That’s apparently the idea of state Rep.-elect Charles Gregory (R-Kennesaw) who has already drafted four bills to expand gun-carrying rights beyond the wildest dreams of the most avid gun rights backers.
House Bill 26 proposed by Gregory would simply eliminate a license to carry a concealed weapon in the state. As Gregory describes it, each citizen would be “a legal weapons carrier by default of being proper age.” His criterion for packing a firearm: “If you can vote, you can carry.”
Gregory also proposes to allow churches to decide if they want guns in their services or buildings or wherever on their property. It’s a property rights issue, he says. Likewise, guns could be carried “on the campus of any public or private technical school, vocational school, college, university or institution of post-secondary education.” But he figures it is not politically feasible to include K-12 in the guns-for-everyone plan.
On that point, Gregory said of the Connecticut school massacre “if somebody was in that school, say a principal had had a firearm, he probably could have saved many, many lives that day.” That’s only supposition. Even an armed principal would have had to risk being killed in order to get a shot at the killer. However, there is something to be said for arming responsible school officials that undergo the proper training for using firearms.
Yet even if administrators — or teachers — were trained adequately, where would their guns be kept safe and secure? Next question: If they are properly secured, then can they be reached quickly enough to matter in an emergency? Also, what happens if a disgruntled student finds a gun and/or wrestles it away from a teacher or administrator? There are many pitfalls in this scenario which at first blush might seem to be an answer to school shootings but has its own set of problems and concerns.
National Rifle Association leader Wayne LaPierre has called for putting armed guards in every school, offering for the NRA to coordinate a national effort to recruit former military and police officers as volunteer guards. This may have merit, but it is the province of the local school district and parents to make such decisions. Also, the idea of volunteers may not be the best way to deal with this kind of issue. Whatever the solution, it should be of a permanent nature.
Unfortunately, the history of mass shootings in this country shows that all too often there is no clear or present danger noticed in terms of the shooter until it is too late. That is not fixed by making guns more readily available as Gregory proposes.
The NRA’s LaPierre is right about one thing: “The only thing that will stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” The operative question is: how do we get to that point without making matters worse?