Mandatory gun permit for teachers
l believe the answer to these school shootings is to make it a qualiﬁcation for a teacher's degree to obtain the proper training to not only identify those young people with physiological problems but to be able to educate other young people to spot those problems.
l would also make it mandatory that those teachers obtain a concealed weapons permit. Perhaps then we would also improve the quality of our teachers through their physiological evaluation and eliminate student's disobedience in the class room.
We must also get back to allowing parents to properly discipline their children without the threat of teachers turning that parent into social services without absolute proof of abuse.
It is my belief that all students, before graduating the eighth grade, should be taught the proper use of ﬁrearms and shown the consequences of someone who has been shot through actual photos and testimonials of those loved ones who are left suffering.
Assault weapons bans are effective
In response to Rep. Matt Regier (guest column, Feb. 27):
Yes, gun violence has increased and the response needs to be multi-level. There is one measure that has been shown to decrease numbers of incidents and deaths from mass shootings. That is a ban on assault weapons.
Look at the experience in other countries, notably Australia, which has not had a mass shooting for over 20 years. In fact, look at the United States. There was a ban on assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 which was set to expire after 10 years. During the time of that ban, the number of mass shooting incidents and deaths decreased from the prior 10 years. After the ban ceased, the number of incidents and deaths skyrocketed and have continued to increase in frequency and numbers of deaths.
The ban did not address the wider issue of gun violence, including suicides. This one single measure, which did not lead to the end of the world or the end of gun ownership, could make our schools and public places safer from random violence. Many other issues around gun regulation need to be addressed also, but this is a good first place to start.
Guns in schools a recipe for disaster
As a professional who spent years working with police departments in New York, New Orleans and Philadelphia on profiling criminal snipers, I am keenly aware of the problem of guns in our society. I am also aware of the problems associated with people who legally carry weapons in public spaces.
In spite of recent interest in arming teachers and other school personnel as a response to school shootings, I know that the scenario of armed civilians in the middle of a shooting incident is a prescription for disaster.
Once the Emergency Services Unit or a SWAT team shows up on site, they will be confronted with the difficult dilemma of determining who should and who shouldn't have a gun. In the chaos of the moment, it would be easy to mistake a "good person with a gun" for a "bad person with a gun." As a result, the likelihood of civilians getting hurt increases exponentially.
I'd like to impress upon the reader that the idea of putting more guns in schools will likely result in more harm than good.
Gun-free zones actually killing fields
I am a member of the Second Amendment Foundation and a life member of the National Rifle Association, the nation's oldest and largest civil rights organization. Yes, self defense is a natural right of all living organisms.
Blaming the NRA for the misuse of a firearm by a disturbed individual is akin to blaming AAA for someone guilty of vehicular homicide.
The left hates the Second Amendment even more than they do the First ("You're free to speak your mind my friend as long as you agree with me" — Steppenwolf). Leftists would be perfectly happy with the evisceration if not outright repeal of the Second Amendment, leading to registration and conﬁscation of firearms not meeting the left's criteria.
Part of the problem is the anti-gun crowd's fixation on gun-free zones, which have predictably turned into killing fields by individuals who have no intention of respecting a gun-free zone.
Finally, l won't tell you liberals what kind of knife to bring to a gunfight if you won't tell me what kind of firearm you think l am entitled to have and how I should use it.
4 gun laws to increase security
The Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America (emphasis mine): “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”
Access to firearms in America is not well regulated. We do not have universal background checks. People can buy semi-automatic weapons that are of little use for hunting. And they can then legally purchase “bump stocks” that effectively turn the semi-automatic weapons into virtual automatic weapons.
I suggest these solutions: 1. Ban “bump stocks.” 2. Ban the sale of “assault” or “assault-style” weapons to the general public. 3. Require universal background checks for all guns sales. 4. Require registration and licensing of all firearms and all firearms users.
The reality that almost anyone can legally purchase assault weapons and bump stocks does not make me feel more secure, it makes me feel less secure and more threatened. And the purpose of the Second Amendment is to create “the security of a free State.”
