We need to focus on solutions that could have directly prevented the deaths that occurred in Nashville, Tennessee at the Covenant School—not unrelated gun control measures that would not have saved a single life in this situation.
Anti-gun activists and politicians cannot name a single gun control law that would have prevented this shooting, according to the details we have from the most recent reports at the time of distribution.
We must discuss real solutions to preventing this type of evil from striking again by arming willing teachers—which is a solution supported by 81% of police.[i] Absolutely nothing should come between a teacher who wants to defend children and their right to carry a firearm. No school that has armed teachers or staff has ever experienced a mass shooting.[ii] If our elected officials are important enough to receive armed protection, so too should our children!
Repealing the Gun-Free School Zones Act
We must also repeal then-Senator Biden’s unconstitutional Gun-Free School Zones Act which leaves our children vulnerable to criminals and our parents unarmed to defend them.[iii] The Gun-Free School Zones Act is a blanket ban on firearms on school property[iv] with the sole exception of self-defense minded Americans with the permission of their state and local governments.[v] Even in the 1990s, it was not outrageous that Americans would carry firearms on school grounds for self-defense.
But the red-tape enacted in the Gun-Free School Zones Act of 1990 is outdated three decades later when half of the country—twenty-five states[vi]—have enacted Constitutional Carry or permitless carry laws—and at least 32 states allow armed teachers, parents, and school resource officers on campus.[vii] For this reason, Gun Owners of America endorses Rep. Thomas Massie’s H.R. 7417, the Safe Students Act.[viii] This bill would eliminate federal restrictions unnecessarily placed between a teacher or parent and their right to defend our children.
Armed Guards and Other Hardening Alternatives
While society may see fit to place police or armed guards in schools, this is not a one-or-the-other type choice. Teachers and parents must be allowed to carry firearms, according to common sense and our Constitution. On the other hand, schools may choose to harden themselves in other ways.
But remember, no matter how hard of a target we make our schools, securities and defenses may be penetrated. Banks get robbed. Security guards can be targeted, as was the case in Buffalo, New York.[ix] Listen to GOA’s Florida State Director, who also served as a School Resource Officer:
Part of my law enforcement career was spent working as a school resource officer in Florida. I was charged with protecting our most cherished of resources: our children. I made it my mission to ensure the safety of the children entrusted to my care. I would have given my life, if necessary.
But the hard truth is that I was just one cop on the campus; I couldn’t be everywhere at once. I patrolled the grounds, I made sure the gates were locked and the doors were shut, and I kept watch for strangers. Still, one officer is not enough, given that most modern schools are vast and sprawling.
We must be honest about what makes a school safe, and right now, as a society, we are not being serious. The desire to “do something,” has been met by politicians actually enacting counterproductive legislation. It’s time to reverse course… I know more needs to be done and no, the answer isn’t gun control.[x]
Ultimately, the most important thing we can do as a nation is to allow school faculty and parents to exercise their constitutionally protected right to defend their lives and the lives of our children.
[i] PoliceOne. Gun Policy & Law Enforcement Survey. 2013. 14.https://www.gunowners.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/PoliceOnes-2013-Gun-Policy-Law-Enforcement-Survey-Results.pdf
[ii] Lott. Another School Shooting in a Place where teachers and staff were banned from carrying guns: Robb Elementary School in the Uvalde, Texas CISD. 2022. https://crimeresearch.org/2022/05/another-school-shooting-in-a-place-where-teachers-and-staff-were-banned-from-carrying-guns-robb-elementary-school-in-the-uvalde-texas-cisd/
[iii] 18 U.S.C. 922(q).
[iv] 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(A).
[v] 18 U.S.C. 922(q)(2)(B).
[vi] United States Concealed Carry Association. State Concealed Carry Permit Requirements. https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/resources/terminology/types-of-concealed-carry-licensurepermitting-policies/unrestricted/
[vii] “Which States Allow Teachers to Carry Concealed”. United States Concealed Carry Association. May 29th, 2022.
[viii] Rep. Thomas Massie. H.R. 7415 the Safe Students Act. 117th Congress.
[ix] Prokupecz and Maxouris. What we know about Buffalo supermarket shooting suspect. 2022. https://www.cnn.com/2022/05/15/us/payton-gendron-buffalo-shooting-suspect-what-we-know/index.html
[x] Valdes. “When Seconds Count, Cops Are Minutes To An Hour Away”. Daily Caller. June 12th, 2022.