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ISRA wants to arm teachers, janitors

Tuesday, Dec 18, 2012

* Sun-Times

One of Illinois’ leading gun-rights advocates urged state lawmakers Monday to pass legislation that would give school districts authority to arm school principals, teachers and even custodial staff with concealed weapons.

“The problem we have is a gun-free zone. We have a gun-free zone around a school. Every crazy person knows that. And so, the gun-free zone is like a magnet for the lunatics. He or she knows there won’t be any resistance there,” said Richard Pearson, executive of the Illinois State Rifle Association.

Pearson told the Chicago Sun-Times that lawmakers should pass a school-safety bill next spring, including the concealed carry authority for educators, as a response to last Friday’s Connecticut school shootings.

“There are a couple of issues. The first issue, of course, is had there been a security guard there who was armed, this wouldn’t have happened,” he said, referring to the Newtown shootings.

“Had there been a teacher who was armed, this wouldn’t have happened.

* But the Tribune points out an important fact

Among the statistically safest places in this country: the 132,000 schools where we send 55 million of our children. And in the two decades since school violence peaked, those schools have been getting safer. Hurt a school, we wrote Sunday, and you hurt us all. But like commercial airline crashes, school assaults dominate our consciousness in part because they are so rare.

* From the Poynter Institute

The Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice points out: “A 2010 report on school safety found that during the school year 2008/2009 there were 38 school-associated violent deaths — in a population of about 55.6 million students in grades prekindergarten through 12.”

The same report said, “This report also noted that 83% of public schools reported no serious violent crime; 13% of public schools reported at least one violent incident to the police. The rate of serious violent crime at school was 4 (per 1,000 students) compared to a rate of 8 away from school.”

NPR reported, “School violence in the U.S. reached a peak in 1993, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That year, there were 42 [total] homicides by students and 13 ‘serious violent crimes’ — rape, sexual assault, robbery and aggravated assault — per 1,000 students at primary and secondary schools. By 2010, the latest figures available, those numbers had decreased to two homicides and four violent crimes per 1,000 students.” Update: After a commenter pointed out the implausibility of 42 homicides per 1,000 students, we checked the NCES data. The total number of homicides during the 1992-1993 school year peaked at 34. NPR is updating and correcting its story as well.

* Other stuff…

* Gun company’s shares are in line of fire - California Treasurer Bill Lockyer may order pension funds to pull investments, and Wall Street sells off stock.

* ‘Django Unchained’ premiere canceled after Newtown shooting

- Posted by Rich Miller        


163 Comments
  1. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:26 am:

    Again, let the ISRA lead the debate.

    I look forward to hearing more of their reasoned, educated and intelligent contributions.


  2. - Former Downstater - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:27 am:

    If there are police officers who are killed by guns while serving warrants or trying to break up a domestic disturbance, why does anyone believe that a school teacher or janitor is automatically going to be able to shoot and stop an intruder in a school? I think gun proponents have watched too many movies where the good guys are all perfect shots and there’s never any collateral damage.


  3. - 1776 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:30 am:

    Can’t wait for the 6 year old to grab the gun from the teacher’s desk to play with it.


  4. - amalia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:31 am:

    interesting to read that Richard Pearson and Todd Vandermyde were called out by name in an editorial (Daily Herald) on concealed carry as not helpful in the dialogue because of inflammatory comments which the editorial quoted which were made by both group leaders. but don’t know which I abhor more, those comments made in public now (ISRA), or going dark (NRA) and avoiding defending their strong views.


  5. - Anon. - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    Interesting article http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/12/18/15977143-gun-control-offers-no-cure-all-in-america?lite


  6. - Oh Yeah - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    As the father of a young child in a downstate community, this really seems like a reasoned and sensible approach to the situation: let’s arm the elementary school teachers and janitors. I guess next they’ll be proposing to arm the nurses and janitorial staffs at nursing homes and hospitals. What a sad sad joke and commentary. Any of our legislators who even think about sponsoring such legislation should be ostracized and heckled. This is sickening and insulting.


  7. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:36 am:

    So statistically schools, which are gun free zones are actually safe the vast majority of the time. Now the ISRA wants to arm teachers because this will somehow deter someone who is willing to shoot themselves on a rampage? For their own sake the ISRA should think before they talk.

    Of course my favorite quote is “had there been a security guard there who was armed, this wouldn’t have happened,”… unless someone shoots the security guard.


  8. - Endangered Moderate Species - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:37 am:

    The ISRA is it’s own worst enemy. Now is not the time to fan the fire of the anti-gun folks.


  9. - Past the Rule of 85 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:39 am:

    The only thing arming school staff will guarantee is an increase in the carnage at the next school shooting. Giving someone a weapon along with a couple of hours of training is not enough. It’s a lot different to shoot at a paper target than at a human being who is shooting at you. Fortunately, I have never been in that position, but I have been in life-or-death situations as an EMT. We had weekly training and constant on-the-job training with non-life threatening calls. Still, in the pressure and intensity of such a moment it takes all of that training and more to do the job. When you add the mass confusion, screaming children and bullets flying through the air I don’t think it will end well.


  10. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:41 am:

    Is the ISRA actually happy about the idea that teachers might need to be armed?

    I mean, I guess we can try to have a rational debate about the idea, but really? This is where we want to go?

    Just once I’d love to see the ISRA and NRA propose some strong measures to keep guns from getting to criminals and the mentally ill, intead of always going down the arm everyone route.


  11. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    If your argument is that schools are safe statistically, then there is no basis for either side to be claiming action is needed.


  12. - In 630 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:44 am:

    The ISRA argument seems to be built on that bizarre fantasy/delusion that somehow arming people turns them into James Bond and that the key to safety is armed vigilantes.

    Never mind actual facts about safety. Have to fan the flames of paranoia and sell more guns. I’ve always wondered how much NRA money comes from gun manufacturers, they’re a hell of an advertising arm.


  13. - elginkevin - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:45 am:

    I’m a member of ISRA, and I’ll be the first to say this is just silly. We should not expect principals and teachers to do anything other than administer schools and teach our children, though I understand it’s a lot more complex than that and principals do have some responsibility to make sure that schools are secure. If we need armed security in schools, we should hire people to provide it.


  14. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:50 am:

    So if statistically, a school is one of the safest places in the US, then why is there this flurry of activity for another round of gun control?

    While the ISRA may be on the extreme end of the debate, hardening of ’soft targets’ merits some discussion. We as a society have decided that hardening public building, court rooms and airports is a valuable technique in providing safe places. Do we make vault like entrances into the schools, so one cannot shoot one’s way in or do we provide some combination of lethal/non-lethal defensive capability. Weapons in a school are clearly a hard sell and have vast amounts of potential liability. Non-lethal devices such as tasers or even pepper spray have the ability to delay/distract a bad guy for a longer time than an unarmed adult.

    Just the knowledge that schools are as defensible as the nearest traffic court may be all we need to shift the focus of the crazies to the next weaker target.


  15. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:50 am:

    During the school day, District 186 has a police presence at the controlled entrance to every high school. Seems to work …


  16. - Yossarian Lives - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    Absolutely right on, Former Downstater. Guns aren’t magic wands. They don’t always produce the intended result (in this case, killing or disabling the shooter). People get caught in the crossfire, people shoot themselves in the foot, people misplace their guns (see Exhibit A: Sen. Trotter) or accidentally leave them loaded or decide to play hero instead of getting themselves and their charges to safety. Sure, it’s possible a teacher with a gun could have prevented the number of deaths we saw in Connecticut, but I can’t imagine the risks don’t outweigh the potential benefits.


  17. - rusty618 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:54 am:

    My wife is a teacher at a grade school. Yesterday she had to discipline a student for bad behavior. As he sat in chair by himself, he pretended to shoot the rest of the students, then finally my wife, the teacher. Maybe he saw too much of the media coverage, but she wonders what kind of person this child will grow up to be. My wife is a gun owner and an experienced shooter. She is not opposed to teachers being armed.


  18. - TooManyJens - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:55 am:

    As if teachers don’t have enough to do, the ISRA wants to add “barely-trained security guard” to their list of duties. To say nothing of the rank insanity of having guns within reach of children.


  19. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:57 am:

    - she wonders what kind of person this child will grow up to be. -

    Sounds like probably an ISRA member…

    Kidding, but I couldn’t help it.