My support in the upcoming elections will go to the candidates who support more “well regulated” gun laws.
Rev. Ira Robison (retired),
The United Methodist Church,
Assault weapons designed for war
In reply to Shawn Wells' letter, "Anything can be an assault weapon," of Feb 27: This letter was intended to deceive and obfuscate.
My bona fides: Marine veteran of Vietnam, machine gunner, qualified expert with M-16. Retired federal officer. Collateral duties as range master and firearms instructor. Both Federal Bureau of Investigation and Federal Law Enforcement Training Center classes. Armorer for SIG pistols.
The term "assault rifle," in the shooting world, refers specifically to a class of long guns for military use. Originating from the German Sturmgewehr employed in World War II, they include the Eugene Stoner-designed AR-15 as well as its variants (M-16, M4, etc.). Stoner impressed Gen. Curtis LeMay (shooting up watermelons) and that led to the U.S. military adopting the weapon. It was never designed for sporting uses.
The 5.56 (.223 Remington) is too low in energy except for shooting people and coyotes. It is strictly a weapon of war designed to kill as many as quickly as possible.
Sure, the shooter is responsible. But that doesn't mean we have to put the weapon in their hands to commit mass carnage. They only belong in use for military and law enforcement purposes.
Solutions to 4 major problems in US
Here are your solutions to the latest news:
1. Gun violence: Violent offenses deserve violent consequences. Kill with a gun? Death penalty. Quick justice if no doubt exists as to the criminal responsible for killing with a weapon. Gun safety classes before any firearm purchase.
2. Abortions kill innocents, so no state or federally supported abortions.
3. Immediate action to stop any and all treasonous acts against the USA. There is plenty of that with the Clintons. Research 35 years of illegality and start to clean up our country.
4. Get back to educating our kids with a no-bias education system. Dress codes; no tats, piercings, tattered clothes, gangs, drugs, etc., in the schools. Bring pride back to this country.
Now each topic has touched a nerve with someone but if we pass such legislation, all American lives matter, then we are off to a start for everyone to benefit. Imagine the federal and state taxpayer money saved and could be spent on making America great again!
NRA only working for gun industry
I am writing to express my admiration for the courageous students who left school to protest gun violence, as reported in the Missoulian (Feb. 22).
I can't believe how long it took me to understand that this whole National Rifle Association thing is just a scam to sell more guns. The propagation of the idea that we all need more and bigger weapons all the time to protect ourselves from each other in our own country is counterproductive and clearly designed only to profit the gun industry.
The NRA and the gun industry have become nothing but cynical arms dealers, and they are endangering us all through this internal arms race.
Western Europe and Canada have rational gun laws and much lower murder rates, as everyone knows.
NRA needs to focus on gun safety
NRA: Not Really Appropriate.
The National Rifle Association has always done an excellent job with their hunter safety programs and their combat pistol training for law enforcement and security officers. I have personally benefited from all the above NRA programs, however, the NRA needs to get out of politics and stop sleeping with the gun lobby.
As a military policeman during the Vietnam War era, we practiced firing the M-16 frequently. We witnessed an M-16 on full auto reduce a 4-by-4-foot stack of concrete blocks to dust!
"Wow," we all thought. "Sure glad we got the M-16!"
"Before you all get smug and over-confident," our gun range officer interjected, "be advised that Charlie has the same capability with the AK-47."
The thought occurred to me then, as now: "What if the civilian population had access to that type of weapon? Out of a million people, the odds of an evil person obtaining such a weapon are absolutely unacceptable."
To contemplate that the NRA, which was all about gun safety, would promote military-grade automatic people-killing machines to the general population, is beyond appalling and totally unacceptable.
Lynn Leroy Arney,
Improve gun registration process
In light of the recent tragedy if Florida, I believe it is time to re-examine gun ownership.
