As high noon draws near, townsfolk in Medford, Oregon, scatter. Citizens peer outside through the safety of their computer monitors and T.V. screens. According to some, a renegade teacher has strolled in to town and this pistol-packing pedagogue (i.e. teacher) is poised for a gunfight.
Determined not to cough-up a 9mm Glock during grammar lessons, English teacher Shirley Katz argues she has more than enough legal ammo to support her right to carry. Loaded with the Second Amendment, the Oregon law, and a concealed weapons permit, Katz insists her argument and her aim are accurate.
Whether Katz is the poster woman for gun rights is not at issue. On the other hand, she has definitely posted a clear and public warning: “Ex-husband and Lunatics, Beware.”
The “sheriff in town,” Superintendent Phil Long, advocates gun-free campuses as the means for ensuring safety; unfortunately, gun-free zones never work when armed murderers swoop in and victimize defenseless people.
Unfortunately, Wednesday’s school shooting in Cleveland, Ohio, emphasizes the foolish perils of gun-free zones and wishful thinking. Equipped with metal detectors and an armed security guard, Success Tech Academy still failed to prevent a fourteen-year-old juvenile delinquent from entering the school prepared to kill defenseless people. Imagine the horror that a determined adult or worse a well-trained terrorist could have inflicted. Thanks to a miracle -- not wishful thinking -- all the wounded victims in Ohio are still alive.
Gun-free zones disarm only the law-abiding citizens while attracting armed criminals. Buildings filled with people who have guns and who know how to use them typically repel disturbed individuals bent on shooting easy victims. We never hear of similar types of shootings at police stations or on military bases, unless, of course, Muslim terrorists are involved.
Opponents will assert that suicide killers plan to die anyway, so more people having guns will not deter them. If this were true, why do so many suicide killers decide to kill themselves when the police arrive? Furthermore, permitting competent and qualified teachers to conceal guns would eliminate situations where the only people without guns are the people who need them.
The idea of average citizens holstering weapons for self-protection makes some Americans uneasy. And to suggest arming anyone -- especially a teacher -- ignites every reaction from hysteria to fury throughout the gun control crowd. Even some supporters of gun rights get squirmy over the proposition of arming teachers.
Lee Culpepper is a former Marine and high school English teacher. He is currently working to complete his first book, Alone and Unafraid: One Marine’s Counterattack Inside the Walls of Public Education. Visit Lee’s website at www.leeculpepper.com.