Encouraging armed teachers by "Retake our Gov't"?

Putting our children/parents/teachers/community at risk with allowing concealed weapons in our schools.

Top story in our local paper: 

Retake our Government giving two scholarships to two teachers to attend a course to get their concealed weapons permit saddened me.  We've lived in Hartland since 1977, both daughters went 12 years thru Hartland Schools, graduates of 1989 and 1993. Today one is a school social worker, and the other a 6th grade math teacher. 

I can't imagine what the parents of today think about sending their children to school with their teachers or other school personnel  carrying concealed guns or access to them in locked boxes on the school grounds. Having lethal weapons available to the school community is fear based and not an atmosphere conducive to education or citizenship, in my view. 

I know that the proposed legislation hasn't been passed yet to allow this but according to Bill Rogers and our other local legislators, they want each school board to decide if they want this ability.  So now parents not only have to question other parents about if they have guns in their homes before their children are allowed to play over there but also now have to question whether there are guns in their school system, too. 

Maybe this is what freedom looks like to Retake our Government-we have the freedom to look elsewhere if our local school decides to let guns in, we can drive our kids halfway across town or another community altogether to find a gun free zone?

The next day in our local paper there was a story about our legislators passing a law to change the age from 18 to 21 for students having sex with teachers. Do you see the irony of these two messages? 

We are for letting school boards decide to arm the very people who we don't trust with our kids?

Hopefully, the mothers and fathers and community leaders will speak out against this legislation for allowing school boards to decide about concealed weapons permits for school personnel.  This is where citizens need to realize what message they are sending to the children/parents of Livingston County. It is one that says they aren't safe at school anymore. 

Safety at the hands of a gun is false safety. Safety comes from trusting the adults in charge and that comes with relationships not gun ownership nor punitive legislation against teachers having sex with students up to 21 years of age. 

