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Thread: Teacher suing for the right to carry in school

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/htm...rodeur18m.html

    Lesson plan of last resort
    By Nicole Brodeur

    Seattle Times staff columnist




    A high-school teacher in Medford, Ore., is suing for the right to carry a Glock to school.

    Her ex-husband, she said, has threatened her life. She's already done what the experts advise: had him arrested for what's known down there as "menacing." Filed a restraining order. Told family, friends and anyone who would listen that she worries for her safety and that of her two kids.

    Then she took the required classes on handling and firing a handgun, and got a concealed-weapon permit.

    School officials found out and, understandably, forbade her from packing heat along with her lunch. If she did, they said, she'd be fired.

    So today the teacher's lawyer, James E. Leuenberger, will ask a judge to remind the school district of an Oregon statute that allows concealed weapons in all public buildings except courthouses. (Washington law prohibits teachers from carrying firearms on school property.)

    The 44-year-old Oregon teacher — who wishes to remain anonymous and is not named in the lawsuit — called the school's policy prohibiting guns "fear-based."

    A school without guns, she told me, is a vulnerable school.

    Look at Columbine, she said. One teacher with a gun could have changed the ending there.

    "It would be so much more responsible for the school to know which teachers are licensed to conceal," she said, "and do what they can under the circumstances."

    I see both sides. As a mother, the idea of a gun being allowed on school premises — no matter the reason — terrifies me. But then I remember the women who followed the law to protect themselves, and were killed anyway.

    Rebecca Griego, shot to death by her ex-boyfriend last spring as she sat at her desk at the University of Washington.

    Rinthya Brooks, stabbed to death by her ex-husband at an event Aug. 5 at the VFW Hall in South Seattle.

    Both had taken out restraining orders, dealt with police. Moved. Put the word out.

    Lois Loontjens, executive director of New Beginnings, a Seattle nonprofit that serves victims of domestic violence, understands both the teacher's and the district's points of view.

    "If she is to the point where she sees carrying a gun as her only alternative, then the community and the systems that have been set up to protect all of us have failed," Loontjens said.

    There should be "swift and certain" consequences for abusers, in proportion to their offense, she said. "But once it is at this point, what can the larger community do?"

    Maybe have parents volunteer to escort the teacher through the day, I said, just as they would come in to tutor. If the safety of students is at stake, I know I would offer.

    Indeed, if there is a lesson to be learned from this teacher, it is this: We are failing domestic-violence victims miserably, to the point where they are risking their jobs to protect themselves.

    "Doing nothing is not an option for me," the teacher said.

    And so she continues to take regular target practice, preparing for a test I hope she never has to take.

    Nicole Brodeur's column appears Tuesday and Friday. Reach her at 206-464-2334 or nbrodeur@seattletimes.com


    Good for her! Some common sense thinking from someone in a school!

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    Some teachers have been and still are taking guns to school regardless of "the law," but it's a shame they have to do that illegally.

    I suppose this "secret" will come out if/when a shooter chooses these teachers' schools.

    -- John D.


    (formerly of Colorado Springs, CO)

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Sadly, America will probably having to suffer through several Beslan style school attacks before teachers will be legally allowed to carry. And I am sure people will be asking "why didn't were arm teachers believe and safe all those children's lives" but the truth is that America has become mostly reactive rather than proactive. It took 9-11 for us to get "serious" about fighting terrorism (there is still more we should be doing), and we will probably have to take another cowardly terrorist attack before things change in school security for the good.

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    dngreer wrote:
    Sadly, America will probably having to suffer through several Beslan style school attacks before teachers will be legally allowed to carry. And I am sure people will be asking "why didn't were arm teachers believe and safe all those children's lives" but the truth is that America has become mostly reactive rather than proactive. It took 9-11 for us to get "serious" about fighting terrorism (there is still more we should be doing), and we will probably have to take another cowardly terrorist attack before things change in school security for the good.
    I have to disagree. Remember, this is a nation of good PR, not good policy. If there were a rash of Beslan-style school attacks, guns would, in all probability, be banned, regardless of what the negotiating rights away group has to say about it. In today's society of mass media hysteria, people are never to blame, the guns are to blame, obviously. Just like how because of 9/11, we're not that much less vulnerable than we were before the attacks; it just seems more secure now because everyone sees arabs getting invasively searched at airports. But I digress.

