The Battle Over School Carry in Virginia Continues
Article first appeared at Ammo Land.
Covington, VA -(Ammoland.com)- One of Wednesday’s veto override failures has made me believe that we need to approach school carry from a different angle.
Before continuing, let me make Virginia Citizens Defense League’s position clear: VCDL opposed the two bills that let judges carry in schools, without either a CHP or training, ON PRINCIPLE because we felt that if a judge can carry, so should the rest of us.
That said, we didn’t put up a fight and later in the session changed the status of the two bills to “neutral.” We did so because in our view the more lawfully armed citizens that can carry in our schools, the better.
That would include the judges; whether trained or not, with or without a CHP.
Virginia Citizens Defense League also believes that all of you, whether trained or not, with or without a CHP, should also be able to carry in a school – the Second Amendment and Article I Section 13 of the Virginia Constitution protects that right, regardless of what the U.S. Supreme Court has said in dicta (comments outside of an actual ruling).
Let’s start by looking at what happened at the veto override session:
For House Democrats, Gun Control For The Masses Is Clearly A Higher Priority Than Protecting Students
Wednesday’s General Assembly Veto Override session showed a stunning double-standard on guns by the House Democrats.
The same House Democrats who voted to allow untrained judges to carry on K-12 school property beginning on July 1 2016, voted NOT to allow school security officers to carry guns, even though most school security officers are usually retired, trained police officers!
Is your head spinning yet?
Why am I picking on the House Democrats and not the House Republicans? Because every Republican voted correctly and every Democrat voted wrong on arming school security officers, with almost all of the Democrats having supported judges carrying in schools.
Who Are The Double-Standard Culprits?
These are the House Democrats that voted for untrained judges to carry on school property, but denied the same ability to school security officers:
- Delegates Aird, Bagby, John J. Bell, Boysko, Carr, Filler-Corn, Heretick, Herring, Hester, Hope, James, Keam, Krizek, Levine, Lindsey, Lopez, Mason, McClellan, McQuinn, Price, Rasoul, Sickles, Sullivan, Torian, Toscano, Tyler, Ward, and Watts
The Senate never had a chance to vote on the bill arming school security officers, so we don’t know which of the Senators would also have had a double-standard. However, their votes on judges carrying in schools are going to be important in VCDL’s future fight over school carry.
These are the Senators, Republican and Democrat, who supported school carry by untrained judges:
- Democrat Senators Alexander, Barker, Dance, Deeds, Ebbin, Edwards, Favola, Howell, Lewis, Lucas, McEachin, McPike, Petersen, Saslaw, Surovell, Wexton
- Republican Senators Carrico, Chafin, Chase, Cosgrove, DeSteph, Dunnavant, Garrett, Hanger, McDougle, Newman, Norment, Obenshain, Reeves, Ruff, Stanley, Stuart, Sturtevant, Suetterlein, Vogel, Wagner
A New Approach
In looking at school carry, I now believe that we need to think of it as having two very different missions and with two different requirements:
1. Those who have a DUTY to protect everyone inside the school. That includes school resource officers, school security officers, responding conservators of the peace, responding police officers, and, perhaps, staff members
2. Those who are carrying for self-defense and who have NO duty to protect anyone else inside the school. That includes judges, Commonwealth Attorneys, CHP holders, and other lawful gun owners
In Virginia, private security guards who are responsible for the protection of others and carry a gun, are required to have special training to do so. So one could therefore argue that those carrying in a school with a DUTY to protect others should have some kind of training for that mission.
For everyone else (CHP holders and open carriers), they are already carrying a gun for self-defense everywhere they go and a school is really just a building with people in it, no different than a mall, movie theater, bank, grocery store, daycare center, etc. So no additional training, or even any training (a la judges) is really required. Those carrying for self-defense only are free to run away from gun fire and not towards it if they can do so. As a side benefit to the school, however, a gun owner who successfully protects himself or herself in an emergency may save countless other lives by having stopped a bad guy in his tracks.
School Carry Is A Top Priority For Virginia Citizens Defense League
Gun-free zones are extremely dangerous. The fact that we put our children in such a zone and expect 1) that one armed individual, who may not even be at the school full time, and/or 2) a “Gun Free School Zone” sign posted outside the school will somehow magically protect all the precious lives in an entire school is ludicrous. It also means that a regular citizen, who could protect themselves everywhere else, is left totally helpless for no good reason.
Virginia Citizens Defense League will fight this fight until we win it. It will have to be done in steps (first CHP holders and then everyone else). But the light at the end of the tunnel just got brighter!
About Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL):
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.
For more information, visit: www.vcdl.org.