April 22, 2011 2:27:00 PM
The latest Justice Department report on safety in our schools contains quite an understatement: "The presence of weapons at school may interfere with teaching and learning by creating an intimidating and threatening atmosphere."
Some parents, and a few students, at New Hope are feeling a little threatened and intimidated. Last week, a 10-year-old was caught with a gun at school. To threatened and intimidated, we add shocked -- how does a 10-year-old get his hands on a gun, and how does he get it to school without a parent knowing?
Thankfully, no one was hurt -- the gun wasn''t loaded, at least not when it was discovered. Things were more tragic in Houston, Texas, just this week. In that case, a 6-year-old brought a gun to his elementary school. The gun went off when he was playing with it, injuring four other students. The father claimed ignorance, saying he had no idea how his child got the gun.
No matter where you stand on Second Amendment rights, we all can surely agree that guns need to be kept out of the hands of children.
In the New Hope case, a 10-year-old now faces felony charges in Lowndes County Youth Court. We hope the adult responsible for leaving a gun where a young child can get at it, faces charges too.
Folks, keep your guns unloaded and locked up, with a trigger lock. More importantly, have the presence of mind each morning to know what your child is bringing to school. Most parents check their elementary children''s backpacks for their homework and other school work. Seems we also need to be checking them for weapons.
To those parents worried about a scourge of weapons on school campuses, know that these are rare incidents. In fact, they''re declining, both nationwide and in Mississippi, according to the Justice Department report. Less than 6 percent of high school students surveyed in the 2010 study said they took a weapon of any kind to school. In Mississippi, the number is lower, around 4 percent. (The number of students who carried a weapon anywhere also declined.)
That number should be zero, especially among elementary students. Our children deserve a safe, worry-free learning environment. Parents, get involved with your children, and know what they''re bringing to school.
mr. jordan commented at 4/22/2011 10:08:00 PM:
"The father claimed ignorance, saying he had no idea how his child got the gun."
Fine the father $5000 and put him in the slammer for 30 days and he might get a clue about how to secure his gun. Many others around town might do the same.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/23/2011 5:57:00 AM:
Here we go again. Yet another "have your gun unloaded and locked up" article. If you own a gun, you might was well go ahead and shoot yourself in the head with it now, because by the time you find it, unlock it, load it, and come back to whatever threat it was that sent you after the weapon in the first place, you'll probably have already been dead, or your family member will have been, for several minutes now.
You might was well have a brick.
People who advocate "empty them and lock them up" are exactly the kind of people who should never be allowed to own or handle one. If you are going to do all of that nonsense you might as well just stick your tongue out at whatever the threat is you're facing.
Another brilliant piece of journalistic crap Birney. Bravo. When can we look forward to your retirement?
mr. jordan commented at 4/23/2011 9:08:00 AM:
So you think a 10-year old bringing a gun to school is no biggie? Nothing to worry about? No responsibility on the gun owner for failing to secure his weapon?
zenreaper commented at 4/23/2011 2:19:00 PM:
I have a twelve year old. He SHOOTS my guns. He HAS a shotgun. He knows how to safely use them. He is familiar with their operation, and that they are a TOOL, to be used at certain times.
Lets be honest, WHAT interests kids more, something they KNOW how to use, are PERMITTED to use under supervision, and is fun to practice with, or something that is FORBIDDEN, locked up from sight and they are told NEVER to touch it?
mr. jordan commented at 4/23/2011 4:06:00 PM:
To you, I say, Andrew Golden and Mitchell Johnson of Jonesboro, Arkansas.
I presume you know who they are?
zenreaper commented at 4/23/2011 4:33:00 PM:
Mr. Jordan, they committed a CRIME. People will ALWAYS commit crimes. Look at the school massacre in China, where guns are prohibited. A man ran into the school and began killing people with a HAMMER. Do you propose we outlaw building tools? Jack the Ripper killed a number of people with a KNIFE, long before commercially available handguns were in existence.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/23/2011 4:41:00 PM:
Mr. Jordan, did you have access to a shovel when you were a kid? Did you kill anyone with it? I know you had a pocket knife, did you cut someone with it?
What I said was the kid was 10, how much intelligence are 10 year old children suppose to be given credit for? Anyone who knows anything would know children aren't mentally developed until the age of 15 with respect to having a "grown mind". Judging by some of the panic shown over this I think they may be wrong about the whole "grown mind" theory to some degree.
