A harebrained idea

Published:

The Floyd County Times,

Prestonsburg

Accustomed as we are to seeing harebrained ideas come out of Frankfort, nothing prepared us for the whopper we saw last week.

A bill currently before the state Senate would block prosecutions of people who take guns onto school property, if there are no signs warning them that weapons are banned from the premises.

In other words, if someone with a gun were to walk into a school where no sign was posted (or perhaps where such a sign had been torn down and hung up in little Johnnys bedroom), police couldnt do a thing about it except ask the person to leave.

We simply find it astounding that this same legislature frets over the potential harm caused by bullies and french fries, yet shrugs its shoulders over the prospect of shotguns in shop class.

The lock-and-load lobby says the provision is meant to protect people who make innocent mistakes. Perhaps Bob forgot about the concealed weapon he was carrying when he stopped by school to pick up his son. Or maybe Joe didnt realize he was walking onto school property with a rifle on his shoulder. Those people shouldnt be considered felons, they argue.

But theyre wrong. The criminal code of every state in the land punishes two types of behavior intentional bad deeds and sheer stupidity. Thats why we have crimes such as reckless homicide.

Carrying a gun into a school building clearly falls into that second category, and lawmakers should not be willing to just let it slide. There may be an argument rewriting the law to treat honest mistakes differently, perhaps as a misdemeanor offense carrying a hefty fine.

But mistake or not, there is certainly no excuse for being cavalier concerning such a transgression. Anyone so reckless with a gun as to take it into a school should suffer criminal consequences.

Guns have no place in schools, for any reason. Instead of simply giving a pass to people who make dumb decisions, our leaders should be taking every chance to promote the idea that schools are a gun-free zone.

After all, the three Rs dont include revolvers.

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