Guns in Classrooms

Why Should Parents Know Anyway?

Guns in classrooms, without parents' knowledge? It's already law in Utah.

Ed Shulz (I will be on tonight, by the way, around 8:20, I'm told) had a Utah schoolteacher on last night explaning why, after Newtown, she wanted to have a gun in her classroom.

She seemed like a nice lady overall, so I'll not heap abuse on her. But her position was ludicrous, and it was painfully obvious at a certain point that she basically had no defense for the position she was espousing, which was that parents have no right to know whether there is a gun in their child's classroom. From the transcript:

SCHULTZ: So you don`t think a firearm in the classroom would putanyone at risk, that it would be a much safer environment?

CAIN: I -- I absolutely -- I wouldn`t consider carrying one if Ididn`t feel like I could do it safely.

SCHULTZ: But what if you had a parent who objected to it? Whatposition would that put you in?

CAIN: Well, in the state of Utah, a parent doesn`t have to know aboutit. Teachers can carry a firearm and nobody ever -- they`ve been doing itfor 12 years. I`ve found out more and more about teachers that do. Andemployee --

SCHULTZ: The teachers have had guns in schools for 12 years in Utah?

CAIN: Yes, yes. It`s been legal to do that for 12 years.

SCHULTZ: And parents haven`t known about it?

CAIN: Right. You don`t have to tell if you`re a concealed weaponholder.

SCHULTZ: Do you think parents have a right to know? For instance, ifmy child was in your classroom, do you think that I would have a right toknow that there is a firearm in that classroom?

CAIN: Well, if -- if somebody -- I personally would feel okay withany of the teachers, teachers I know, any teacher they`re I`ve ever met.They have the --

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SCHULTZ: But I`m talking about the parents.

CAIN: Right, right.

SCHULTZ: I want to focus. The parents are dropping their little kidsoff to a school, and they don`t know that there is a firearm in theclassroom. Do you think they have a right to know?

CAIN: Not necessarily. Not necessarily.

SCHULTZ: Why?

CAIN: Well, because I think that firearms -- what we do know is thatthe bad guys come in to schools. What we don`t know -- I mean, we`remaking lots of guesses about what could happen if. And those thingshaven`t happened.

The transcript doesn't convey how confused and defensive she sounded in that last answer. There was a huge long pause between "firearms" and "what."

Is she kidding? You're a parent. Your kid comes home one day and says, "Joey got in trouble today." Oh, how so? "Well, he was playing around with the teacher's gun." The teacher's WHAT?!?

Maybe this wouldn't shock down South. Or in Utah, I guess. Wouldn't go down so well in Montgomery County, I can assure you.

I wasn't harsh enough on Wayne LaPierre's ridiculous idea the day he announced it. True there might be occasional instances when a trained, Ninja schoolteacher could reach into her desk, unlock the vault or box where the firearm is kept, insert the clip, and come up blazing before the gunman had opened fire. But usually the teacher will be mowed down instantly. In other words, the same argument the pro-gun people always use about gun-control measures ("but that wouldn't have prevented X") can be used here.

In any case it's just a bad idea on principle--and a large majority of Americans agree, said this poll yesterday. Placing more guns around little children just is not something you want to do.