Letter To The Editor: Against Storing Guns On Campus

By SEAN E. LIMING 
Los Alamos
 
It has been announced that the school board has voted to allow the police chief to setup a secondary storage for a rifle and shotgun on both the middle school and high school property. I don’t recall a meeting for parent input on this matter being announced.
 
I have a few problems with this. As it stands, those weapons are already stored in the police officers patrol car, and while they are on duty are already armed with a pistol, two magazines, and a taser. I’m sure they also have pepper spray, and some type of baton. I don’t know of any input from parents who’s children attend these schools. 
 
Has anyone given thought to ensure that any rifle that is fired will not over penetrate and hit kids on the other side of walls. Handguns are less likely to do this.
 
And lastly, this is the same Chief that thought it was a good idea to apprehend a person they thought could be armed while at a church with kids there for a youth event. I talked to Chief Sgambellone after this event, as a parent whose child was in the building when this happened. He admitted it was a mistake. His idea was that officer safety was in the forefront. Because a church full of kids is a great place to go after someone who could be armed, not the parking lot, nor pulling him over after or before he left.
 
I don’t want my child going to a school where what amounts to an auxillary armory for the police department is stored. What message is being sent to our kids who attend these schools. That a secondary weapon source is required to keep them safe?
 
The school board should be ashamed for voting to allow this, and not passing along to the parents that this was going on. I myself will not stand for this. I am a gun owner, and while a police officer in the course of his job must be armed, this goes too far. It is my opinion that there should be a public hearing explaining both the Chief and the school board doing this. Furthermore, at our next election, any person on the school board that voted for this will not get my vote ever again.
 
There is no need for fear mongering, a shooting can happen at a school, but do we really want our children to think that storage of additional weapons is going to keep them safe? Is there a credible threat to the schools, because if there is, perhaps something else needs to change.
 
Editor’s note: The Los Alamos School has not yet voted on this issue. The police chief presented the idea to the school board, at a Thursday, Aug. 25 special session, after his school resource officers returned from a training program where the idea of storing firearms in a safe on school campuses was presented. The school board listened to the chief’s presentation and directed the superintendent to look into the matter. See: http://www.ladailypost.com/content/laps-ponders-storing-firearms-campus
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