    Isn't there another thread about this same story? Like:
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum4/4807.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum4/4697.html
    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum4/4701.html

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    I can see your point. I think it could go either way. Hopefully it won't happen at all, but if it does, I hope it serves as a wake up call to America. The worst thing that could happen would be parents flocking to the schools and Americans lynching, burning mosques, and murdering Muslims. That is exactly what the terrorists want. If the parents flock to the schools, it will just provide more targets. And if enraged Americans take the law into their own hands, it will unite the Muslim world and pull others into this sick, twisted, jihad of "convert, or be killed."

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    dngreer wrote:
    I can see your point. I think it could go either way. Hopefully it won't happen at all, but if it does, I hope it serves as a wake up call to America. The worst thing that could happen would be parents flocking to the schools and Americans lynching, burning mosques, and murdering Muslims. That is exactly what the terrorists want. If the parents flock to the schools, it will just provide more targets. And if enraged Americans take the law into their own hands, it will unite the Muslim world and pull others into this sick, twisted, jihad of "convert, or be killed."
    That's assuming that extremist Muslims are behind it. In the 1990s, white and black Americans killed many, many more other Americans than Arabs did. Even in the last 8 years, I'm sure that the Arabs have been behind an extremely small number of American deaths. And why are they the ones getting strip-searched at airports and beaten everywhere else?

    But I really do think that Beslan-style attacks would more likely than not result in severe restrictions of guns. Look at Virginia Tech: logically, the slaughter was caused by a "ban" on guns on campus, and the administrators of the school were directly responsible for every death on that campus (except the piece of crud doing the shooting). However, with the media spin, we narrowly avoided suffering severe restrictions on firearms (wasn't one of those bills supported by the NRA?), because it was the fault of the guns. Americans, overall, combined with the media (who has the sole goal of making people hysterical so as to buy their product), will almost always blame the guns, and not the people responsible.

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    State Researcher dng's Avatar
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    Just to clarify: I didn't say Arabs, I said Muslims. I believe many of the terrorist attacks have been from extremist Muslims. It doesn't matter whether they were Arabs, white, black, or aliens. I think the Muslim community would see the majority of the fallout from something like this, even if they are innocent, peaceful, people.

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    dngreer wrote:
    Just to clarify: I didn't say Arabs, I said Muslims. I believe many of the terrorist attacks have been from extremist Muslims. It doesn't matter whether they were Arabs, white, black, or aliens. I think the Muslim community would see the majority of the fallout from something like this, even if they are innocent, peaceful, people.
    I know you said "Muslims". However, just about all of the American public assumes that all Arabs are Muslims. It seems like a minor point, but a very large number of Arabs are Jewish or Christian... but they're still not able to board a flight or take pictures of landmarks.

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    imperialism2024 wrote:
    I have to disagree. Remember, this is a nation of good PR, not good policy.
    :shock:

    I think you hit the nail on the head, in EVERY respect!
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Regular Member thnycav's Avatar
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    Look at Virginia Tech: logically, the slaughter was caused by a "ban" on guns on campus, and the administrators of the school were directly responsible for every death on that campus (except the piece of crud doing the shooting).



    To start out I do believe and defend the bill of rights all of them. We do need to look at the VT shooting with logic not just emotion. The cause and effect you state here is all wrong. The ban on firearms was not the cause of the tragedy there. It was the breakdown in communications that allowed someone that should not have been able to own a weapon have one. He had a history of mental illness and those records where not made available to the proper authority and he would have been denied the handguns.Granted the ban on handguns would not have prevent him from going on a rampage, but the proper communications between agencies would have.

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    thnycav wrote:
    Look at Virginia Tech: logically, the slaughter was caused by a "ban" on guns on campus, and the administrators of the school were directly responsible for every death on that campus (except the piece of crud doing the shooting).



    To start out I do believe and defend the bill of rights all of them. We do need to look at the VT shooting with logic not just emotion. The cause and effect you state here is all wrong. The ban on firearms was not the cause of the tragedy there. It was the breakdown in communications that allowed someone that should not have been able to own a weapon have one. He had a history of mental illness and those records where not made available to the proper authority and he would have been denied the handguns.Granted the ban on handguns would not have prevent him from going on a rampage, but the proper communications between agencies would have.
    Because we all know that there is no black market for guns in the United States. Silly me.

    Using your line of thinking (I won't call it "logic"), no one with a felony conviction would ever possess a gun, much less use one in a crime.

