In honor of Gun Violence Awareness Day, yesterday, we want you to be aware of this.
The following Massachusetts legislators have signed onto a bill, Bill H.1319, filed by 1st Barnstable District State Representative Timothy Whelan, that would allow retired law officials (assuming they are acting as security personnel) to carry guns in school.
Why would anyone but an active police officer carry a gun anywhere near a school? There is some debate about whether even a police officer – if that officer is employed by the school – should carry a gun in a school. Consider the research below.
The bill seems innocuous when you scroll through a list and find it listed by name, An Act to promote school safety. But this bill that the NRA is supporting in all states, would create more danger than safety. More details on why below.
This bill may not have success in this legislature, but it illustrates why we must replace some of the GOP/NRA supported state reps currently in the MA legislature.
If one of these state reps is representing you, click on the link on their name and use their email address to send them a message letting them know you are smart enough to see the danger in this legislation, you know the NRA is behind this, and then be sure to support any candidate who runs against him/her. Or, perhaps you should run!
Several publications about safer gun laws talk about how anyone who is intent on shooting people in a business, a school or in any gathering will first shoot armed personnel, leaving the other protections they offer disabled.
The following text offers more information. The text below is taken from This fact sheet provided by “Everytown USA.” Citations noted are in the fact sheet.
Guns in Elementary, Middle, and High Schools
Bottom Line: In recent years, the gun lobby has pushed legislation across the country that would allow civilians to carry guns into our elementary, middle and high schools. These bills are sold as a way to keep children safe, but in reality, they do just the opposite, putting children at risk of unintentional shootings and escalating conflict without decreasing the risk of an active shooter. That’s why teachers and school safety experts oppose these bills.
Statehouses should listen to school safety experts and local communities, rather than letting the gun lobby put children’s lives at risk.
- Teachers and school safety experts oppose allowing guns in schools. The American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association, the nation’s two largest teachers’ organizations oppose allowing guns in schools.1
- The federal government’s chief legal, law enforcement, public health, education, and emergency management agencies all agree that allowing civilians to carry guns in schools is not a sound security practice: “The possibility of an active shooter situation is not justification for the presence of firearms on campus in the hands of any personnel other than law enforcement officers.” 2
Schools are already safe from gun violence.
- On average, only 1 percent of all homicides of school-age children occur on school grounds, on the way to or from school, or during a school sponsored event.3
- There is approximately one homicide of a school-age youth at school per 1.8 million enrolled students.4
- “Active shooter” incidents, like those at Sandy Hook School and Columbine High School, are extremely rare.5
- The focus on arming teachers ignores the risks and consequences of bringing more guns onto school grounds.
Everytown has tracked 113 shootings on elementary, middle, and high school campuses since 2013. Of those shootings, over 1 in 10 were unintentional shootings, and more than 1 in 6 incidents began as a verbal altercation that escalated because of the presence of a gun. Introducing guns on school campuses increases the potential for such tragedies.6
Schools that have allowed employees to carry guns have seen difficulty in obtaining insurance coverage. Some liability insurance providers have declined coverage to these schools while others have increased annual premiums, stretching already tight budgets.7
The gun lobby uses fear of “active shooter” situations to justify these policies, but arming civilians is not an effective way to stop an active shooter.
- Even police officers, with all their training and frequent exposure to high-risk and life-threatening events, do not always shoot accurately in a crisis encounter. Research casts significant doubt on the idea that civilians could shoot as well as trained police officers in an active shooter situation.8 2
- The FBI found that in 160 active shooter incidents, there was only one successful armed civilian intervention—and the civilian in that incident was a highly trained U.S. Marine. 9 In contrast, unarmed civilians successfully intervened in over 20 incidents.
- Based on what we know about school shootings, there are common-sense policies that can help reduce the risk.
- In incidents where the source of the gun is known, more than half of children bringing a gun to school obtained the gun from home.10
Making it harder for children to bring firearms from home –by enacting child access protection laws and promoting a culture of safe storage—could help address those situations.
If you are an NRA supporter who believes the second amendment should allow everyone to be armed with a gun, regardless of where, comments will not be shared. We are aware that these types of posts create alerts that attract NRA trolls.