  20. - JoeVerdeal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:58 am:

    A police presence in the schools would do the same thing…..at greater cost.

    Practically speaking, I am not sure that I understand why teachers and janitors who go through a certain amount of training would not do as good a job as police officers in such situations.

    In my part of Southern Illinois, we already have armed police in our schools. This serves to make our schools into targets that are less “soft” and vulnerable.

    If I am willing to put my kids safety in the hands of our schools, why would I not support the idea of giving school staff the tools needed to deter psychopaths?


  21. - Cheryl44 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:01 am:

    The ISRA wants to arm union members? You’d think they’d be against that.


  22. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:04 am:

    If the shooter chose the school because it’s gun-free and there would be no resistance, why bother with the bullet-proof vest?


  23. - MrJM - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:05 am:

    I can’t believe that ISRA would want to arm public school teachers. Why just this fall, I was told public school teachers were all Union Thugs.

    So confusing…

    – MrJM


  24. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:14 am:

    “Had there been a teacher who was armed, this wouldn’t have happened.”

    Anyone believing this nonsense should immediately be stripped of any weapons they may own. A teacher trying to face off an armored terrorist spraying bullets at ten-plus per second? Sure, that’ll work.


  25. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:16 am:

    –So if statistically, a school is one of the safest places in the US, then why is there this flurry of activity for another round of gun control?–

    There is no “flurry” it’s been an ongoing debate for some time.

    And these massacres have been happening at universities, places of worship, movies theaters, shopping malls, businesses, etc. for some time.


  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:22 am:

    –In my part of Southern Illinois, we already have armed police in our schools.–

    I hadn’t heard that before. Where is that, what schools, what prompted it?


  27. - The Captain - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:24 am:

    “Had there been a teacher who was armed, this wouldn’t have happened.”

    Actually the first person the shooter interacted with and killed that morning, his mother, was the most heavily armed of anyone and it did no good so I don’t buy this argument. Some people have just seen Die Hard too many times I guess.


  28. - Crafty Girl - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:29 am:

    ““Had there been a teacher who was armed, this wouldn’t have happened.”

    Yes, maybe armed teachers would have brought down the gunman.

    Or maybe frightened, paniced armed teachers with little training would start shooting at everything that moved, including each other and responding police officers. And even more lives would be lost.


  29. - MrJM - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:37 am:

    Sometimes I don’t believe anyone could take the Mayan Apocalypse foolishness seriously — but then I remember that there are people who claim that more guns at schools is the answer to gun violence at schools.

    – MrJM


  30. - Bemused - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:38 am:

    Thinking back to my days in school. Yep the guy mopping the floors is the one I want packing heat.


  31. - Wensicia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:39 am:

    ==I hadn’t heard that before.==

    We’ve had a full-time, armed police officer at each of our high and middle schools for many years in my Lake County community. Mainly because of the high level of gang activity. At the report of criminal or armed suspects in the vicinity of any school, we immediately go to lockdown status.


  32. - Illinoismom - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:41 am:

    I’m not understanding why weapons-trained members of the Illinois National Guard can’t be assigned to protect schools… let’s bring them home from Afghanistan & other hotspots around the world & have them deal with DOMESTIC issues, which is what I thought the purpose of the National Guard was anyway! Sad to think an armed presence is necessary to provide protection for our schools but obviously, that’s what it’s gonna come down to. Regardless of gun-control laws that will only regulate law-abiding citizens, the bad guys will still have their arsenals!


  33. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Arm the teachers. Exactly how would that work?

    1) We would need to ensure proper training. Would weapons training would become part of the required college curriculum? Would this be an endorsement on the teacher certificate? The curriculum is full already, how does this fit in? What isn’t taught?

    2) Parental choice. Could parents opt their children out of a classroom with an armed teacher?

    3) Would all teachers be armed, or just the ones that chose to be? If the latter, wouldn’t those teachers become targets? Wouldn’t the school then be obliged to require all teachers be armed?

    4) What types of guns would the teachers carry? Would it be the teacher’s choice or the school’s choice?

    5) What would the protocol be if an incident were to occur? At Sandy Hook, many lives were saved because the teachers immediately locked down the classrooms and hid the children. Is the priority to draw their weapons and find the offender or lock down and hide the kids? If the former, the children remain vulnerable; If the latter, how would this change anything?

    6) Where would the gun be kept? On the teacher (loaded and ready to fire at all times or unloaded and locked up? If the latter, what good would it do in an incident that would play out in seconds? If the former, how safe is that in a room with 20-30 kids?

    ==As he sat in chair by himself, he pretended to shoot the rest of the students, then finally my wife, the teacher.==

    Frankly, this shows exactly what is wrong with the idea. What if this kid had ready access to a gun in the classroom? The teacher cannot watch every student at every moment.


  34. - Chevy owner/Ford County - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:42 am:

    Good Lord. Why don’t we just arm the students too while we’re at it?

    If only little Suzy would have had an AK-47 in her desk…..


  35. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    I can’t say it better than this:

    “But what troubles me most about this suggestion — and the general More Guns approach to social ills — is the absolute abandonment of civil society it represents. It gives up on the rule of law in favor of a Hobbesian “war of every man against every man” in which we no longer have genuine neighbors, only potential enemies. You may trust your neighbor for now — but you have high-powered recourse if he ever acts wrongly.

    Whatever lack of open violence may be procured by this method is not peace or civil order, but rather a standoff, a Cold War maintained by the threat of mutually assured destruction. Moreover, the person who wishes to live this way, to maintain order at universal gunpoint, has an absolute trust in his own ability to use weapons wisely and well: he never for a moment asks whether he can be trusted with a gun. Of course he can! (But in literature we call this hubris.)

    Is this really the best we can do? It might be if we lived in, say, the world described by Cormac McCarthy in The Road. But we don’t. Our social order is flawed, but by no means bankrupt. Most of us live in peace and safety without the use of guns. It makes more sense to try to make that social order safer and safer, more and more genuinely peaceful, rather than descend voluntarily into a world governed by paranoia, in which one can only feel safe — or, really, “safe” — with cold steel strapped to one’s ribcage.”

    That’s from Alan Jacobs in yesterday’s The American Conservative. Go read the whole thing.

    http://www.theamericanconservative.com/jacobs/two-thoughts-about-guns-risks-and-safety/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=two-thoughts-about-guns-risks-and-safety


  36. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:43 am:

    Before anyone sponsors such legislation he or she should do a little research on how Rosemary Kurtz came to first have a seat in the Illinois House.


  37. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:47 am:

    wordslinger @ 10:22 am:

    - I hadn’t heard that before -

    I’ve mentioned a police presence in Springfield public high schools at least twice in the past two days. An officer is at the one unlocked / controlled entry point during the school day. It is as much a community policing / outreach program but it seems to work. Been going on at least 10 years I know of.


  38. - davidh - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:48 am:

    What a contemptible idea.
    1) What new tax would the ISRA support to fund the system required to arm, train, and monitor teachers with weapons?
    2) Apparently the fantasy thinking required to consider this a “good idea” also blinds ISRA leadership to the fact that teachers and schools currently are buried under an avalanche of new requirements and mandates. How about a little respect for what teachers already do, and especially for the heroism of those in CT? That would be more meaningful than trying to make them pawns in your scheme to infiltrate guns into every last nook and cranny of society.


  39. - Johnny Q. Suburban - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:50 am:

    My mother, both grandmothers, and sister are all teachers. I got news for you IRSA- you can give them all the guns in the world but I know none of them would ever feel comfortable using one.


  40. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:01 am:

    Hey, hazardous duty pay for teachers! And, let’s shift the cost of that to the school districts as well. Awesome!

    Let’s face it, folks. The ISRA represents gun owners in name only. Every proposal coming from them has one purpose, to increase the sales volume of weapons. Every “they’re going to take our guns” e-mail alert has a “buy it now before its too late component.” Sorry, but its time to call them on their motivations. If we let marketers define policy, we deserve the nonsense we’ll get.


  41. - Skirmisher - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:02 am:

    The cops in my county are so incompetent and careless with firearms that we had to ban them from any training excercises at the local gun club in order to safeguard the neighbors. If the members of the police union can’t handle a weapon safely and competently, what in the world makes anyone think that the membership of the teachers’ union will manage to do anything other than shoot themselves in the foot or wreck the blackboards? What an absolutely absurd and irresponsible proposal!


