Let’s keep guns out of our schools

To the Editor:

While I am a staunch supporter of our Second Amendment, I, like many other Milford residents, was shocked to learn that the Federal Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994 does not apply to adults in our great state of New Hampshire.

We all believed that schools were the one place no one could carry a firearm or weapon of any sort.

A month ago, with a front page article in The Cabinet, our naive assumption was quickly made apparent.

Yes, that means that any parent, employee, vendor or visitor to any one of our primary or secondary schools across the state may legally carry a loaded weapon into the school while children are in class. Is this really what the majority of decent and responsible citizens want? I believe it is not.

The superintendent stated at one of the recent School Board meetings that if anyone is seen with a weapon in the school, all personnel have been instructed to immediately follow lockdown procedures. How will abruptly ending all teaching and going into more unplanned lockdowns affect the studies and well-being of students in our local schools? If they become excessive, will we have to keep track of the time taken for these and add them to the end of the year as we do snow days? Could these increase our already sky-high property taxes?

This week,our state senator, Gary Daniels, has co-sponsored SB12, a bill that repeals the concealed carry gun permit enirely. Currently, this permit is processed by town police departments and costs an individual $10 for a permit lasting four years. Those who have the permit may carry a loaded weapon in their vehicle or concealed on their person. Should this “Constitutional Carry” bill become law, the permits will no longer be required and no one will know who is hiding a loaded firearm in their vehicle or on their person. Think of the potential danger this bill poses for our students – no one will know who is now potentially hiding a loaded firearm on their person until it is too late.

Do we honestly feel comfortable sending our children to a school where any adult or recent graduate may legally carry a loaded Glock under their coat or Ruger in their purse? Do they know how to use their weapon, have they had any training? Do they have any underlying mental condition? Are they feeling particularly stressed out? Are they under the influence of alcohol or drugs? Do they suffer some form of PTSD, or have they just had a particularly bad day? Or, have they merely forgotten it in their tote in a classroom where a child might find it?

Police departments have strict policies and extensive training with regard to firearms and when an officer can or cannot use a gun, while ordinary citizens need no license or training in order to purchase and carry one. This above all else is an excellent reason to keep all weapons out of schools save for the police.

Please, let your local representatives know how you feel about this critically important issue – please contact your representatives, ask them to oppose SB12 and keep all weapons out of our schools.

Jennifer Siegrist