As an aside, I would be interested in knowing where our legislators were educated. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Matthew February 23, 2013 at 04:38 PM
Having in place a program similar to what the US Airline Pilots have had in place for years must be evaluated right now. A volunteer program, for qualified individuals, trained in related types of combat, minimal or no cost to the local school boards could indeed save lives. It's a last line of defense that in itself could be a deterrent and a life saving option.. Times have changed - we need to change our thinking on this, until society understands much of this is cultural and it can be changed, at home, without government intervention. Government should only be involved with supporting a program that it's people believe is necessary.
Mares Hirchert February 23, 2013 at 04:49 PM
A practical matter is will the one trained, armed teacher be there that day or in the right spot? I think the story of the guard at one school leaving his gun in the bathroom is more likely to happen. Philosophically I would rather live daily in a non violent atmosphere (gun free zone) and raise the next generation that way. I think children have enough stress these days at their homes without adding to it by having the fear of armed teachers being vigilant against a crazy that may at any time choose to come and kill them. I know my teacher daughter needs parents to come to conferences, school activities and partner with her to give their children a good education. Parents need to calm their own fears and realize that no one can be responsible for someone who is crazed and willing to kill themselves and hurt others in the process. All any of us can do, is to care about and raise healthy, happy, and kind children. Parents, Grandparents, schools, community can help with that. It doesn't happen at the end of a gun.
Mares Hirchert February 23, 2013 at 05:10 PM
Dear Matthew, I'm seeing words such as "combat", "minimal or no cost", "last line of defense," "deterrent," and I want to know if you have children and if you want to raise them with this fear of their neighbors, society, humanity? Yes, culture does have a lot to do with how children perceive their world, sad that you want our schools to reflect this dismal view of our wonderful world. Lets focus on education in our schools, not fear. Yes Hartland has changed in the last 35 years and it isn't about a crazed gunman killing 20 innocent children and 8 adults. Our country pre-emptively attacked Iraq and killed over 108,000 civilians, many of them women and children, and continues to kill Pakistani children with drones, over 176 so far, all part of "collateral damage." What needs changing is for the adults in this world to realize that bombing, killing, etc. is not the way to solve problems. Until all children are valued, no child is safe. Americans need to stop accepting the killing of other children around the world in the name of national security. Parents in Hartland need to realize that their children will not be safe by arming adults, trained or otherwise. Feeling safe for children, relies on their families telling them that what happened at Sandy Hook was an isolated incident. They don't need to be afraid at their school, the wonderful teachers and others care about them.
hartland eagle February 23, 2013 at 09:57 PM
If only there had been armed guards at Columbine, or Virginia Tech, think how many lives could have been saved. Oh, there were? Never mind.
Erika Warner February 23, 2013 at 10:49 PM
I'm astounded by the number of people who believe that being armed automatically equals safety. That the person carrying knows how to use the weapon and defend against it being taken and used against them and the students. That the carrier will be in the right place at the right time and somehow not freeze and, again, have the gun easily taken by the assailant for use elsewhere. That a student won't get ahold of the gun and use it. It's a COMPLETELY different matter for a schoolteacher with little experience (one assumes if they already HAVE experience they might already have a CPL) to carry a gun than a trained professional who practices often and probably has real life shooting under stress.
Chris February 23, 2013 at 11:34 PM
Where in this story of arming teachers does it say that the children will even know who or if even the teachers are carrying. Wouldn't the possibility of the bad guy knowing that the teachers COULD be carrying be enough deterrent for him/her to think twice. It's the media that is blowing this out of proportion. By the way i completely agree with teachers carrying.
Mares Hirchert February 24, 2013 at 02:36 AM
Dear Chris, Crazy people don't care if there are armed people or not, they are not in touch with fear, more likely they are in touch with anger, and they are operating without rational thought. The possibility of "COULD" be carrying doesn't enter into their consciousness, they aren't thinking, let alone "thinking twice." I think parents/grandparents/citizens should be operating rationally and talking to their legislators to pass laws to keep guns out of the hands of the general population if they really are trying to protect children. Let's face it, our general population has a history of violence, we have the most prisoners in our jails and prisons than any other industrialized country. We have prescription drug abuse, alcoholics, and thousands of veterans returning from Afghanistan and Iraq who suffer from post traumatic stress, PTS. We should be thinking of reducing the number of guns in the home and the community for not only the children's sake but for everyone's sake.
Mares Hirchert February 24, 2013 at 03:02 AM
