Stand up for teachers and kids

Please take a few minutes to call the president of the Ohio Senate, Senator Larry Obhof and ask him to hold hearings on Senate Bill 260 which was introduced on Feb. 20, 2018 by Senator Skindell of Lakewood and Senator Tavares of Columbus. The bill has not been assigned to a committee for hearings at this time.

Senate Bill 260 calls for a ban on the sale or possession of assault-style weapons in the State of Ohio for other than police or military use. The bill does not ban other types of guns such as handguns or hunting rifles.

The bill also bans the sale of magazine cartridges that contain more than 10 rounds.

Senator Obhof’s phone number is 1-614-466-7505. You will be asked to leave your name and the county in which you reside. No other information will be requested of you. Please do this one thing for the sake of our children and our communities. You may also want to call our Senator from the 30th Ohio Senate District, Senator Frank Hoagland. Senator Hoagland’s phone number is 1-614-466-6508. Ask him to do what he can to bring this bill to hearing.

After you make your calls take a few minutes to reflect on the ways that the teaching profession has changed since you were in school. When I attended school there were poor children but we didn’t expect schools to feed and clothe them. We had “resource” people but they were librarians, school secretaries and homeroom mothers. The very idea of anyone bringing a gun to school was beyond our imagination.

Now, serious people are suggesting that arming teachers is the ONLY way to make our schools safe. I hope we can think of something else. I truly believe that we can if we are persistent. I believe the vast majority of Americans favor sensible gun regulation, universal background checks and more mental health services.

The issue of school safety is merely an extension of community safety and arming our schools might prevent some deaths while causing others. If we are going to arm school teachers are we then going to post guards at all playgrounds, movie theatres, shopping malls or anywhere that human beings gather?

I have visited Mexico and this is pretty much what they do, outside the confines of the resorts. To look at only one aspect of the problem is to make the issue simpler than it is. Do we need more mental health services and more people willing to become involved in a positive way? YES, we do. Do we need universal background checks that include “gun show”? Yes, we do.

We also need sensible gun regulation that does not contradict the Second Amendment. The Supreme Court has already made a distinction between the right to own “a gun for personal defense” and the right to own a “weapon of war.” If you think there are no differences, please read the account of the ER doctors who treated the recent victims in Parkland, Fla. They were the same doctors who treated the six victims in the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting. In the case of the airport shooting, a handgun was used. All six victims survived.

I have spoken with veterans who have used assault rifles and they attest to the devastating wounds that these type of weapons leave, i.e., “exit wounds the size of oranges”. We only need look at the response of the Parkland, Florida Resource Officer; who stayed outside, to see that arming teachers with a handgun and expecting them to confront a person armed with an assault weapon will not work. Even a police officer feels out-gunned in such a situation.

To achieve safer communities and safer schools we need to speak out against the Gun Lobby which pours millions into our elections and, in some cases, appear to “own our legislators.”

I believe that George Washington would be appalled to see how some in our country are using the Constitution and our political system to make money for themselves.

If the gun manufacturers had their way every man, woman and child would have at least one gun ON their person and many more stored at home. Can you imagine what a walk in the park would look like then?

Teresa Porter