Come on. You know better than that. That just doesn't make sense.
Getting rid of "gun-free zones" wouldn't legalize illegal weapons carried by gang members in schools. They would still be breaking the law, and subject to absolutely every consequence currently available. Illegal weapons are still illegal weapons. Illegal possession is still illegal possession. Illegal use is still illegal use. Age restrictions still apply. Licensing restrictions still apply. Felon bans still apply.
All ending the "gun-free zone" silliness does is legalize carry for those already licensed to do so everywhere else. Those are the only people truly impacted by a "gun free zone". For the unlicensed, everywhere is a legal "gun free zone". Gang members aren't licensed ... schools would still be legally "gun-free" as far as they're concerned.
My point is being misunderstood - or perhaps I misunderstand yours.
Do you propose to do away with security checks and metal detectors for students (K-12), to limit their ability to bring weapons into the schools.
I think you're misunderstanding what the "gun-free zone" law does. My daughter goes to a K-12 school. They're a "gun free zone" (like all others). They don't have metal detectors or security checks for students. Or adults, for that matter.
I wouldn't have a particular problem with it if they did ... though it seems excessive for an elementary school. Students shouldn't have weapons in K-12 schools.
The gun-free-zone law simply says that it is a felony to have a gun within 1000 ft. of the building, even if you're licensed to have it (its already a felony to carry most anywhere without the license, certainly for gang members). Student security checks would still be just as effective, and just as legal, without a law prohibiting licensed adults from carrying a weapon in a school zone.
I see. Thanks for clarifying.
I am still unsure that I like the idea of more guns within the school - I do worry about them being taken by force (or stolen from offices/desks) etc.
I am less wary of the idea of trained, armed guards - distinct from teaching staff.
So here's some proposals for reducing mass shootings that I've heard here or elsewhere.
* Ban assault weapons. Per Wikipedia, "assault weapon" is not precisely defined, but roughly means automatic or semiautomatic.
* Stop schools from being gun-free zones.
* Hire veterans or retired cops to be at the school, armed
* Firearms training for some teachers or staff
* Develop some "he's about to become a crazed killer" screening mechanism, not yet specified
* More federal control of the issue, unspecified (Mayor Bloomberg)
* Ever more thorough and invasive searches of every child entering a school. TSA has been prepping us for this with their attention to children's genitals at the airport. Admittedly I only heard this proposed in an editorial against it, so maybe nobody really wants to do it
and I'll add
* Change gun-free to "assault weapon" free: you can carry a pistol, but not a semi-automatic. A pistol is useful for shooting one person, and semi-automatics are useful for shooting several. In this country, I don't think there have ever been a coordinated attack on a school (maybe I missed something about Columbine). So until we have terror attacks like they had in Beslan and Galilee, maybe pistols will be enough to stop the next shooter just as they're usually stopped outside gun-free zones.
I like my last one. I'm not saying it's the only thing that can be done, but maybe it's something both sides can agree on, and politics is the art of the possible.
Most modern pistols are semi-automatic. I can't figure where they fall in your suggestion. Are you talking semi-automatic rifles only ... or are you calling semi-automatic pistols "assault weapons"?
I don't think a ban that includes the 1911 (because it is semi-auto), but not the .44 magnum revolver (because its not), makes a ton of sense.
Jack: Your question is accurate. I've been listening to the news and noted all the fuss about the Bushmaster as an assault weapon. The fact of the matter is that it is no different than any other ordinary rifle that accepts a magazine rather than one that does not. It looks like a military assault weapon but it is not. It is legal and only semi-auto. It shoots one bullet with one trigger pull. The look of the gun is all that is intimidating any more than any ordinary old fashioned looking wooden butt hunting rifle with a semi-auto action. The look of the gun seems to get everyone including guys who want them excited. I'd bet a 12 guage shotgun with 00 Buck could do more damage with one shot than that semi does with 5 shots. The issue of discussion should be magazines and not the gun itself. Sadly, the issue of gun control is so out of control and the fact that so much hardware is already in public hands, I doubt that we will ever regain carefree public safety that we took for granted years ago. Newtown is a tragedy of proportions so great in a bucolic community that I suspect it matches the scope of Sept 11th in New York City. We go on, but do not totally recover from such catastrophe. The discussion that we should have is who should have guns. We applauded the troopers who ran into the school with assault weapons. We trust our police and we embrace them. In many countries police are feared. Our police sort of make the second amendment moot, however, I do recognize that police response in cities and suburbs is not the same in rural America. Therefore, we need to own guns and we certainly will. We need to be sure that guys who own them are as trustworthy as our police and troopers. In responsible hands, guns will always keep us safe.
Best I can tell, the definition of "assault weapon" is "scary looking gun". An assault weapon is a regular rifle with with the cosmetics, but not functionality, of a fully-automatic military weapon. Doesn't matter the function. Doesn't matter the caliber. Doesn't matter the range. All that matters is that its black and scary looking to people that don't know what they're talking about.
A .223 caliber AR-15 is an "assault weapon". A .50 caliber Barrett is not (as far as I can tell). Guess which one can rip a man in half from a mile away.
I was speaking of the federal definition. I didn't check CT laws. I don't think it was included in the 1994 federal definition of assault weapon. It certainly wasn't on the list of specifically banned weapons in that bill.
Banning the .50 cal is stupid for other reasons. Not too many murders committed with that particular weapon -- much less mass shootings.
We need to get control of "legal to own" magazine size with the knowledge that "illegal" ones will always be out there, and we need to get police (safe men with guns) in public places where people gather especially in schools. My community has had a DARE program. Uniformed and armed county police officers served as teachers during the school day and taught the DARE program. We need police in schools.
I served as an Auxiliary Police Officer for fifteen years in my community. Wherever I patrolled, my gun came along with me. Police patrol and respond everyplace and their guns do not endanger our communities. We need to continue our gun control debate but also rethink the role of our police. We need police to serve as teachers, nurses, ministers and all other public service capacities where they can do more than just be a presence. Not all police should be directing traffic, standing on a midtown street corner or writing parking summonses. We need police immersed among us in all aspects of life in the USA. Perhaps my service as an Auxiliary Police Officer is a program concept that should be expanded on a major scale.
You know who else wanted police immersed among the population in all aspects of life...