, the immunity laws prevented any recourse against government for the injuries suffered as a result of being deprived of their rights.

Robert Heinlein said “An armed society is a polite society.” Arizona’s recognition of the right of its citizens and (lawful) visitors to keep and bear arms has proven that statement to be true. Arizona is a much more civilized place to live as a result.

My personal hope is that if people like Ms Mooney and Mr. Meyer are really that uncomfortable with the thought of law-abiding adults exercising their right to keep and bear arms in self-defense, that they will avail themselves of firearm training, in particular firearm safety training, and find out everything they can about what they are afraid of. There is no cure for anxiety like education.

Donald L. Cline


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