  42. - Anon-amiss - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:05 am:

    —Why would I not support the idea of giving school staff the tools needed to deter psychopaths?—

    What makes you think that the “psychopaths” would be deterred? These individuals are obviously not assessing situations logically, and usually at the end of the shooting, they usually take their own life. In other words, they arent exactly fearing that they themselves will be killed by a teacher or janitor packing heat.

    To me, the issue is not deterrence, but protection. As I stated yesterday, if we want to be serious about protecting our children, school districts should pay for metal detectors, xray machines, and an armed POLICE presence in our schools.


  43. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:10 am:

    >>>>>The ISRA represents gun owners in name only.

    I object to that. I’m a member.


  44. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:12 am:

    Mental health issues are going to be too hard to work with given the current status of the advocates who work on progressive issues like community programs and lessening the role of the locked psych unit. Community programs are a nice idea on paper but we should understand that if a pt declines the services they can not be effectively forced upon the pt in the community with current laws. If a pt refuses Rx, how do you force it while the pt is on the streets? What would that look like? How do you force a mentally ill person to attend therapy sessions or training programs. There have been some pilot programs in the past but compulsory attendance is unsustainable. In reality, we can NOT know what lies in the heart and mind of anybody, let alone a mentally ill person. Do the best we can and there will still be tragedies like this one.

    Reducing the capacity of firearm magazines may have some effect but I don’t think anyone here believes that a person will decide not to go on a rampage because they have to reload more often. An AW ban will not have the intended impact. A feel good law that would not prevent a madman from going on a rampage.

    We can assuage our fears by saying that this event is a rare one. The horror when it does happen makes us all take notice and we will grapple with it like we are doing now.

    Yesterday, 47th Ward said something about a constitutional amendment to 2A. I wonder what that would look like? Got a preliminary draft, Ward?


  45. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:14 am:

    Can’t wait to see what a school district’s insurance policy costs would be after all the staff get guns.
    Talk about your cost shifts.


  46. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:19 am:

    ===Got a preliminary draft, Ward?===

    I am not in favor of it, but I suggested it as a long and complicated remedy for those who want to pass anti-gun legislation.

    But I’ve since done some more reading on it, and maybe an amendment isn’t needed. Jeffrey Toobin has some ideas along these lines, that politics more than the law or the constitution, have subverted the meaning of the 2nd Amendment. Maybe we just need another justice or two.

    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/comment/2012/12/jeffrey-toobin-second-amendment.html


  47. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:19 am:

    –An AW ban will not have the intended impact–

    The intended impact would be banning assault weapons.

    Anything you could back to reduce risk? Or is it all beyond our capacity to reason?


  48. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:24 am:

    Oh, and Dan, I realize this is a fairly wide ranging subject, but would you care to share with us your opinion on whether Illinois should have teachers and school janitors carry firearms?

    I think it’s one of the dumbest ideas ever put forward in a serious debate. How about you?


  49. - Sideliner - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:28 am:

    The NRA and ISRA need to let the discussion happen, and not try and get in front of it just to get run over by it.


  50. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:29 am:

    This arming of teachers idea would certainly put an end to the TRS reform proposals.


  51. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:35 am:

    –We can assuage our fears by saying that this event is a rare one. The horror when it does happen makes us all take notice and we will grapple with it like we are doing now.–

    What’s your definition of “rare?” And how would you suggest we “grapple” with it?


  52. - olddog - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:39 am:

    @ Endangered Moderate Species 9:37 am
    - The ISRA is it’s own worst enemy. Now is not the time to fan the fire of the anti-gun folks. -

    Too late, that horse is already out of the barn. If activist judges are going to force some kind of “well regulated militia” on the rest of us, we ought to at least regulate the @#$%^&! militia.


  53. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:41 am:

    ==I don’t think anyone here believes that a person will decide not to go on a rampage because they have to reload more often.==

    True, but as they pause to reload, potential victims have a chance to escape. The point is to make it less easy to carry on uninterrupted.


  54. - walkinfool - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:45 am:

    If I had any doubt, this put me over the edge of never believing anything Pearson or the ISRA ever recommends. Todd as an NRA advocate, is never this stupid.

    This whole gun advocacy movement,(not most gun owners themselves),is a blinding political sickness, has become a catch-all replacement for true patriotism, and has overtaken rational discussion. As the best Conservatives know, it represents a step back from modern civil society.


  55. - Insulted - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:58 am:

    20 kids lose their lives and this is what Pearson says? SMH He should be ashamed of himself. This will come and bite him.


  56. - Dozer - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:02 pm:

    hmm the classy responses from anti-gunners:

    http://freedomoutpost.com/2012/12/liberals-call-for-murder-of-nra-president-members-repeal-of-second-amendment/

    Seems Cops have the same line of thinking As Mr. Pearson does:

    http://www.examiner.com/article/st-louis-county-police-chief-questions-wisdom-of-schools-as-gun-free-zones


  57. - Ahoy! - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:04 pm:

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the NRA and the IRSA were actually part of the solution? Also, wouldn’t it be nice if both groups saw that taking common sense action to help reduce gun violence is in their long term best interest? Or is that thinking too far ahead?


  58. - Cook County Commoner - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:31 pm:

    Does Israel experience the same level of gun violence in its population as does the US? I don’t think so. And I suspect that guns are readily available in Israel considering mandatory military service for just about everyone and its political situation, especially in the settlements. So availability may not be the issue homed in on by many.
    An article I once read described a robust Israeli mental healthcare system, originally especially set up to deal with war related mental trauma.
    Instead of speculating whether a security guard or armed teachers would have precluded the Newtown tragedy, I’m more interested in knowing whether an excellent, accessible mental healthcare system in the US would have avoided the tragedy.


  59. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:37 pm:

    – And I suspect that guns are readily available in Israel considering mandatory military service for just about everyone and its political situation, especially in the settlements–

    They are highly regulated. It’s hard to get and keep a gun in Israel.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2012/12/14/mythbusting-israel-and-switzerland-are-not-gun-toting-utopias/


  60. - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:39 pm:

    *** The intended impact would be banning assault weapons. ***

    Please provide a definition of “assault weapons”. No snark. I am serious. If you are going to ban something through legislation, you have to be able to define it.


  61. - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:48 pm:

    Can anyone verify (please cite a credible source) that the Bushmaster rifle was actually used in the shooting? I have read several articles, including the police chief’s initial report, that state that the rifle was found in the trunk of the shooter’s vehicle after the fact.


  62. - Springfieldish - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:50 pm:

    John Jacob….

    As a member, you ought to be furious at the mutation of a once honorable organization such as the NRA and its state affiliates to what they now have become. There was actually a time when they favored restrictions on small, concealable weapons. They stood for the sportsmen. But no longer. They use the interests of sportsmen as a vehicle to promote expanded sales of all weapons of virtually any caliber, muzzle velocity and magazine capacity. The personal arms race is just way too profitable to ignore. My Richland County relatives were members for three generations, since before World War II. But no longer and not for a decade. Real sportsmen are offended by the ISRA’s links to websites such as AR-15.com. The pendulum swung too far. It is past time to bring it back from the fringe.


  63. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:52 pm:

    === Please provide a definition of “assault weapons”. No snark. I am serious. If you are going to ban something through legislation, you have to be able to define it. ===

    Good luck - the level of technical naivety regarding firearms displayed by some of the more rabid and prolific posters here the last few days is astonishing.


  64. - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:54 pm:

    That is my point…


  65. - Boone Logan Square - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 12:56 pm:

    Why isn’t the Sun-Times getting quotes from less bloodthirsty organizations like the Latin Kings?


  66. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:00 pm:

    47th Ward, if you read my post you would know my suggestion in the matter of who, if anyone, should be carrying firearms in a school. I think teachers should be teaching. Janitors? I remember the janitors in my school - one was as old as the hills. No, I don’t think teachers or janitors should be encouraged to carry firearms inside a school.

    Word, you mention the idea of banning assault weapons. Does that mean you intend that to confiscate all AWs that are in private hands currently? Do you really think that is possible? If you put into place an AW ban that would prevent the sale of any new AWs, do you think that would prevent such a tragedy from happening again?

