Gun-Free School Zones Don’t Work

This letter is in response to the article entitled “Gun-Free School Zones” written by the members of the Oyster River Cooperative School Board. HB 564, an act allowing for “Safe School Zones”, will do nothing to ensure the safety of our children. 86% of public mass shootings took place in “gun free zones” from 2009-2016 (Crime Prevention Research Center). These zones only create soft targets with no ability to defend themselves. The article states “On the contrary, guns in schools create a more dangerous environment.” yet there is no data cited to back up this claim. It goes further to state “Prohibiting school personnel from denying access to individuals carrying guns effectively allows a would-be attacker to enter a school and access their target(s) unchecked until the moment they declare themselves a threat by committing an act of violence.”. This is based on the naive and dangerous assumption someone whose goal is to do harm will follow the law. Should teachers and other personnel be armed? If they are trained properly and vetted thoroughly it is a viable option for them. HB 564 will do no more than entrap a law-abiding person who inadvertently brings a firearm into a gun-free zone and turn our children into sitting ducks.