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Web letter by Steven Weber: Central Noble’s embrace of guns indicator of deeper issues

I am a 1986 graduate of Central Noble High School. Until 2011, I had children who attended Central Noble Community Schools. I believe in the Second Amendment – I own handguns and have a concealed-carry permit. I believe society needs some form of gun control. I am not a member of nor do I support the National Rifle Association. I believe in putting solid thought into solid policy, which leads me to question the idea and the motives of Central Noble considering arming teachers.

I am assuming they wouldn’t consider something this drastic if they didn’t have reason to believe it was necessary. Have there been any student or parent surveys regarding the need? I would think the first question should be, “Do the parents/students feel the school is unsafe to the point that it is distracting students from their schoolwork?” This is an important question. I feel unsafe at my workplace and definitely feel any given day an employee or customer could lose it and go on a spree. Does it distract me from doing my work? No. Would I feel safer if there were guns at work? Absolutely not.

Is security at Central Noble currently insufficient? If Central Noble schools can’t depend on local law enforcement for protection, maybe the community has even larger issues that need addressed.

Which of the teachers get the honor and responsibility of being trusted with a gun? And if only some have guns, aren’t only some of the students better protected?

Central Noble Superintendent Chris Daughtry says, “It would act as deterrent for somebody thinking about entering a school.” If four guns would be a deterrent, wouldn’t 400 guns be an even bigger deterrent? Why just arm four teachers? Within that community are many kids who are hunters/sportsmen, born and raised around guns. These students know how to correctly use and handle guns. Why not guns for everyone? Why not start around the sixth grade with gun safety classes? If staff “special deputies” are a good idea, why not student “special deputies” too? If four guns per school would be safer than zero guns per school, wouldn’t one gun per person be even safer yet?

In reality, how much safer would the students be with armed staff? These attackers are getting smarter and showing up in armored protection, brandishing spray-and-pray weapons, and often bringing several handguns for backup. Really, how much is a teacher packing a 9-mm with 15 rounds going to slow down one of these assaults? If the basis of this idea is at least we would slow down an attacker, why would we wait until he gets into the school to slow him down? Maybe we should put fences and a guard shack around the schools like prisons. Make it so a would-be attacker can’t even see a student, and students could never see a possible attacker. Wouldn’t the students be even “safer” fenced and locked in? Is this the type of society we want to live in? Is protecting students really the goal? Is armed school staff really the answer?

After graduating from Central Noble, one of my first employers was an old-school guy who ran a service station. He had dealt with people every day for more than 40 years. He always told me, “People would treat each other much better if we all carried guns on our hips.” And, being a young kid right out of Central Noble High School, I always thought, “Maybe, but who would want to live in a world like that?”

STEVEN WEBER

Fort Wayne

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