School has started, and science based, educated, and common sense thought has gone out the window.
What I’m referring to is Governor Raimondo’s press conference calling to ban all guns from public schools, including those held by people with concealed-carry permits (Providence Journal, Raimondo announces ban on carrying guns on school grounds). Unfortunately, the research shows you are in more danger from a police officer than a permit-holder.
In order for a Rhode Island resident to obtain a concealed-carry permit, they “must show a good reason to fear injury to themselves or property, or have any other proper reason for carrying a handgun,” and the permit must also be approved by their local law enforcement official (RI General Law 11-47-11). Permit holders are well vetted people with good reason to have a gun for their protection.
People like Senator Michael Damiani (D-District 18, East Providence), former Deputy Majority Leader in the Rhode Island Senate who retired in 2006 with honors from the chamber. He was known to carry his gun on the floor of the senate with regularity.
But Governor Raimondo, with her actions, is suggesting that these people are a danger to our students.
Accompanying her at the announcement was Education Commissioner Ken Wagner who said, “That lack of clarity of whether or not someone with a gun in a school is a good, law-abiding person with a permit or someone with evil intent is exactly what we need to fix.”
Concealed-carry permit holders are much more law abiding than the average citizen, and even the police officers who are tasked to protect us, according to Police Quarterly, a peer-reviewed academic journal that publishes papers in the field of criminology, in particular theoretical contributions, essays, and empirical studies on issues related to policing (Exit Strategy: An Exploration of Late-Stage Police Crime), and cited by the National Review last year.
The research shows that police officers commit an average of 703 crimes annually, of which 113 were firearm violations. With 683,386 full-time law-enforcement employees nationwide during the time of the survey, there were about 102 crimes committed per 100,000 officers. These are still very law-abiding people, as you would expect. As comparison, within the total U.S. Population, the crime rate is 3,813 per 100,000 people.
However, the same data shows that concealed-carry permit holders commit 10.8 crimes per 100,000 people.
More the point, the 113 firearm violations committed by police equate to 6.9 per 100,000. Concealed-carry permit holders rate is 0.31 per 100,000. You are 22 times more likely to be a victim of a police officer than a permit-holder, so who are we afraid of?
Raimondo seems to acknowledge there is no logical reason for her actions and it is simply based on emotions by saying, “I’ve talked to many teachers who are scared,”continuing, “They say to me, we don’t know if our colleagues might have a gun. We don’t know if a parent, coming to a parent – teacher conference may have a gun.”
In other words, “many teachers” are so afraid of guns that the governor is compelled to restrict our rights. And since permit-holders were approved to carry guns due to their life or property being in peril, she is also willing to compromise their safety to placate those fears.
Unfortunately, those same people who are “triggered” by guns (pun intended), run the risk of being triggered outside of schools. Will Raimondo protect them there too? Where will it stop?
The reality is, if someone wants to commit violence at a school with a gun, they aren’t going to care what laws or policies are in place. If we restrict the freedoms of law abiding citizens to have guns, then only the criminals will have them. I know its cliché, but it’s true.
I suggest we govern based on research and fact, not on emotions and fears, or worse yet, political efforts to look Progressive just before a primary.
Now that school has started, lets educate students and teachers on how to make research based decisions, and, more importantly, we should teach them what happens to a country when the government starts taking away personal liberties based on fears.
This article was submitted to the Coalition Rhody Style ... Anonymously ... It's well written, provocative, and timely ... questions? firstname.lastname@example.org