    I mentioned several things in my post that could reduce risk. You don’t respond to any of them - you just respond to that which you can highlight as potentially inflammatory. Howsabout reading my post again and considering what I wrote?

    Grappling with a horrific tragedy? Word, I would think I would be insulting you if I were to suggest ways to cope with unspeakable tragedy. There are thousands of books on the subject. You don’t need me to suggest any. Perhaps you are looking for more concrete ways to grapple with the tragedy. My post mentioned some ways. Not perfect - but then if you are looking for the magic, well I won’t use that word, then you are looking for something that doesn’t exist. There is no practical way of eliminating risk in our society. Risk exists in the world. Managing or limiting risk is what folks do every day. In the abstract, it makes for interesting discussion and debate. In the real world, we see the horror that can unfold. I don’t pretend to know the solution to that. I think knee jerk reactions, while understandalbe in the present, do not make for good public policy in the long run.


  67. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:06 pm:

    Pot, that is what I intimated in this, and other, posts. While we may feel good, in the abstract, that reducing the capacity of the magazine, we will still face the horror of some folks being slaughtered while they cower in terror. I can’t bear that thought. Some practical means to protect the most vulnerable are in order. Why, then, do some who post here continue to latch on to the more inflammatory aspects of a post instead of focusing on the gist of it?

    Realizing that there is more than one thread on this subject today means that my posts on the other thread are not available here. I support the limit on the capacity of magazines for just the reason Pot made - it can lead to a moment where the monster has to reload giving those nearby an opportunity to act. The shooting in Arizona is one example that comes to mind.


  68. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    If the answer to more gun violence is more guns, then the answer to more fat is more food.


  69. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:10 pm:

    –I mentioned several things in my post that could reduce risk–

    I re-read it, twice. What would those be?


  70. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:14 pm:

    - If you put into place an AW ban that would prevent the sale of any new AWs, do you think that would prevent such a tragedy from happening again? -

    Yes dd, all of us who support an assault weapon ban are idiots that think that’s the magic solution to all such tragedies. Get a grip.

    The idea is fairly simple, if we ban assault weapons going forward, there will be less of them in the future than there would have been without a ban.

    As time goes by, this means it becomes harder for criminals and mentally ill folks to get these guns. Not impossible, but more difficult.

    Is this really a tough concept?


  71. - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:19 pm:

    *** If the answer to more gun violence is more guns, then the answer to more fat is more food. ***

    Actually, we need to ban all spoons and any cereal bowl exceeding the capacity of 12 ounces. Anyone with a BMI of 26 or higher is not allowed to own a fork or any product sold by Ron Popeil on late-night cable. Finally, we should require background checks on anyone looking to purchase bratwurst, beer or chocodiles.


  72. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:22 pm:

    The patronizing attitude of your post, STL, is palpable….and of little value. Do you think I will be sufficiently cowed that I would surrender?

    Really, if you read the paragraph I was posing to wordslinger, you would see the entire thought. But, parsing has always been a favorite hobby of yours, hasn’t it? Reread the post again. I was trying to find out if worslinger was suggesting a total ban on AWs, including confiscation - or if he was suggesting a ban on new weapons. That you would believe that banning the sale of new AWs would, in time, reduce the availability of AWs seems to ignore the basic human nature. People want what they can’t have. People will get what someone doesn’t want them to have. Banning drugs hasn’t worked, why do you think banning AWs will?


  73. - Abe the Babe - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:25 pm:

    “Actually, we need to ban all spoons and any cereal bowl exceeding the capacity of 12 ounces. Anyone with a BMI of 26 or higher is not allowed to own a fork or any product sold by Ron Popeil on late-night cable. Finally, we should require background checks on anyone looking to purchase bratwurst, beer or chocodiles.”

    Show me the cereal bowl, fork, or Ron Popeil product that killed 20 children in less than a minute and i will be right there banning all of them.


  74. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:27 pm:

    Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ has a scene where the fat deputy and buddies run from a building to chase Clint and his partner. They are firing their guns with no aim control because the recoil jerks their hands all over the place. Unless those teachers and janitors have regular practice, they will do the same. What a dumb idea.


  75. - geronimo - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:36 pm:

    Seems to me that more guns for everyone doesn’t make for fewer shootings. But I have to wonder, we hear about the mass shootings………….in Elgin a teacher was stabbed…..there was recently a poisoning of a teacher’s coffee…..is this one of the most dangerous jobs? Do accountants have to deal with this? Does anyone keep track of assaults/crimes commmitted upon school personnel?


  76. - Ruby - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:37 pm:

    Better School Security Systems - Not More Guns


  77. - Slick Willy - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    *** Eastwood’s ‘Unforgiven’ has a scene where the fat deputy and buddies run from a building to chase Clint and his partner. They are firing their guns with no aim control because the recoil jerks their hands all over the place. Unless those teachers and janitors have regular practice, they will do the same. What a dumb idea. ***

    Really? Citing a Hollywood western as justification for opposing a proposed solution to school shootings?


  78. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===Please provide a definition of “assault weapons”.===

    I would start with the language that was in the federal ban signed by Clinton. Is that good enough for you?


  79. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:44 pm:

    >>>>> …NRA and its state affiliates to what they now have become. There was actually a time when they favored restrictions on small, concealable weapons.

    How is that a good thing? That kind of attitude caused an NRA member revolt.


  80. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:49 pm:

    What seems to be overlooked here is that students eventually leave the school en masse, i.e. board school buses. A person intent on doing harm can do so then, or at a school athletic event, or at a park, playground, church, funeral service, soccer fields; any place where people gather. Despite our difficulty in trying to process an irrational act, our reactions need to be rational and thoughtful. When the Colorado shootings took place, people weren’t proposing to arm the ticket takers and concessionaires.


  81. - geronimo - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:52 pm:

    As I read back on today’s posts, I don’t know many of you have ever worked in a school. Obviously, the latest mass shooting–Thank God—is very rare! However, on a daily basis across at least this state, there are “legal” issues dealt with by counselors, deans and the officers who are now permanent employees in the jr. and sr. high schools (at least so in the suburbs). With relatives employed in suburban high schools (and one rural), I can tell you stories that would make you change your statements that schools are safe places. The public is not notified of every event, most espeically because those committing the offenses are protected because they are minors. If you only knew……


  82. - Recidivist - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:55 pm:

    == I would start with the language that was in the federal ban signed by Clinton. Is that good enough for you? ==

    If I’m not mistaken, the Bushmaster 223 used in the shooting in Newtown would not be classified as an “assault weapon” in the federal ban signed by Clinton.

    Is that good enough for you?


  83. - Lay Person - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:01 pm:

    Security Officers with weapons training could be employed at the district locations. I believe per-sons should not be allowed to buy assault weap- ons, but pistols, rifles and shot guns are an individual right under the U.S.Constitution.


  84. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:02 pm:

    - Do you think I will be sufficiently cowed that I would surrender? -

    Huh? I responded directly to one of your questions, what more do you want?

    As to human nature, I just don’t see a lot of people changing their mind about assault rifles and wanting them once they become illegal. I suppose I could be wrong, but it’s a tough scenario for me to imagine.


  85. - Plutocrat03 - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:04 pm:

    Since guns are not the solution to violence, why are we paying through the nose to provide armed security for the politicians who wish to place restrictions on law abiding citizens.

    I would prefer to pay money to protect the kids rather than our politicians.


  86. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:06 pm:

    @Crafty Girl: You have utterly discounted the selfless ciourage shown by at least four of the five women murdered at the school. They either attacked an active shooter though empty handed or interposed themselves between the shooter and the children in their charge.

    Do you really believe these women would have panicked if armed? Nonsense! They did not panic when defenseless.


  87. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:12 pm:

    ===Is that good enough for you?===

    Whether that particular weapon is included or not, the Assault Weapons Ban that Clinton signed seems like a good place to start the conversation about defining which weapons or types of weapons or characteristics of weapons we should not make readily available to the public. The world didn’t end during the decade this ban was in place. If Pat Quinn and Rahm Emanuel want to introduce it at the state level, then the federal language seems like a good place to start the conversation.

    Can I assume you agree?


  88. - Cincinnatus - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 1:43 pm:

    ===Please provide a definition of “assault weapons”.===

    “I would start with the language that was in the federal ban signed by Clinton. Is that good enough for you?”