As a Montanan, I believe heavily in gun ownership as a constitutional right, both for recreational purposes and for self-defense. However, due to the steady increase in gun violence, it is time to increase the restrictions for what kinds of firearms can be privately purchased and how that purchasing process works.
We need to allow changes in legislation to improve the gun registration process in order to aide law enforcement in tracking firearms back to their source.
It is shameful that we have allowed things to get this bad, but now is the time to do everything we can to prevent needless loss of life due to the lax regulations on gun ownership and negligence on the part of the American people and our duly elected representatives.
Ban new assault gun sales in state
A letter writer in Sunday’s Missoulian asked how an assault weapons ban would work, giving options from banning weapons to having (somehow) Nancy Pelosi come and “conﬁscate your guns.”
I propose the following:
Ban all assault weapons (semi-auto riﬂes) from being sold in Montana, either in stores or online to Montana, as well as the sale of large bullet clips. Citizens with these things are allowed to keep them, and if these things are used in a school/church/conceit shooting, by them or someone with their weapon and bullets, then the owner is held accountable as complicit in murder, by allowing or having the killer use/steal his/her assault equipment.
This law would not stop shootings of innocents, but it would at least stop the problem from growing. This law does not require input by the National Rifle Association, the Second Amendment, Nancy Pelosi or anybody else. It would be a ﬁrst step so l don't feel guilty being complicit in these continual juvenile assassinations.
We don't need to keep allowing the growth of these weapons of community mass destruction any more than we need growth in nuclear weapons by either a “bad” country like North Korea, or a “good” country like Australia.
Students will change gun insanity
Someone with a gun enters the public space you're in; what is your first reaction? Do you feel safe or do you sense alarm? Do you question whether the person is mentally stable or angry at the world?
Do you feel that guns should be everywhere you go and be a part of your everyday life? What if that weapon was a military-grade semi-automatic?
The National Rifle Association, Republican congressmen and the current resident in the White House say there should be no gun-free zones. They do have exceptions at their headquarters, places of work, conventions; anywhere they happen to frequent. Could it be that guns are potentially dangerous?
Mental illness is now the cause of mass shootings, yet the Republican Senate, with Donald Trump's signature, overturned a Barack Obama regulation that made it more difficult for a person with a history of mental illness to purchase a gun. Republican cutbacks for mental healthcare have made it harder and more expensive for people suffering from mental illnesses to receive the help they need.
Their solution: arm yourself, arm teachers, arm everyone, more guns, shoot back.
I salute all the high-schoolers for their stance on guns. They will change this insanity.
Students being turned into activists
Of course children are scared. They are being shot and killed by teenagers they excluded from their peer groups. School shootings are revenge killings. The gun is not the cause.
Now children are being manipulated for a political agenda: gun control. Who is manipulating children by organizing and funding student demonstrations, marches and trips to Washington, D.C.? All of that costs money — a lot of money.
Students are being groomed by adults to be political activists. And who would benefit from that activism? But be real, laws and locks keep honest people honest. Liberals are smoking something if they think a law can keep guns out of the hands of evil people. The next evil weapon is only a mouse click or a street corner away. If someone evil wants to steal from you, or hurt you, they will. We cannot build schools that are fortresses.
The blame falls on our society — not guns. The entertainment and music industry, television, movies and violent video games with incessant and hypnotic killing scenarios are brainwashing and desensitizing children to violence and nurturing revenge.
Parents, not gun control, should be the first line of defense preventing their children from being mass murderers.
Kids need safe learning environment
As a responsible gun owner and the parent of a Missoula County Public Schools child, I must respond to Gary Marbut’s ill-conceived Feb. 21 guest column “get rid of all gun-free zones.”
Marbut is a paid mouthpiece for the gun industry, which believes our schools, hospitals, churches, restaurants and legislatures should be patrolled by some sort of volunteer paramilitary force. I personally spoke with every committee sponsor of Marbut’s misnamed “Montana School Safety Act,” and all acknowledged the bill was poorly written and that concealed carry permit-holders receive almost no training, nowhere close to what we expect from our law enforcement professionals.
