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Learning Curve

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Choice? Choose gun-free schools

I was going to write today about results of the latest Hoosier Survey by Ball State's Bowen Center, showing fewer Indiana residents support the expansion of school choice than they did a year ago, before the nation's largest school choice experiment began.

But in the wake of the shooting massacre at a Connecticut elementary school, it seems like a trivial subject. What good would school choice do for those Newtown parents whose children didn't come home from school today?

In terms of priorities, state lawmakers should be ensuring children are safe at school. Is there any Indiana lawmaker willing to step up and call for sensible gun laws? Why are they not willing to wait on public schools to improve, but seem to have all the time in the world to excuse continuing gun violence?

Unfortunately, Indiana lawmakers are likely to exert more effort expanding the voucher program – survey results be damned – than give any consideration to keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous and disturbed individuals.

Gun-control supporters need to adopt the single-issue litmus test used by pro-life voters. If a candidate doesn't support reasonable gun limits, he or she should not be elected. It's a pro-life issue, after all.

Karen Francisco, editorial page editor for The Journal Gazette, has been an Indiana journalist since 1981. She writes frequently about education for The Journal Gazette opinion pages and here, where she looks at the business, politics and science of learning as it relates to northeast Indiana, the state and the nation. She can be reached at 260-461-8206 or by e-mail at