Do keep in mind the child brought an unloaded, unclipped, incapable of being fired gun to school. I'm not suggesting there shouldn't be consequences, but this was not Columbine.
As for children and guns, I was shooting guns when I was 5 years old with supervision. By the time I was 12 I was hunting in the swamps of La. with a 12 ga. shotgun on my own without any supervision at all. I never killed anyone, I didn't take it to school, and I never pointed it at anyone. Children can be taught to handle weapons, and in fact, years ago it was common for a "child" to handle one. Children growing up in the 1800's not only handled guns, and fired them, but often went hunting to provide food for the family. It wasn't a taboo item to them, and as such, didn't carry the "sneaky" aspect seen today by kids who smuggle them into school just to brag.
There are much bigger issues in this town you'd be far better served to worry about than a kid showing off an unloaded gun.
So in your mind Mr. Jordan, any kid who is touching a gun is going to go straight to the nearest school and shoot it up? Really? Out of the 100's of thousands of kids who touch guns yearly in this country, how many actually shoot up a school?
Hmmm...I guess that's your chance to start the "one is too many" chant.
mr. jordan commented at 4/23/2011 4:42:00 PM:
The point is to keep children from taking their parent's gun to school. This requires parents to take responsibility for securing their guns.
If they do not, sanctions, monetary and otherwise, might induce parents, in general, to make damn sure their guns don't walk.
mr. jordan commented at 4/23/2011 4:52:00 PM:
"So in your mind Mr. Jordan, any kid who is touching a gun is going to go straight to the nearest school and shoot it up? Really? Out of the 100's of thousands of kids who touch guns yearly in this country, how many actually shoot up a school?"
Speaking of which, how many armed home invasions have there been within five miles of where you live?
I have had none and there are probably a thousand homes within that radius. So what are my chances of seeing an armed home invasion?
Now explain why some of my neighbors have arsenals of AR-15s, pump-action shot guns, and a dozen hand guns sufficient to hold of an army platoon for a week for a danger that lurks mainly in their (male) subconscious but not in the real world?
zenreaper commented at 4/23/2011 6:39:00 PM:
Mr. Jordan, there are "child proof" tops on medicine bottles that I sometimes have to get my KIDS to take off for me. NOTHING can be secured enough to keep a CHILD out of it, and anyone who has kids KNOWS that.
"Now explain why some of my neighbors have arsenals of AR-15s, pump-action shot guns, and a dozen hand guns sufficient to hold of an army platoon for a week for a danger that lurks mainly in their (male) subconscious but not in the real world?"
You know one of the GREAT things about this country? I don;t HAVE to explain it, I just have a RIGHT to have them. As for home invasions, gee, about a year ago, there WAS a kid (Macon I believe his name was) running around breaking into home on a regular basis.
mr. jordan commented at 4/23/2011 9:47:00 PM:
"You know one of the GREAT things about this country? I don;t HAVE to explain it, I just have a RIGHT to have them."
You also have the right to wear nothing but a speedo to church tomorrow. We have the right to wonder how your mind works if you do.
Your fear of home invasion is exponentially exaggerated in your mind to justify your gun fascination and as an excuse to build an arsenal.
We have the right to ask why you need guns to face the world when most women an children do not.
zenreaper commented at 4/23/2011 10:59:00 PM:
Actually Mr. Jordan, I have two pistols, which I shoot for fun, and the rest of my long weapons are PURELY for hunting, shotgun, 30.06, muzzle loader, all used to put food on my table.
Of course, Mr. Jordan, knowing you hatred for weapons, I would be SURE to NOT use one to defend YOU if the situation ever arose. And remember, when SECONDS count, the police are only minutes away.
slimmons commented at 4/24/2011 3:49:00 AM:
The kids that are bringing the guns to school have obviously not been taught about the dangers of a weapon. My suggestion is, when you as a parent decide to own a weapon for any reason, teach the child about the dangers of handling it. I personally own a pistol for protection and several rifles and shotguns for hunting. I have taught my children how to properly handle a weapon for any reason. They are fully aware of the dangers that can come from not respecting the weapon. Will they take a gun to school to show off to their friends? I don't believe they will. We as a society have sheltered our kids so much and have excluded them from everything. Teach a child everything and without censorship. Tell them the dangers of life. Make them see that everything is not a video game and that there are consequences for your actions. Would a child that has been taught how to handle a gun bring one to school to show off? No! Would a child bring a knife to school if they were taught the dangers of handling one? NO! Parents, stop sheltering your kids. Stop treating them like they are babies and can do no wrong. Look back at when you were a child and see how much growing up has changed. Make the kids today see that for every action there is a reaction. This child should be punished for bringing a gun to school. He needs to be taught that his actions were wrong and that there is a reaction for them. And for the comment about checking the child's book bag before school, I check my kids bag everyday for signed papers, planners, homework..... but checking them everyday before school....I don't. I trust that my teachings and explanation about life have guided my kids to know right from wrong. They are not perfect kids and do get it the usual trouble at school but they know that doing so there is a reaction when they get home.
