The story about the teacher with the CCW permit in Oregon who has sued her school for the right to carry her gun is pretty much all over the place. Telling it quickly, a teacher has a CCW permit, and has a restraining order against her (apparently violent) ex-husband. Because she is concerned for her safety, she wants to be able to carry her firearm at the school district.
I actually got in an argument with a coworker over this; he thinks she shouldn’t be allowed to carry and I support her lawsuit and desire to carry at her place of employment. Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes during my discussion with my coworker, so I can’t reproduce it exactly here. However, this editorial in the Seattle Times reproduces the bulk of my coworker’s (and pretty much the rest) of the objections that I’ve heard to this teacher carrying at her school.
The school could beef up security. Or the teacher could be given a paid leave while sorting out her personal problems. The restraining order could be strengthened or broadened for maximum protection.
“Beefing up” security probably wouldn’t help, because the same problem that applies to law enforcement applies here; security cannot be everywhere at once. Since the teacher (by law) cannot bring her firearm even into the parking lot; the only “beefed up security” that could actually provide 100% protection would be a personal body guard. Now, giving her paid leave might work, as then she is still drawing her salary and can continue to carry her firearm; however it’s a poor solution. Sorting out her problems could take quite some time, and I doubt that the school board is willing to essentially place someone on a paid leave of undetermined length. Strengthening the restraining order will do nothing – if her husband has committed himself to doing violence, no piece of paper, no matter how strongly worded is going to stop him.
If teachers fearful for their safety can carry guns, what about other school employees, or students fearful of the playground bully?
Now, this part I don’t like, because the editorial author tries to equate two things that are not equal. Students fearful of the bully are not the same as adults with concealed carry permits. An adult with a permit to carry a concealed weapon has gone through a thorough background check, and in Oregon has to have undergone training. Obviously, a child bringing a gun to school is not an adult, does not posses the gun legally, has not had a background check, and hasn’t undergone training. Trying to equate the two things is absurdly false.
Oregon’s Jane Doe may fear she’s in harm’s way. But taking a gun into her classroom puts students in the same predicament.
I love the way the author ends their editorial – make a baseless appeal to emotion. How, oh author, does someone with a concealed carry permit put her students in danger? How is a gun that is going to stay in her purse, or holstered and otherwise concealed at all times present a danger to the students in that school? How does someone approved by the state government as mentally and physically competent to carry a firearm present a danger to the students?
I don’t expect answers to those questions; they can’t be answered without resorting to straw men arguments and appeals to emotion. Facts don’t lie – people who aren’t ignoring reality know that a restraining order won’t stop someone, they know that the only person responsible for your safety is you.