I want my child and his teachers to be safe and I agree that more resources are needed to ensure safety, but arming random people to roam the halls is not the way to do it. Marbut offers a fire extinguisher analogy but really his plan to arm teachers is more akin to fighting flamethrower-wielding arsonists by giving teachers their own flamethrower.
Kids need a safe learning environment, not an armed camp. We can keep guns out of schools if we are honest with ourselves that one cause of gun violence is too many guns.
Anything can be 'assault' weapon
Just a little info on the AR-15 rifle. "AR" stands for Armalite rifle, not automatic rifle, not assault rifle. It was designed in the 1950s as a civilian sporting rifle, and renowned for its accuracy, reliability and ruggedness. It's always confused with the M16 military rifle.
Now, "assault" is an action, not an object. Anything can be an assault weapon. You think banning the AR-15 will fix the problem. Well, isn't a car driving into a crowd an assault weapon?
An AR-15 is usually black, semi-automatic and can hold 30 rounds of ammo. So is a Glock 17, 9mm pistol. This pistol can be hidden under clothing, and can fire at the same rate as the dreaded AR-15. So tell me, which one is more dangerous? They are only as dangerous as the person using them.
To the lady from Hamilton who wrote that the Second Amendment is only for "muskets": Get a grip! You can defend yourself with a musket, but I would choose a more current weapon.
Another question: When a police officer shoots a criminal, it's the police officer's fault, but when a criminal shoots innocent people, it's the gun's fault? Just another example of liberal/left ideological thinking.
Time to repeal Second Amendment
Obviously the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution is archaic; it was meant to provide security for our citizens. Now, however, it is being used as an excuse to allow a radical, deranged few to strip us of our most fundamental right: the right to life.
The Constitution declares that its purpose, among others, is to “insure domestic tranquility” and “promote the general welfare.” Let’s start paying some attention to that.
The Second Amendment needs to be repealed. It should not be used to guarantee that every crazed lunatic can possess weapons of mass destruction.
Many “arms” are already restricted. Does the National Rifle Association want to make bazookas and 50mm machine guns available too?
Marbut wrong on gun control facts
Gary Marbut is wrong. “More gun control laws have not worked anywhere,” claims the person who makes his living training people to use firearms (guest column, Feb. 21).
A 2013 study from Boston University School of Public Health concludes a 1 percent increase in gun ownership correlated with a roughly 0.9 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate.
In 2016 the journal Epidemiologic Reviews looked at 130-plus studies from 10 countries. The conclusion: “The simultaneous implementation of laws targeting multiple firearms restrictions is associated with reductions in firearm deaths.”
Evidence compiled by the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center consistently finds that regions with more guns have more gun deaths.
“Within the United States, a wide array of empirical evidence indicates that more guns in a community leads to more homicide,” David Hemenway, the Injury Control Research Center’s director, wrote in "Private Guns, Public Health."
There is no doubt, when jurisdictions apply common sense and require sane restrictions on gun ownership, fewer innocents are killed.
Gary Marbut is wrong. Please argue with facts.
Nancy Dunne Byington,
Just how would weapons ban work?
So, with all of the anti "semi-automatic assault firearm hype" going on right now I have not read any article that states simply how to ban these weapons. Stop manufacturing and selling these weapons from now on but you get to keep what you own. Or is the government going to start knocking on every door of each registered owner of a semi-auto assault weapons and take it from them?
Better yet, knock on every door in the U.S. and take every assault weapon on Nancy Pelosi's 200-plus gun list that she says needs to be banned. And who is going to be put in charge of collecting these firearms? The FBI, the same agency that didn't check out a shooter even after being called and told he's a problem. They run a background checking system that does not work part of the time.
Having the government sign in another law just to say "we did something" doesn't work. Look at Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, etc.; didn't work for them. You best start looking for a way to control people who want to just kill other people. And that, my friends, is a scary subject: the government controlling the people.