People who insist on arming teachers and administrators in schools for protection should pay attention to what took place Tuesday at Idaho State University.
A concealed handgun fired at the Physical Science Complex, shooting the instructor with the gun in the foot. Police reported that the instructor had a permit to carry the concealed handgun.
Idaho in the last legislative session passed a measure that allows concealed carry on campuses in the state as long as the person has obtained an enhanced permit, the Idaho State Journal reports. The law went into effect July 1.
The accidental shooting should serve as a warning to Missouri lawmakers, who return to Jefferson City for a veto session on Sept. 10. Among about 30 bills that Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed is one that would allow specially trained teachers to carry guns into schools. Liberalizing guns laws is a bad idea.
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Nixon, a Democrat, was right to veto the bill passed by the Republican-dominated General Assembly. If the legislature overrides the veto, the law would enable public school districts to designate certain teachers or administrators as “school protection officers.” Those persons would undergo special training to carry concealed weapons.
Imagine the gun accident in Idaho going off in every school district that jumps at the chance to arm teachers. The move to put guns in teachers’ hands followed the December 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., where six educators and 20 children were gunned down by an intruder.
Instead of strengthening gun laws, many legislatures went in the opposite direction because of the enormously strong National Rifle Association and gun lobby groups and fear of crossing them. Several states authorize armed school personnel, the National Conference of State Legislatures reports.
In 2013, Gov. Sam Brownback signed into law legislation in which colleges and universities cannot prohibit concealed carry unless a building has “adequate security measures.” But governing boards of the institutions may still request an exemption to prohibit concealed weapons for up to four years, Armed Campuses website reports.
The Kansas Legislature should review the accidental shooting in Idaho, too.