    Not really since that ban had named weapons. It is easy to manufacture a similar weapon with a different name and beat the ban.

    The very phrase “assault weapon” is loaded with incongruity. Perhaps a reasonable ban describes the attributes (i.e. automatic fire, flash suppressors, etc) and perhaps includes some language about magazine size (still waiting to hear Todd’s thoughts on this) and call it a day. I do not believe ANY additional bans or definitions will be proven effective in decreasing anything but the anxiety levels of people who think we need to do something in face of the evil in Connecticut. Perhaps we should ban Kool-aid in light of the Jonestown massacre?

    Yesterday, I posted a study undertaken by the Secret Service that talked about why places like schools get hit. They are “soft targets” where gunmen know there is little, if any, chance of encountering armed opposition. Some professionals think the Aurora shooter skipped several theaters nearer his house than the one he chose because they were the only one with a specific prohibition agains weapons in the theater. While I think that mandatory arming of school staff is beyond serious consideration, keep in mind that Secret Service report.

    BTW, thanks for giving me the benefit of the doubt yesterday, 47th. I am just trying to probe the extremities of the debate to encourage discussion and highlight some interesting recent studies about mass murder.


  89. - Sunshine - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:20 pm:

    Teachers with guns. Kinda makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. Had that been the case in my day at elementry school, I likely would have been the one to cause my teacher to break and start shooting.

    Arming teachers, and janitors, is a bad, bad idea.

    I can just hear the announcement over the PA System “Will all teachers K through 6 report to firing range three and teachers 7 through 12 please report to tank training on the old football field.” Practice will be immediately befollowed with gifts and refreshments from the INRA>


  90. - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:28 pm:

    Slick, yeah maybe a western, but I have been in situations just like that and watched people spray bullets in a general directiion. Not pretty.


  91. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    ===Not really since that ban had named weapons.===

    Not really Cinci, since in addition to named weapons, the ban included a list of characteristics that would also cause a weapon to be banned, like bayonet mounts, flash suppressors, folding stocks, etc.


  92. - Tommydanger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:29 pm:

    People need to slow down and take a deep breath. The ramifications to arming teachers are more significant than is being portrayed. Retrofitting classrooms with a lock box. Training/certifying teachers to handle and discharge the weapons. Annual recertification and range practice. The effect on current teachers, i.e. how many would retire or refuse the requirement that they be armed. The impact on the pool of applicants for future teaching positions. The liability/cost of insurance for having guns on the premises. The cost of purchasing weapons and ammunition. The additional personnel costs coming through the collective bargaining process for teachers to assume this new responsibility. The fact that such a change in working conditions would have be subject collective bargaining. Need I go on?


  93. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:35 pm:

    ===Need I go on?===

    No, I think the consensus here is that the ISRA idea floated in the Sun Times is the dumbest idea ever. A close second might be Megan McArdle’s idea that children should be trained to rush an armed intruder to minimize the number of casualties.

    I kid you not.


  94. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    @Pot 10:42:
    1a) …proper training” Let the legislature decide the training requirements just like we will for general concealed carry.
    1b) “… curriculum.” Probably not; see above
    1c) “… endorsement..” Probably not; see above
    1d) “… how does this fit in?” Again, up to the legislature
    1e) “What isn’t taught?” Currently, I don’t think any of this is taught to teachers…
    2) “Parental choice…” Perhaps but why would you? The armed teacher standing between your child an an active shooter with a bead on his nose would be much more likely to survive as would your child if that is his teacher.
    3a) “..all…” I hope so; see above.
    3b) “…become targets?” I doubt it for two reasons. First, the shooter wouldn’t know in advance which were armed. Second, even if he does, he would need to take engage them before the “lockdown” took effect. That is possible but not likely, as demonstrated the other day.
    3c) “…obliged…” I would hope they would volunteer but they are now required to be defenseless.
    4a) “What types…” Currently undecided.
    4b) “…choice?” Police departments have found standardized weapons are a good idea. Why would this not be so in this case?
    5a) “…protocol…” Probably the same as at Sandy Hook plus the guns, afterward.
    5b) “…priority…” Probably the same as at Sandy Hook. The teachers had time to hide children; it is reasonable to think they would also have had time (less than 2 seconds, I would guess) to turn toward the door and draw.
    6a) “Where…” On the teachers’ persons, covered. We are talking concealed carry, after all.
    6b) “…on the … person or locked up?” On the teacher; your next question answers this.
    6c) “…what good…” Precisely; see above.
    6d) “…how safe…” I would expect it to be safe. Do the kids currently paw or otherwise physically molest their teachers? I would hope not. If so, the practice would need to stop.

    “Frankly, this shows” how little you have actually thought about this. The teacher will not be licensed to lay a loaded gun down in a public location any more than any other concealed carry licensee is.


  95. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:42 pm:

    STL - you think folks would stop wanting AWs after they would become illegal. You weren’t paying attention during the last ban, were you?

    47th Ward, yes - there were attributes of certain types of weapons that were part of the ban. The folks who wanted certain weapons found a way around them. That’s what humans do.

    Really, now, the whole “the world didn’t end during the decade this ban was in place” statements are really worthless. The type of change that would take place does so over large chunks of time - 10 years is nothing. Why is it that folks believe this kind of statement is anything more than just sanctimony?


  96. - Endangered Moderate Species - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:43 pm:

    Gun rights vs. gun control is one of the most passionately debated subjects in politics. It is extremely difficult to deter someone who has made up their mind to commit an act of human destruction. The history of the world is lined with chapters of how individuals and civilizations with weaponry advantages overcame those without. The good guys are not always winners. A bully does not stop being a bully until someone stands up to him. Taking away the guns of law abiding citizens will not solve our difficult dilemmas. Our societal challenges are much deeper than the gun control debate.


  97. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:45 pm:

    Cincy,

    I appreciate your post re the Secret Service research. I wonder if there will be much response to that. It is more fun to throw invective out than to debate the issues thru logic and thoughtfullness.


  98. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    For those discounting the deterrent effect of armed teachers, please consider that by the time teachers take an active role in one of these incidents, deterrence has already failed.

    Deterrence is not the object of arming anyone at the shooter’s target location. The object at the target location is stopping the shooter by any means available.


  99. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:48 pm:

    - you think folks would stop wanting AWs after they would become illegal. -

    That’s not what I said. You implied that even more people would want assault weapons if they were banned. I simply said I didn’t see that being likely.

    I said in my original post that people would still want and get assault weapons if they were made illegal. All I’m saying is that banning them should make that process more difficult, which I think would be a good thing in the case of criminals and the mentally ill.


  100. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:51 pm:

    Dan, the ban only lasted a decade becuase it was passed via reconciliation since no Republicans could be bothered to vote for a common sense law. If it’s no big deal, why do you strongly oppose it? What’s the harm? If, as you say, people will find a legal way around it, why do work so hard to stop the discussion? Throwing up your hands crying “it won’t work” isn’t sanctimonious?

    And maybe if we got a permanent ban, in 20 years or 30 years, we might see some benefit? Although by then, our flying cars will have laser weapons, and we’ll probably be fighting about those too.


  101. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:16 pm:

    === - zatoichi - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 2:28 pm: Slick, yeah maybe a western, but I have been in situations just like that and watched people spray bullets in a general directiion. Not pretty. ===

    Really now? Do tell.


  102. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:17 pm:

    John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt:

    >>>>> …NRA and its state affiliates to what they now have become. There was actually a time when they favored restrictions on small, concealable weapons.

    How is that a good thing? That kind of attitude caused an NRA member revolt.

    The Cincinnati Revolt was a coup d’état against moderates by radical conservative activist leaders in the NRA who were advocating a new interpretation of the Second Amendment, not your rank and file “NRA member” taking control.

    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2012/04/23/120423fa_fact_lepore?currentPage=all
    http://www.vpc.org/nrainfo/chapter2.html


  103. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:24 pm:

    –Perhaps we should ban Kool-aid in light of the Jonestown massacre?–

    That’s helpful. Is that invective, or logic and thoughtfulness? Or am I parsing words (like they should mean anything).

    I didn’t see your link. I did find this Secret Service Study, the Safe School Initiative, which doesn’t mention anything that I can find about attackers choosing schools as “soft targets.”