One last thing, the parents of New Hope. Would it matter one way or another if the school called you and told you as soon as they found the gun? No. You would have stayed at work or wherever you were. Knowing what happens does not change the fact that it did happen. Let the school handle the situation and when they have gather the fact, then let them inform you of the situation.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/24/2011 6:59:00 AM:
How many home invasions within 5 miles of me?? One that I know of for sure, and it was less than 400 yards from me. Group of men came to his door asking for someone else, when they couldn't get him, they opened fire on him through the door. I've seen the bullet holes, and heard the shooting.
The neighbors had someone breaking into their shed. The person next door had a lawn mower stolen from the carport. There was an armed robbery down by the "bread store" which is less than 700 yards away, and there was one at the Bowling Alley too. We had a "walk by" shooting not 300 yards from here, and got to watch the cops chase a guy up the street in a different deal.
And all this doesn't count the times I've had stuff stolen off the carport too.
Hell, I'm sorry Mr. Jordan, what was the question again??
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/24/2011 7:10:00 AM:
This is what I get for posting before coffee.
I forgot to mention being robbed at gunpoint myself years ago. I've also have a relative who was robbed at gunpoint many years ago. Would you feel better if these people had used a knife?
Mr. Jordan, you are a victim of your own ignorance and I'll tell you why I say this. If you will read the paper, you will see mugshots of people who don't know how to act in society. What you won't see is the number of ones who don't know how to act in society and haven't been caught yet.
If you will bother to research crime stats instead of blubbering out "well no one has robbed me yet so I don't see the need for guns" like a very uninformed fool you'll see it is a fairly dangerous world. And like the man just told you, and I assure you it is true, "when seconds count, the police are only minutes away."
And I'm also sure you are unaware of the thousands and thousands of people who survived attacks because they were armed. You can probably blame the slanted media coverage for that one, but these survivors are out there, and they are still there because they had a loaded gun handy and the guts to use it.
Now, I won't treat you as badly as Zen would, I'd come to your rescue, gun in hand, but I wouldn't pick your sorry butt up off the ground.
frank commented at 4/24/2011 9:43:00 AM:
How many more home invasions, robberies, burglaries, and muggings would there be if law abiding citizens did NOT have guns? How many crimes are prevented each day because the criminals realize that their potential victim MIGHT be armed? I would say thousands.
@slimmons: You said it better than anybody yet. What is missing in society is the moral compass. It is a parent's job to instill that in their children. Making a kid is easy, raising a kid is WORK. It is rewarding work, but work none-the-less.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/24/2011 2:23:00 PM:
And your comment about "we have the right to ask why you need guns to face the world when most women an children do not" really doesn't hold much water either.
In case you haven't noticed it, and I'm thinking you haven't, women do get attacked, raped, kidnapped, and in general assaulted every few minutes, and children get grabbed off the street to the tune of over 1000 PER DAY. So I don't know what world it is you are living in, or what color the sky is in that world, but you apparently don't know diddle about THIS world.
And did you also notice that while you were so desperately trying to make your feeble point there had been a home invasion in Starkville resulting in the home owners being beaten?
And do you remember Mr. Billie Joe Franks and his wife being "invaded" out towards New Hope a few years back, and how he was beaten but managed to fend off his attackers with a pistol?
Might be time for you to open them peepers Mr. Jordan, this isn't Kansas anymore.
mr. jordan commented at 4/24/2011 3:18:00 PM:
"In case you haven't noticed it, and I'm thinking you haven't, women do get attacked, raped, kidnapped, and in general assaulted every few minutes, and children get grabbed off the street to the tune of over 1000 PER DAY."
Actually, you make my point for me. Women are more vulnerable, yet men are far more likely to use guns for protection from perceived threats. Why would that be? Women aren't as smart as men? They are the more vulnerable yet depend far less upon guns. That is reality. My guess is their perception of threats is closer to the mark than males.