Mother Jones offers graphs and articles on the rise of mass shootings in the US. http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/12/guns-in-america-mass-shootings “In the wake of the massacres this year at a Colorado movie theater, a Sikh temple in Wisconsin, and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, we set out to track mass shootings in the United States over the last 30 years. We identified and analyzed 62 of them, and one striking pattern in the data is this: In not a single case was the killing stopped by a civilian using a gun. And in other recent (but less lethal) rampages in which armed civilians attempted to intervene, those civilians not only failed to stop the shooter but also were gravely wounded or killed. Moreover, we found that the rate of mass shootings has increased in recent years—at a time when America has been flooded with millions of additional firearms and a barrage of new laws has made it easier than ever to carry them in public places, including bars, parks, and schools.” Hope that the community will read this article and educate themselves. Thanks to Mother Jones for doing the research.
Chris February 24, 2013 at 04:59 AM
I'm not saying it's a solution. Even in your post about Mother Jones, In the list of shootings (with out researching every incident "my bad") over 25% are in gun free zones. There's got to be something to it. I know we can't exactly go and ask the mentally challenged that decide to do this why they picked that particular place to do it and think they are going to give us an honest answer. With out trying to be rude the way it looks to me is that you are against the 2nd amendment and you are just like all the other people against guns and all you want to do is hurt the everyday law biding citizen and not the criminal. Criminals don't follow the laws so how is more laws going to help!!! And just like the two of us with two different views on a situation we can both speak our minds under the 1st amendment publicly. So if someone talks badly about something or someone should we now start making new laws to keep them from talking. Also i am not in any way saying that nothing should be done. i am willing to compromise with the restrictions to buying a gun. I DO think that we should have stricter background checks and even if need be background checks on buying ammo. yes it is my right to own a gun of whatever choosing i like there does need to be some compromise on both sides. Thank you for your time. We will just have to agree to disagree.
hartland eagle February 24, 2013 at 02:37 PM
It is NOT your right to own whatever gun you want. So says the Supreme Court via the heller decision. What I don't get is that an overwhelming majority of gun owners support stricter background checks, yet the NRA is against it, and congress hasn't acted.
Mares Hirchert February 24, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Dear Chris, I'm not out to "hurt" anyone, I'm out to protect children from living in fear on a daily basis. Right now we have child protective services which is overwhelmed with the number of cases to investigate here in Michigan. They rely on family members, neighbors, school personnel, hospitals, doctors, to alert them if they suspect abuse. Children don't need to be worried about being shot at school whether by accident or intentional. If our priority is to safeguard children then lets act on what we can do to accomplish that rather than debate the 2nd Amendment.
Chris February 24, 2013 at 05:05 PM
Hartland Eagle Don't misunderstand me I'm not saying we should all own 50 caliber automatic guns. As far as the NRA goes they are just voicing our straight up 2nd amendment right. I as well as other are just willing to compromise to do something to help the problem. Let's just ban guns everywhere, apparently nobody can understand what is going on in Chicago. They did that and it doesn't work! Criminals will get guns banned or not.
hartland eagle February 24, 2013 at 05:32 PM
That's not at all what the NRA is doing. They oppose universal background checks, for pete's sake. No one is talking about taking anyone's 2nd amendment rights away. No one, as much as the NRA and the gun manufacturers would like you to believe, is trying to take anyone's guns away. People have proposed that limits be placed on who can own a gun, and which guns you can own. Which has specifically been ruled upon as constitutional by the Supreme Court.
Chris February 24, 2013 at 05:51 PM
Hartland Eagle They oppose it because they are (from my point of view) saying it starts there. They are looking into the future of what could happen. You give the govt. that and what's next on gun control a complete ban on guns we don't care about your 2nd amendment you can't handle it. The govt. is the prime example of give them an inch and they take a foot.
hartland eagle February 24, 2013 at 09:05 PM
That's exactly what they're hoping you'll think. That way, you run out and buy more guns and ammo, and they make more money. You've swallowed their rhetoric hook, line, and sinker. The slippery slope argument. It's ridiculous. Your right to own a handgun has been affirmed by the Supreme Court. No one is coming for your guns.
Chris February 24, 2013 at 09:40 PM
Hartland Eagle Yes that is what i think but, Nowhere in the previous post did i say that i was buying into it. And yes i am looking to buy a new gun but it for upgrading my current one. But the way i do it is by research for what best fit's my hunting needs. I am not like the others that ARE running out and buying as much guns and ammo as they can. Also i do agree, From the news i have been following not once did i hear that they were coming for my guns. Except i believe in New York. You have to listen to both sides of the argument and make your own conclusion.
hartland eagle February 24, 2013 at 11:00 PM
Yes, you're right. I've too easily lumped you in with the masses. No one is coming for anyone's guns in ny either, by the way. The gun manufacturers are loving this. They're making money hand over fist.