    Instead, 73% of school shooters had specific targets in mind, administrators or students at specific schools. The same percentage had felt bullied and even more had gone through personal loss or failure.

    http://www.secretservice.gov/ntac/ssi_final_report.pdf


  104. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:27 pm:

    === That’s not what I said. You implied that even more people would want assault weapons if they were banned. I simply said I didn’t see that being likely. ===

    AR15 ownership took off tremendously during the Clinton era ban.

    I don’t think the typical anti realizes just how many shooters own at least one AR15-type weapon. They’re light, accurate, pleasant to shoot (mostly because they chamber a low powered cartridge) and are easy to maintain.


  105. - Sir Reel - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:28 pm:

    The number of posts here that say a step such as regulating magazine capacity isn’t worth it because there would still be killing is sad. Of course there would still be killing, just less which is a worthwhile goal. As mentioned, reloading gives people time to hide, escape or overpower the shooter. Fewer deaths is better than more. Saying there would still be deaths is akin to saying there’s no need for traffic laws because there will be traffic deaths.


  106. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:30 pm:

    - AR15 ownership took off tremendously during the Clinton era ban. -

    Were they included in the ban?


  107. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:33 pm:

    === Were they included in the ban? ===

    Yes, they were - and people adapted by building ARs that met the requirements of the ban. Smaller mags, no flash hider, no barrel lug, etc.


  108. - Colossus - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:34 pm:

    Every time I hear about arming teachers, I think about the kindergarten (1st/2nd/3rd grade) teachers I know. Do you really think any significant portion of this group is going to be capable, competent, and cool under fire? They’re not cops, they’re not soldiers, they’re not mercenaries, THEY’RE KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS!


  109. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:37 pm:

    - Smaller mags, no flash hider, no barrel lug, etc. -

    That seems to me to be a positive effect of the ban, right?


  110. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:49 pm:

    STL & 47th Ward - what Ken in Aurora said. People adapt. They get creative. They find out ways around the regulations. That’s what humans do. If you want to ban the AWs, go ahead if it makes you feel better. Just don’t delude yourself that it will make the kind of difference you hope for. And that’s what I thought we were debating - ways to prevent these kinds of horrors. I think it a waste of time to debate things will ultimately only serve to make folks feel better.


  111. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:51 pm:

    =- Smaller mags, no flash hider, no barrel lug, etc. -

    That seems to me to be a positive effect of the ban, right? =

    Oh, Prunella. If it makes you feel better, STL, you just keep holding on to that. Really, other than the smaller mags, what other item there would prevent the tragedy such as we witnessed last week? Parsing the parsing.


  112. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:54 pm:

    –And that’s what I thought we were debating - ways to prevent these kinds of horrors. I think it a waste of time to debate things will ultimately only serve to make folks feel better–

    No one’s arguing prevention, but ways to ultimately reduce risk.

    And it’s not a waste of time to debate it, except to those who wish to keep the status quo for selfish reasons regardless of the risk to society.


  113. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 3:57 pm:

    - what other item there would prevent the tragedy such as we witnessed last week? -

    Why do you keep putting words into my mouth? Did I say it would have prevented the tragedy?

    I think some members of law enforcement would be happy about those modifications, if I were to guess.


  114. - TooManyJens - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:07 pm:

    ==Really, other than the smaller mags, what other item there would prevent the tragedy such as we witnessed last week?==

    Requiring gun owners to effectively secure their guns?


  115. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:08 pm:

    “I think it a waste of time to debate things will ultimately only serve to make folks feel better.”

    From this can I posit that you’re for legalizing drugs. The War on Drugs has done nothing, but it makes people “feel better” about the drugs problem in America, as if it were a solution.


  116. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:09 pm:

    ===And that’s what I thought we were debating - ways to prevent these kinds of horrors.===

    Thanks Dan. In fact, as you’ll notice from the title of this thread, this particular debate was about the ISRA plan to arm teachers and school janitors. Your first comment strayed from the subject just a wee bit to the larger question you continue to ask.

    No one is suggesting an Assault Weapons Ban or other reasonable gun control measure will prevent future tragedies like Newtown. But given the choice, as framed by ISRA, whether more guns is a solution, or by others here, that perhaps fewer guns and/or more restrictions, is a solution, you’re right in a sense that neither will solve the problem.

    But if the debate is a free for all, armed society, mutually assured destruction form of deterrance, that’s not a society I’d like to live in. I can’t imagine that more guns, on top of the 275 million out there already, will solve anything. I do believe we need to make sure, to the extent possible, that only well trained citizens have access to guns, with severe penalties for misuse, is a step toward a more peaceful society.

    But I’m glad you’ll no longer oppose the effort of Illinois to ban assault weapons. That’s a positive development. I’m glad we could find common ground on one small step.

    Just kidding, I also agree with a lot of what you originally wrote about mental illness and other factors that contribute to defective human beings going on killing sprees. I’m not anti-gun, I’m anti-massacre and there are a lot of pieces to the puzzle.

    I would just prefer it if you didn’t rule out one of the smaller pieces in your quest for a perfect solution, a solution you also say doesn’t exist. It’s going to be incremental and a long slog. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.


  117. - amalia - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:12 pm:

    anyone else remember that video from the first year of SNL? .”Show us your guns.” it is a really great mocking piece on the casual use of weapons. can’t find it on line, but it is quite compelling.


  118. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:13 pm:

    Really, STL, parsing doesn’t become you.

    =The idea is fairly simple, if we ban assault weapons going forward, there will be less of them in the future than there would have been without a ban.

    As time goes by, this means it becomes harder for criminals and mentally ill folks to get these guns. Not impossible, but more difficult=

    What, pretell, is the reason for doing this, if not to somehow prevent another tragedy from happening? Why engage in the ban at all unless you are somehow seeking to have some impact on the behavior of some target group of people?

    Really, STL, I would NEVER want to put words in your mouth. Your own words are sufficiently insufficient.


  119. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:15 pm:

    ==Banning drugs hasn’t worked, why do you think banning AWs will?==

    LOL What a silly comparison. For one, it is much harder to make your own gun.


  120. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:17 pm:

    - What, pretell, is the reason for doing this, if not to somehow prevent another tragedy from happening? -

    To hopefully decrease the overall number of people killed by guns. Is this really that tough?


  121. - Pot calling kettle - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:28 pm:

    Jeeper, I appreciate the careful attention you gave my post. Unfortunately, through your parsing, you clearly missed the broader point.

    Schools are not an appropriate place to have lots of loaded weapons. Professionally, teachers are already mastering and then keeping current in their subject as well as in teaching and in new mandates from above. They spend their days focused on teaching a classroom of up to 30 (or more) children and teens. Asking a teacher to become an armed guard as well is simply foolish and would cause a much more dangerous situation than the current one.

    If you don’t believe me, volunteer as an aide at one of the many overcrowded schools in the state and report back on how arming the teacher would make anyone safer.


  122. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:36 pm:

    Thankfully, STL now agrees with dupage dan on the subject - the purpose of banning AWs is to prevent another tragedy like last week from happening. You’re right, it’s not that tough.


  123. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:37 pm:

    === That seems to me to be a positive effect of the ban, right? ===

    How? The only thing that could have had even a small effect was the mag capacity, and that would have been minimal at best. What difference does having a flash hider (which protects the shooter’s vision) or a barrel lug (which allows mounting of accessories) have on anything?

    Now, as for that shoulder thingy that goes up…*

    * Satire


  124. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:41 pm:

    Don’t forget that pistol grips would also be banned Ken. And if this is really no big deal for gun owners, why do you oppose it so stridently?


  125. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:42 pm:

    Ken in Aurora, There does not seem to be a purpose to the posts of STL other than to confound and obfuscate. Otherwise, why parse the language in such a tortuous manner?


  126. - reformer - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:43 pm:

    Unfortunately, mass shootings are more common in the USA than in any other nation. The fact that such shootings in schools have declined since 1993 provides cold comfort.


  127. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:44 pm:

    @Pot: I did not miss your point. I attempted to show it was an invalid point. Despite your reaction, I believe I did.

    Persons at the point of impact are the only people that can stop one of these situations. Last Friday, the police are reported to have been on scene in 5 minutes. At Northwedtern (I think) and the Immigrant Assistance Center (Vermont? New Hampshire?) the police were on scene in under 3. Yet the killing was already done. Lanza reportedly killed himself soon after he heard the approaching sirens.

