Misc. Friday Ramblings...

Andrew Meyer (UF Tased student):
"Don't Tase Me Bro!"

  • Should teachers be allowed to carry?
    In court documents, she's known as "Jane Doe." Innocuous enough, but the woman behind that pseudonym pushes one of the nation's hottest political buttons: guns and school safety.

    What Ms. Doe wants to do is take her Glock 9-mm pistol to the high school in Medford, Ore., where she teaches.

    She's licensed to carry a concealed weapon and she has what many supporters say is a legitimate reason for being armed: a restraining order against her ex-husband based on threats he's allegedly made against her and her children.

    But district policy prohibits anyone except a law-enforcement officer from bringing a weapon onto campus. When word got out that she had a concealed-carry permit, administrators reminded her of that policy. There's the political rub: According to state law, "any element relating to firearms and components thereof, including ammunition, is vested solely in the Legislative Assembly."

    Backed by gun-rights groups, Doe intends to challenge the school district in state court this week. Meanwhile throughout the country, lawmakers are filing bills that would make it legal for adult school employees to carry firearms, in some cases providing special weapons safety training for those who want to be part of their school's security force in addition to their classroom teaching duties.

    Gun-rights groups and school boards around the country are paying close attention to the Oregon case.

    "There's a specific state statute that prohibits local governments, including school districts, from passing laws or policies prohibiting people from owning or possessing firearms," says James Leuenberger, the Portland, Ore., lawyer representing the teacher.

    "Jane Doe," who agreed to be interviewed by phone on condition of anonymity, says she does not want to be viewed as an "Annie Oakley." Trying to extricate herself from an abusive relationship led her to buy her first gun just a few years ago, she says. Prior to that she had not been an activist in defense of the US Constitution's Second Amendment provision regarding "the right to keep and bear arms."

    But as a veteran teacher, she has come to believe strongly that having responsible armed adults on campus could have prevented tragedies such as those at Columbine High School in Colorado, Thurston High School in Oregon, and Virginia Tech University last April.

    I'm for it. It would behoove any institution, not just one of learning, to make the safety of those people entrusted to it a high priority. Better yet, allow people to defend themselves. "Gun Free" zones are gun free only if people abide by the law.

  • Orem man shoots attacking pit bull.
    If John Erickson hadn't had his gun with him when a neighbor's pit bull attacked him, there's no telling how bad things might have been.

    Erickson, 22, was walking up to his house on 400 South near 700 West in Orem on Wednesday when a neighbor's pit bull bit him from behind. As he rode his scooter to his house around 8:30 p.m., Erickson saw the dog sitting calmly while a neighborhood girl petted it. Then he parked and took three or four steps toward his house when the dog bit him.

    "All of a sudden the dog grabbed my leg from behind," he said.

    He swung his scooter helmet at the dog, which backed off for a moment. But when the dog charged forward, Erickson, who has a concealed weapons permit, drew his 9-millimeter pistol and fired at the dog's head. Erickson said he worries about what would have happened if he hadn't been armed.

    "There's nothing I could've done. I couldn't run. There's no way I'm going to outrun it. There's nowhere I could go," said Erickson, a student at Utah Valley State College.

    At Erickson's request, no charges were filed against the dog's owner, said Orem police spokesman Lt. Doug Edwards. Vicious animal citations and letting dogs run free are misdemeanor offenses.

    "You can't allow your dog to run at large. It doesn't matter how they get off the property, whether it's a hole (in the fence) or a broken leash. Dogs can't run loose," Edwards said.

    CCW is all about being prepared. This just goes to show that it isn't always the human attacker you have to be on the lookout for.

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