While we’re generally in favor of a more “hands-off” approach to gun control, state-sanctioned weapons in schools and churches seems off-target.
Schools are for learning. Churches are for worshipping. There’s no need to carry a weapon in either.
Gun-control laws primarily keep honest people honest. If someone intends to harm another person or group of people, no laws are going to keep them from taking a weapon anywhere they like.
Metal detectors might catch them. Officers might spot them.
Our greatest defense, however, lies in the watchful eyes of the general populace.
In the wake of Columbine, 9/11 other terrorist activities, we are all on high alert — especially when near large groups of people. If we see someone packing a pistol in one of these “gun-free” zones, it’s very likely we’ll report it immediately.
But if good, honest individuals are allowed to carry weapons into these “gun-free” zones, such vigilance will decrease. Why? Because such weaponry might become commonplace, and therefore not alarming.
And, if that person somehow ends up in a stand-off with an actual criminal in the hallways of a school, what’s to say they'll hit an innocent bystander instead of the bad guy? What’s to say that police will be able to determine which individual is the threat?
And, despite all of the stringent training and licensing that a person must undergo to get their concealed carry permit, what’s to say they won’t one day snap?
It’s not likely, but it could happen.
Who would want it to happen in the middle of a church service or in a crowded school gymnasium?
Gun ownership is a right of every American citizen. That should never be taken away.
If someone chooses to own guns, and chooses to go through extensive and expensive training to carry one in their purse or jacket, that’s all fine and good. The more power to them.
Let’s just keep guns and weapons outside neutral zones such as churches and schools.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.