"I forgot to mention being robbed at gunpoint myself years ago. I've also have a relative who was robbed at gunpoint many years ago. "
I won't ask where you were hanging out to have this happen, but I sympathize if you have been victimized. I'm sure the world looks different to you than it does to me given your experience. However, I find the possibility of encountering such a situation miniscule.
"How many more home invasions, robberies, burglaries, and muggings would there be if law abiding citizens did NOT have guns? How many crimes are prevented each day because the criminals realize that their potential victim MIGHT be armed? I would say thousands.
I agree here. In some measure I am relieved of the need for a weapon because all you guys have one and any intruder will have to assume I do also. So, yes, in a sense I am freeloading off you.
frank commented at 4/24/2011 5:17:00 PM:
OMG Jordi agreed with me on something!
For what it is worth, in 2009 in Columbus, 1 in 15 people were victims of a reported crime and the crime rate was 11% above the national average. Jordi might like those odds but I don't. It is loaded and nearby.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/25/2011 7:07:00 AM:
Jordan, the only point you have is the one on top of your head. Your logic, if it can be called that, is childish at best.
Where I was when I was robbed is called "on the job". I was in a parking lot heading towards a business when the person walked up to me, put a pistol in my face, and asked for my wallet. Your snarky manner of asking where it happened suggests you think it was my fault as I must have been somewhere seedy.
Mr. Jordan, are you aware you're an asshat?
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/25/2011 7:10:00 AM:
And Jordan, your perception of women not using guns is junk. You're a fool.
Old Asian Proverb: never offer advice, a wise man doesn't need it, and a fool won't take it.
Mr. Jordan, the latter covers you well.
mr. jordan commented at 4/25/2011 10:08:00 AM:
"And Jordan, your perception of women not using guns is junk. You're a fool."
Perhaps, but tell me what percentage of NRA members are male vs. female? Why is the "weaker" sex less dependent upon guns? What do they know that you do not? Or, what are you afflicted-by that they are not?
lateral caudal nidopallium commented at 4/25/2011 12:06:00 PM:
Mr. Jordan, I don't consider myself a gun collector nor do I consider myself dependent on the one gun I do own, but I find myself disagreeing with your characterization of people, males in particular, who own firearms. To answer your references to the predominance of males who own and use firearms and whether that comes from, as you say, a dependence or affliction, I offer my humble opinion.
Firearms are basically machines; tools, devices, pieces of hardware. A vehicle can kill, a circular saw can kill, a hammer can kill, there are million dollar sports organizations built around the marksmanship involved in the shooting and ability to handle firearms.
If one wants to point to male dominance in owning and operating different types of machinery, the Commercial Dispatch recently published a story on men who own and collect farm tractors. I wonder how many women enjoy that hobby? How many women vs. the number of men collect vintage muscle cars, old pickup trucks, old woodworking tools, old vintage radios, etc. and so on. Honestly, can anyone say the predominance of one gender over another in collecting or owning something is an affliction or a dependency?
And as for why men? How many women vs. the number of men have been to war as active duty combatants, trained with weapons and have used them, carried them, learned to take them apart and reassemble them in the dark, honed their marksmanship skills and, yes, even depended on them at times to save their lives, the lives of their comrades, to serve the nation and those who don't wear a uniform and who don't have to learn to use a weapon and walk the point or defend the hill?
Perhaps that is why more men are comfortable with firearms than are women. Just a thought, a humble opinion. Maybe others have differing views or can expand on what you and I have posted.
roscoe p. coltrain commented at 4/25/2011 2:46:00 PM:
There's no perhaps to it. And I'll not be quizzed by you either. You want to know the membership, I suggest you go look for it.
Again, your logic is childish. I don't do childish. And I don't do internet trolls either.
zenreaper commented at 4/26/2011 5:31:00 PM:
Mr. Jordan, perhaps if you looked at the thought you had from the OTHER direction, you would see. Women are SEEN as more defenseless because they AREN'T likely to carry a firearm. Of course, anyone who mistooke my Momma like that, would be eating the lead from the .380 I got her for her birthday.
1. Home Base: Fake news cuts both ways LOCAL COLUMNS
2. Our View: Mayhew: From bees and beer to a center for education DISPATCH EDITORIALS
3. Patrick Buchanan: Who truly imperils our free society? NATIONAL COLUMNS
4. Voice of the people: Saul Vydas LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (VOICE@CDISPATCH.COM)
5. Editorial cartoons for 9-20-17 NATIONAL COLUMNS