Scott DesAutel February 26, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Mrs. Hirchert, I was a neighbor of yours for many years, and I love you and your family! I would love a better solution then having armed guards in our schools, but sadly this is reality for our children. Taking guns out of the hands of law biding citizens will not get rid of the problem. Criminals will still have weapons, guns, knives, etc. The killers in Colorado, Connecticut, and Virginia Tech all had gun illegally. If you feel "gun safe zones" work, ask the people of Washington DC and Chicago how it's working. The answer is not giving each teacher a handgun strapped to their waist, but offering training to them and giving them the choice. We also have many retired police and military personal, that I would be willing as a tax payer, to have as a full time staff member at the schools in our community. I thank the lord that Julie and Steph have never had to deal with a school shooting.
hartland eagle February 26, 2013 at 10:38 PM
Wrong. The Colorado shooter legally purchased his guns and ammo. As did the Virginia tech shooter. THe Connecticut shooter stole his guns, but could have purchased weapons legally. Why? Because gun laws are too lax!
dan rice February 27, 2013 at 05:16 AM
Everytime i hear this "retake our government" crap, i cringe. Who are they re-taking it from? Nobody's in office that wasn't voted in (I'll ignore the 2000 Gore v. Bush decision for now), so i guess they want to re-take it from the majority of voters just because they don't like that they lost the election. The real power of the people lies in our right to vote (which a sicken-ly low % of citizens exercise), not in this myth that the government is cowering in their offices because the citizens are armed. I'd better get a couple of tanks if i'm planning on winning a 2nd revolutionary war. Universal background checks are going to happen, but it's taking longer than it should because the narrative is wrong: the 2nd Amendment will (and rightfully) stand, but this is about commonsense legislation, just like we do for everything else. The folks sleeping with a gun under their pillow are going to have to accept the inevitability. When the spokespeople espousing your position are Ted Nugent and Wayne L., you're losing in the court of popular public opinion.... as it should be in a democracy.
Mares Hirchert February 27, 2013 at 11:01 PM
Hi Scott, I wrote a response to your e-mail and it wasn't published. I've asked the editor what happened and am waiting for a response. It was good to hear from you. I don't know if Julie and Steph have never had to deal with a school shooting. They both work in schools. They may have dealt with people carrying guns outside of schools just by being part of the community they live in. I will ask them their opinion!
Joanie Paris March 01, 2013 at 03:12 PM
Mares: You want to focus on education in our schools, and so do all the sane people. It's nutcases in ALL cases of mass shooting, that you have to worry about. So I look forward to every single school having someone (or many) who can protect our children against mentally ill nutcases, by having guns in school. When a school, hours, or business says we are 'gun free', that is the exact place the mentally ill nutcases attack. You need to wise up.
Joanie Paris March 01, 2013 at 03:15 PM
Erika: Please read up or take a CPL class yourself before you spout out that a person carrying a concealed gun is inexperienced.
Joanie Paris March 01, 2013 at 03:29 PM
Mares: In many cases, once a derranged person shooting people find out there is someone pointing a gun at them, they often put a bullet to their own head, so they do have fear. As long as someone who has been trained they should be able to own and carry a gun, to protect themselves and others. If a shooter was known to be in a classroom and the gun was pointed at your beloved grandchild and another teacher with a CPL and gun in his hand crepted up on the classroom, would you rather the shooter put a bullet in your grandchild's head or have the teacher put a bullet in the shooter's head? You seem to favor the former.
Joanie Paris March 01, 2013 at 03:44 PM
There's a poster you can buy that says: We defend our President with Guns We defend our Congress with Guns We defend our Governors with Guns We defend our celebritieswith Guns We defend our sporting events with Guns We defend our jewelry stores with Guns We defend our banks with Guns We defend our office buildings with Guns We defend our courts with Guns We defend our children with a sign that reads "This is a gun free zone" and then call someone with a gun if there is an emergency. Wise up!
Kate March 01, 2013 at 03:50 PM
I would not want my son/daughter attending a school where the educators were carrying concealed weapons. If you want to spend money on well-hidden metal detectors at entryways, fine.
dan rice March 02, 2013 at 04:58 AM
You mean call a skilled professional who's been rigorously trained in how to handle emergencies? Sure. Let a bunch of would-be Rambos carry weapons around children thru the school day? No thanks.
hartland eagle March 02, 2013 at 06:04 PM
Exactly, Dan. The suggestion that we should allow anyone to carry a gun in schools, based on "training" in a one day, $150 course, is preposterous. You hit the nail on the head.
dan rice March 02, 2013 at 08:27 PM
I've taken a CPL class so I'll jump in here. That class in no way, shape or form qualifies you as an expert in defending the world and/or making high-pressure, split-second life or death decisions. It gives you bare basics in situations requiring personal defense. Only ongoing mental and physical training that law enforcement and military personnel undergo can deliver the needed experience.
Mares Hirchert March 02, 2013 at 10:25 PM
Hi Scott, I've e-mailed Tatum and she can't find my original response-it may have been a technical problem on my end. Anyway, I haven't gotten any response from Steph or Julie about their opinion on arming teachers, they may be too busy trying to help their students! Social Workers and Teachers in the School system deal daily with a lot of social problems in their students' homes and community besides the school environment. Adding more stress into their lives by added gun issues doesn't seem like a positive force for the children nor the teachers. Thanks, Scott, for your kind words about our family.


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