    Also, mental health is none of the government's business unless a court finds one to be legally insane. Banning people with mental health illness from owning guns only discourages people from getting the help they need.

    Actually, there is just so much wrong with that post that I can't construct a proper response without spending about an hour or so on it.

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    Because his statement may not have been all-encompassing, you feel his point to be negated? Take this exaggerated example, then:

    Point:
    I like chocolate ice cream.

    Counter-Point:
    What if you change your mind in the future? Obviously, you must not like chocolate ice cream.

    Enough with the fanciful example.

    In this case, his point is that we shouldn't sell firearms to those with histories suggesting it might be unwise (mental illness, history of violent crime, etc). Your point is that because there are other ways to procure a firearm, he is wrong. Are you suggesting that we should sell guns to those who have demonstrated previously that it would be unwise to do so? Most likely not. That is, however, what you are suggesting with your post.

    The point isn't to create a perfect system. That's impossible. You must do what you can with what you've got. Perhaps an example demonstrating this would help:

    If you were running a water filtration plant and had filters in your warehouse that could eliminate say 95% of the lead and mercury in the water of an agricultural and mining town where there is a history of moderate contamination, would you use them? Or, alternately, would you refuse to use them because it doesn't protect against that other 5% as well? Surely you would choose to use them. This situation is logically/functionally identical.

    The subject may be different, but the scenario is the same:
    - An item getting through that causes harm.
    - The ability to filter/block some of it.
    - A small percentage that will fail to be protected against.
    - The failure may or may not actually lead to the harm of an individual or individuals.
    - The choice: Is it prudent to protect against what you can, knowing that it won't be a perfect solution?

    I say yes. If you disagree, I'm all for you being entitled to your opinion. If it was simply your last post that was misleading to your true feelings on the subject, please let me know. If you feel my interpretation of your post to be in error, please feel free to clarify. If you want to just trout slap me, that's good too.

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    Particle wrote:
    In this case, his point is that we shouldn't sell firearms to those with histories suggesting it might be unwise (mental illness, history of violent crime, etc). Your point is that because there are other ways to procure a firearm, he is wrong. Are you suggesting that we should sell guns to those who have demonstrated previously that it would be unwise to do so? Most likely not. That is, however, what you are suggesting with your post.

    The point isn't to create a perfect system. That's impossible. You must do what you can with what you've got.
    No, his point went further than suggesting that we shouldn't sell firearms to those with certain "histories" that some may consider unsafe. His point was that the Virginia Tech incident would have been avoided had the sh!tbag been denied a legal purchase of firearms due to his health records' being public. My stance is that he wouldn't have been stopped by that, as he could have gotten a black market gun or found other ways to slay defenseless students, and that the only way he could have been stopped is by an armed student body.

    Another point I made was that systematically making health records (specifically mental health records) available to the government is detrimental to public safety. I'll explain. If mental health records are made freely available to government agencies, as is proposed by some people favoring "rational" gun "restrictions", not only does that seriously violate patient privacy and set a dangerous precendent for the use of health and other non-criminal records to deny people the right to defend themselves,
    most vitally it will discourage people from seeking psychological/psychiatric help. Mental health records represent people who sought help for a problem. They will give no indication of people who have untreated mental illness. Hence, the people who are punished by getting blacklisted from ever owning a gun are the people who are trying to "fix" themselves. Furthermore, people with mental health issues will be deterred from seeking help in the future, as they know they will be blacklisted; instead, they will try to self-medicate to fix their problems, be that abusing alcohol, abusing drugs, or killing masses of people.

    Now, there is a difference between people who seek treatment for mental health issues and people who have been institutionalized as a result of acting out due to mental health issues. However, the situation is analogous to the felony gun ban. If someone is too dangerous to own a handgun, be that danger due to criminal tendencies or mental illness, then that person is too dangerous to be a part of normal society. If the a person murders a few other people and spends 5 years in prison, and that person is released from prison, but the state thinks that he is too dangerous to be allowed to so much as touch a gun, why is he released back into public? Shouldn't he stay locked up until he is no longer a danger? Or, if a person is committed to a mental institution, and is then released, but thought too dangeroud to touch a gun, how can that person not otherwise be a danger to society? That person should also remain institutionalized until he is no longer a danger to society. This system would eliminate the need for background checks, simply by keeping people off the street who, the state has already decided, is too dangerous to be left around weapons.

