Tuesday, January 29, 2013

My remarks to Jessamine Co. School Board

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak tonight. I have been an engaged, sometimes critical, but ultimately very satisfied parent customer of Jessamine County Public Schools continuously since 1995. I have about six years left with my youngest child here and we appreciate you giving me a couple of minutes of your time.

I'm here to address an issue that has become rather incendiary in recent weeks due to national events. That issue is child safety in our schools. As you know, Jessamine County Schools' policy matches state law in effectively banning possession of firearms on school property. What you may not know is that state law also allows district school boards to change their policies to allow parents and teachers to carry weapons inside the walls of our school buildings.

I'm here to request that you make that change. There is a reason that mass shootings usually occur only in gun free zones. That's because people with ill intent are not concerned about state laws those of us who are trying to be law-abiding citizens choose to observe.

I expect there will be a process of persuasion required to widely gain a better understanding of this subject before we see action. Opponents are already making their voices heard in opposition to re-thinking this issue. They come up with all kinds of nightmare scenarios they say would result from taking this step to better protect our children. The President of the United States has already weighed in against it. But the truth is we could take all kinds of precautions to both pro-actively protect our children and to prevent accidents. We could expand policy to perhaps include only concealed carry permit holders, who undergo substantial gun safety training. We have been fortunate in Jessamine County to have had no school shootings. In all likelihood, expanding policy in this way will result in the number of school shootings -- currently zero -- staying at zero here. Allowing us to carry guns in the schools will serve merely as a deterrent to would-be attackers.

The difference between current policy and this proposed change is that we will stop a dangerous gun ban that stops only those who would protect our children. I hope to encourage school districts across the state to expand policy in this way to better protect our children to send a message not only to attackers here but to set an example on child safety for the nation. It would be nice to see my home district lead the way. I will follow up with board members here and ask that you carefully consider the safety needs of our children in your decision-making. Thank you.