    Minuted 0-5 (or whenever the police arrive and enter the scene) the intended victims are on their own. Is “defenseless” the best we can do?


  128. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:47 pm:

    === - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:41 pm: ===

    Where did I say it was no big deal? What I said is that it had no real effect on crime which is the main reason the sunset was barely opposed by people that actually consider facts instead of dogma.

    Also, did you actually read the 1994 ban? Pistol grips weren’t prohibited.


  129. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:49 pm:

    47th Ward,

    The whole issue of the AW ban is a distraction. It serves very little purpose except for folks to be able to say that the NRA is peopled by lunatics who won’t even accept an AW ban. All the while, the killings go on for lack of focusing on the reasons for the killings and the strategies that could make the school less likely to be targeted and/or less vulnerable. Drop the whole AW ban thing for a moment and respond to other suggestions, please. The AW ban isn’t the be all and end all even by your own admission (”No one is suggesting an Assault Weapons Ban or other reasonable gun control measure will prevent future tragedies like Newtown”).

    What say you?


  130. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 4:57 pm:

    ===The whole issue of the AW ban is a distraction.===

    I’m calling b—s—. I said it was a small piece of the puzzle. It’s a step toward getting some small measure of control. We had it in place for a decade and we have the ability to reinstitute it without undue harm to anyone’s rights.

    It’s not a distraction, it’s a policy suggestion that does *something* instead of *nothing*. I don’t believe doing nothing is OK and I certainly don’t believe an AW ban is anywhere close to enough, but it’s forward progress. Go back and read my original comment on this thread ask yourself what kind of society you prefer to live in.


  131. - dupage dan - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:02 pm:

    =The fact that such shootings in schools have declined since 1993 provides cold comfort=

    Ok. Less shootings provide cold comfort? So, what is your point? Perhaps you could opine as to the reason why they have declined. Is there something to learn from that? I don’t get it.


  132. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:03 pm:

    Google is your friend Ken.

    `(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/F?c103:1:./temp/~c103MKeSaA:e644150:


  133. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:10 pm:

    === It’s not a distraction, it’s a policy suggestion that does *something* instead of *nothing*. ===

    I’d prefer that they do something that has a measurable effect. Addressing mental illness and developmental disabilities in the community would be a much more appropriate response.

    Knee jerk feel good legislation is an inappropriate response to mass murder tragedies.


  134. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:11 pm:

    ===Where did I say it was no big deal?===

    C’mon Ken, in addition to your Google problem, do you have a memory problem too? Because at 3:33pm today, you said:

    “and people adapted by building ARs that met the requirements of the ban”

    Where is the harm to gun rights supporters? How is an AW ban unreasonable?


  135. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:14 pm:

    === Google is your friend Ken. `(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon; ===

    Google might do you some good, too. Try taking the whole section in context rather than cherry-picking something to support your arguement:

    `(B) a semiautomatic rifle that has an ability to accept a detachable magazine and has at least 2 of–

    `(i) a folding or telescoping stock;

    `(ii) a pistol grip that protrudes conspicuously beneath the action of the weapon;

    `(iii) a bayonet mount;

    `(iv) a flash suppressor or threaded barrel designed to accommodate a flash suppressor; and

    `(v) a grenade launcher;


  136. - Ken_in_Aurora - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:18 pm:

    === C’mon Ken, in addition to your Google problem, do you have a memory problem too? Because at 3:33pm today, you said:

    “and people adapted by building ARs that met the requirements of the ban”

    Where is the harm to gun rights supporters? How is an AW ban unreasonable? ===

    You’re not here to discuss, you’re here to argue. Sorry.


  137. - Observing - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:21 pm:

    I can’t believe ISRA is so cynical that they think this is a solution, when all it is is a way to create a buffer against the government doing anything to curb possession of a large number of guns are high powered and have huge magazines. Those guns don’t mean a positive thing to our society. It just lets crackpots kill more people more quickly.


  138. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:23 pm:

    I am apparently readaing challenged or just plain lost..

    The headline of the post at the top of this thread is “ISRA wants to arm teachers, janitors” so why are we spending so much time discussing an AW ban?

    It would be different if the AW ban idea had not been tried already OR if it had actually worked. It HAS been tried and it DID fail.

    Let’s talk about something that either has not been tried OR that worked when tried…


  139. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:24 pm:

    Well, if by arguing you mean asking simple questions of AW ban opponents, I guess you’re right.

    If you think my questions are tough, wait until you hear from some of the anti-gun people in Springfield. Consider this practice because, at least on the state level, the AW ban is coming soon.


  140. - Anon - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:24 pm:

    Some other ideas:
    We lived in Virginia in the 80’s, schools had metal detectors.
    A school district in Texas has policy of teachers carrying guns.
    Guns in schools are a deterrent to prospective shooters.


  141. - late to the party - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:28 pm:

    “How? The only thing that could have had even a small effect was the mag capacity, and that would have been minimal at best.”

    This is why ‘mag capacity’ matters. “A 61-year-old woman wrestled an ammunition clip from the Arizona gunman as he tried to reload his weapon”

    That is how the Arizona shooter was stopped. He had a 30 round mag. Imagine if it was only 10 rounds? He may have had to reload more times, giving innocent bystanders time to either flee or stop the assailant. Countless lives were saved. Maybe even more could have been saved if not for the clip size.

    Also, Ken, the positive effect gun control measures that reduce human casualties (even one life) is not ‘minimal at best.’ I know its hard to see the forest from the gun range, but death is a much worse inconvenience than you not being able to walk around town with a high capacity magazine full of hollow point bullets.


  142. - Small Town Liberal - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 5:59 pm:

    - What difference does having a flash hider (which protects the shooter’s vision) -

    I would say that the police might like the idea that criminals might have a harder time getting their hands on a gun that protects their vision at night.

    DD, if a smaller magazine prevented a single death in the shooting last week, would that be worth it? I’m of the opinion it would.

    But please, say parse again, I’m really getting a kick out of it.


  143. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 6:09 pm:

    @Anon 5:24: Thanks. Any word on accidental shootings in the school district where teachers carry guns? Do you remember the name of the district?

    Metal detectors strike me as having limited usefulness. They are great for finding students sneaking something into school but don’t seem to address a situation where an attacker shoots out a full length window and steps into the building through the hols. That guy has announce both his presence and his intent to do great harm.


  144. - Ruby - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 6:17 pm:

    It will be interesting to learn how long it took for word of the shooting to reach teachers before the shooter made it to the classrooms, and whether the teachers were alerted by a building alarm, a general announcement, or a cell phone call or text.


  145. - Freeze up - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 7:02 pm:

    The duration of the shooting in Connecticut was about 10 minutes. That is within a few minutes of average for active shooter events. Most active shooters take their own lives when confronted by an armed response. I do not believe that our old model of on duty uniform police response should be the only possible intervention in these incidents, if the offender is confronted sooner, lives are saved. We have to find a way to capably confront the shooter as soon as possible in the incident. I think there may be more than one way to solve this and one solution will not work in every school but we have to look at this in a way we have not before and make it work.

    We also have to find a better way to provide help to the mentally ill and their families. Not just throw dollars at it but find a better approach from beginning to end. That is an absolute, we are failing at this and we have to solve this.

    Last, we all have to remember what rich posted. Our schools are pretty darn safe. There is more good than evil in the world. We can do much better though.


  146. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 8:06 pm:

    Our schools are not safe unless you simply mean that though they are essentially undefended bad things don’t happen there very often.

    Is that what you mean?


  147. - Freeze up - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 8:22 pm:

    @STL, police do not care about flash hiders in the least.

    Just saw your post. Had to pipe up.

    @jeeper, my comments were based on information in the post above.


  148. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:21 pm:

    I am a state trooper. We train for these incidents repeatedly, however we know time works against us in every one of these incidents. We have talked again this week, as we do after each of these tragedies, and the general conclusion we come to is the easiest, and cheapest, thing to do would be to “harden” schools against invasion. Have only one entrance and have it secured with a bullet resistant door. Windows need to be mesh infused or bullet resistant around the entrance. Visitors must be “buzzed” in. An alarm should also be landlined to the local police or 911 center. 911 calls take time. Most alarms reach the comm center seconds after being activated. Armed guards are expensive and can be incapacitated. Armed teachers? Not so sure about that. Also not so sure they would want that responsibility. Our headquarters have these very rudimentary security measures and they are full of armed people. This would go along way towards giving law enforcement what they need the most when these things happen: Time.