    And, in saying that, I have realized that I have digressed severely from the original topic of the thread, so I'll stop.

    :?

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    Wow, this article seems a bit more balanced than I would have expected from Brodeur. I give her special kudos for bringing up the Rebecca Griego case.

    However, this person she quotes is just nuts:

    If she is to the point where she sees carrying a gun as her only alternative, then the community and the systems that have been set up to protect all of us have failed
    Au contraire, a "system" that can be with you every moment and protect you from any possible bad circumstance has only one name: a police state.


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    As to Cho being denied access to legal weapons, I live within minutes of at LEAST 5 colleges that I know of, and I still know more places/people to get illicit weapons from than places to legally acquire weapons.

    And it's been that way since SIX MONTHS after I got here.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Just thought I would through in my experience working on the security dept. of a local junior college in Scranton, PA. I worked there part time from 2004-2005. This college allowed their qualified guards to carry o.c. and baton. Thats it no Tazer or firearm. They of course have a no weapons on campus policy and even had us confiscate pocket folders from students rooms. There even was a shooting in the mens dorm parking lot. Thank god no fatality but a non student on student shooting.

    I guess the non student didnt ask his victim for a student handbook to review policy. If he were aware of it he certainly would not have shot. O.K. here is the kicker that always blew my mind while working there. This college has a police academy.!!! Lots of well trained instructors to train us & do quarterly qualifications. When I questioned this I was told by my supervisor that the administration felt firearms would offend students & visitors. I even questioned the schools V.P. he said if there ever was a worst case active shooter I should get out as quick as possible and call Scranton P.D.

    My supervisor an L.E.O. was sympathetic to the need and just smiled once when he noticed my g26 on ankle holster.

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    PA is like most states - not a crime to carry on campus, even as a student

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    IDA77 wrote:
    They of course have a no weapons on campus policy and even had us confiscate pocket folders from students rooms.
    Wow... aren't those classified as "tools"? At least that's how I always got away with it.

    Had a fun moment while going to a college in DPRNY last year... It was the end of class, and we were filling out a paper, and I was the first one to get up. Naturally, Ka-Bar Mule folder fell out of my pocket onto the floor with a loud "thud" (it's a heavy knife...) as everyone in the now-silent room turned to look. I just scooped it up, tossed it back in my pocket, and made my way out... Taught me the importance of retention.

    ETA: And I do use my knife several time a day for "legitimate" purposes, and its blade length definately falls within the "non-weapon" category in my area here in PA. Never bothered to check in New York... So I'll use the LEO excuse of "I didn't know".

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    Mike wrote:
    PA is like most states - not a crime to carry on campus, even as a student
    But it will get you expelled, and probably blacklisted from any university in the universe.

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    Strictly speaking, it's not the mental health records as such that are to be made available, but rather the court/legal filings as to one's competence (which, admittedly, bear on the same facts), so this might not be a HIPPA act violation. Someone severely disturbed who voluntarily seeks treatment will stillnot be listed as a prohibited person, absent a judicial determination of incompetence.

    The short form: crazy people can still (legally) buy guns, as long as they aren't involuntarily committed as part of a formallegal process.

    -ljp

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    In the VT case therewas court ordered treatment. I did read the State report. Granted he could have gotten the gun some other way but this would have prevented him getting the gun the way he did. Yes him not getting the gun would have PREVENTED it. The gun ban or lifting it would not have prevented him form killing anyone.



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    However, it's not just guns. Many things can be restricted if you voluntarily seek mental treatment. Like pilots licenses, or other types of licenses.

    It actually makes it less safe, because people that recognize they need mental help will refuse to seek treatment because of the consequences to their hobbies or jobs.

    I think that mental health should be completely decoupled from licensing and 'rights'. Then nobody would have an excuse not to seek treatment...

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    The only time that this would be an issue is if they pose a threat to themselves and more importantly others. I do not think anyone who does seek help from time to time is a threat. There is a misconception with this in the Army where some that do have minor problems that do need some help do not go and fear losing clearances.

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    thnycav wrote:
    The gun ban or lifting it would not have prevented him form killing anyone.
    He might have killed a few people if there were no gun ban. He would not have killed 30+ people.

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    The point was stated that the Gun ban was the cause of it. If the system didnot fail like it did he would not have had the weapons. Yes if there was no gun ban he could have been stoped but not prevented. Now think he would have had the right to carry it to class with him as well.

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