  149. - John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:27 pm:

    >>>>>It will be interesting to learn how long it took for word of the shooting to reach teachers before the shooter made it to the classrooms, and whether the teachers were alerted by a building alarm, a general announcement, or a cell phone call or text.

    He shot his way in, and then continued shooting. The teachers heard the popping sound.


  150. - Jeeper - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:28 pm:

    #Freeze Up: I understand that and I saw the statistics. What I am saying is that a decrease in the number and/or lethality of incidents may simply be due to fewer malcontents or crazies or whatever deciding to attack schools. It doesn’t seem to be due to tight physical security.

    The reports that Sandy Hook had good security equipment and policies in place are too numerous to remember.

    Really? Lanza shot out a glass window near the door with the remote control lock and simply stepped in through the hole left by the window, according to several reports.

    I am a retired systems analyst not an expert in physical security but that sounds as effective as saying “Have a super sparkly day!”

    How many other schools across the country have similarly stupid security problems to fix today? I bet the number is both significant and never reported for obvious reasons. All-night convenience stores fixed this sort thing many years back; they all seem to have windows of roughly 2 inch thick polycarbonate. Maybe school districts should hire security consultants with convenience store experience.


  151. - Formerly Known As... - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:31 pm:

    === He shot his way in ===

    Reports also indicate the principal and school psychologist ran towards the first gunshots and attempted to stop the shooter.

    Additional reports indicate the intercom system was activated, perhaps by the principal, early in the shooting which helped alert others upon hearing the gunshots.


  152. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 9:55 pm:

    =Have only one entrance and have it secured with a bullet resistant door=

    I’m guessing that by using the term “entrance,” you are also including an exit(s) in the design (though I don’t understand why procedures for making an entrance v. an exit secure would be any different other than additional design requirements that would allow one to gain secured access through the entrance).

    If not (i.e., only one entrance/exit is in fact proposed) couldn’t that delay or thwart full evacuation in case of another disaster like a fire?


  153. - RNUG - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 10:34 pm:

    Although the topic is not directly about banning weapons, I’ll make a comment about the futility of it. I have a small collection of various firearms including some semi-autos, several are over 120 yrs old, the newest is over 50 yrs old, all but one are fully functional and, with the one exception, all use commonly available ammo you can buy off the shelf.

    The point I’m trying to make here is that guns last a long time and a ban wouldn’t really have any effect for another 50 to 100 years. There are probably other actions that would produce more positive outcomes in a shorter time frame.


  154. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:42 pm:

    –The headline of the post at the top of this thread is “ISRA wants to arm teachers, janitors” so why are we spending so much time discussing an AW ban?–

    Because the ISRA proposal is ludicrous and an obvious attempt to change the subject from the coming assault weapon ban.

    Did they check it out with any teachers or janitors before they launched this brainstorm?


  155. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 18, 12 @ 11:57 pm:

    I was encouraged by the interview of the teacher who was able to hide, and keep hidden, a group of children (in a bathroom, I believe)–even demanding that badges be slipped under the door so that she could verify the police were who they claimed to be before opening the door to them. All of that took alot of courage and alot of strength.

    Listening to her, I had a feeling that if she did NOT have an option to hide in a fairly secure area–and had a gun or anything else she could use as a weapon in her possession, and had learned how to use it, there was a pretty good chance she would have been able to take the right person down if faced with an opportunity to do so.

    But can everyone do that? I don’t know.


  156. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:13 am:

    @wordslinger -

    Hardly a launch or a brainstorm.

    Steve Rauschenberger suggested it during his failed run for higher office in 2006.

    This idea is going about as far as the Rauschenberger campaign.

    Oh yeah, the President of the AFT said this past weekend they are staunchly opposed.

    Look, I admire Todd. He’s not a one man army, but practically a one man battalion.

    But ISRA is suffering from a serious case of hubris.

    You won the appellate court. Congrats. Given Heller, you really couldn’t lose.

    Now, you think you’ve got the Speaker over a barrel. The last guy to believe that was Rod.

    Like it or not, gun issues are not divisible. Illinois is not going to enact the conceal carry bill you want, and they aren’t going to enact conceal carry at all without addressing the assault weapons ban.

    I know your talking points say “Fine, we’ll just block it.”

    That fine, except for a few things. First, most of your General Assembly allies will have just walked the plank for you. 2014, they’ll join Sandy Cole, Terry Parke and a bunch of other NRA allies in the history books. The Brady folks will have many more bankable votes, and anyone the NRA endorses for governor in the Primary will be DOA during the General Election.

    In the meantime, Chicago and Cook County, which are home rule communities, will pass much tougher restrictions on conceal carry than you can imagine, probably along the lines of New York City. Other suburban counties will likely follow suit.

    By January, 2015 the Cook County standard will be the standard, and any legislation enacted at that point will embody those standards.

    It’ll be the smoking ban all over again.


  157. - dr. reason a. goodwin - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:22 am:

    I’m a gun owner, but the ISRA does NOT represent me. Their comments get wackier and wackier.


  158. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 12:59 am:

    For those who contend little or nothing can be done to reduce the risks of these massacres, here’s from today’s NRA statement:

    “The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again.”

    Never again? Must be pretty strong stuff. Or, the ISRA and Gov. McDonnell were just softening up the ground for arming the teachers and janitors.

    Read more: http://www.politico.com/story/2012/12/nra-breaks-silence-to-hold-briefing-85271.html#ixzz2FSzxYMIT


  159. - anon - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 5:04 am:

    Just a thought one entrance means one exit; we need to get the kids out if there is a fire. You don’t have to bullet proof the glass just put a wire mess in that doesn’t allow the person to enter. The tradeoff is that they might enter the building thru a window then you start turning what tens of thousands of school into a prisons that creates other problems.


  160. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 8:55 am:

    I didn’t mean there would be only one exit. The building could have multiple one way exits. These would need to be alarmed in case they were propped open to allow a shooter access. That was how the Colorado theatre shooter gained access. These were just some ideas we were throwing around which we thought could be implemented quickly and cheaply.


  161. - USMCJanitor - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 8:59 am:

    -Anon, you said
    “Just a thought one entrance means one exit; we need to get the kids out if there is a fire.”

    Well, you are assuming there is only one door. What he said was one ENTRANCE. You can have lots of doors that do not open from the outside, doors with small windows w/ mesh. The main entrance or two can be secured during the school day.

    Works for Banks, airports, etc… we protect our money with security choke points and guns, why not the kids.

    This is not to say schools are NOT safe. If you look over the last 20 years, death and injury from violence is down pretty much every year. Your kids are safer in school than almost anywhere else. Most people are operating off of emotion here and since this jerk in CT killed himself (like so many do) there is no one to punish… So we must do SOMETHING!!!!

    logic and reason need to be at work here. Passing laws that would have not helped this situation at all is not the way to go.

    Is arming teachers/staff the right answer? no, probably not. maybe if someone has a CCW and they want to take some extra training once a year from the police and volunteer I could see that.

    Is an AWB or magazine capacity limit the answer? Probably not. You can change magazines fast. Hell the guy at VT changed mags several times. So I go from 15 to 10 round mags. The course of 50 shots that is 1 extra mag change maybe….

    Logic and reason people. What will work, not “what can I get now that I have emotion on my side”


  162. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 10:13 am:

    USMCJanitor, assuming I’m making the right assumptions re: your handle, thank you for your service, and I’m sure that anyone who’s either working or learning in your building feels alot safer knowing you’re around.


  163. - USMCJanitor - Wednesday, Dec 19, 12 @ 11:18 am:

    Anon-
    Its kind of a play on what I do now. I do work in schools, but its maintenance for a district not so much cleaning.


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        * Illinois Residents Asked to Put the Tobacco Down - Support the Great American Smokeout – November 20
        * Governor Quinn Statement on President Obama’s Executive Action
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Selection of New University of Illinois President
        * Governor Quinn Statement on Senate Committee Passage of Minimum Wage Legislation
        * Governor Quinn Statement on the Installation of Archbishop Blase Cupich




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