Letter to the Editor: Trump’s America: Faculty with Firearms

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I’m a Professor, and I’ll Protect You with Guns

I love my students, and I want you to be safe from murderous gunmen. Whenever I read about a school shooting like the recent one in Parkland, Florida, it breaks my heart. I would like to live in an America that solves the problem of gun violence. That is exactly why I am a member of the NRA and the owner of several firearms.

When I read the March 1 article titled “Trump’s America: Faculty with Firearms,” I thought of the following items:

  1. Gun control laws, though perhaps well-intentioned, have not worked. The cities in our country that have the strictest and most restrictive gun control laws – Chicago, Detroit, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Baltimore – have the highest rates of gun violence. For instance, according to the Chicago Tribune, more than 3,000 people were shot in Chicago in 2017, and more than 580 were killed. How is this possible? Because law-abiding citizens there who would like to protect themselves are not allowed to own guns. Therefore, criminals who are willing to break the law are able to commit crimes without law-abiding citizens to stop them. By definition, criminals who shoot at innocent people are not law-abiding, so they are not affected by gun control laws. In other words, gun control laws only put limits on law-abiding citizens who might otherwise be equipped to stop criminals who are using guns unlawfully.
  2. “Gun free zones” do not prevent gun violence. In fact, “gun free zones” invite gun violence. According to the Crime Prevention Research Center, “gun free zones” have been the target of more than 98% of all mass shootings since 1950! Sadly, it makes logical sense: if you were a criminal who wanted to murder as many innocent students as possible, would you target a college that had armed professors, or a college that proclaims that their professors are not armed? The answer is obvious. Also, this is why having armed teachers is actually a deterrent to gun crime, as in Israeli schools, where many teachers are trained with firearms and there are no school shootings.
  3. When some criminal with a gun is firing at innocents, the first thing that good people do is call a good guy with a gun (the police) to come quickly and shoot back. Sadly, in the midst of a horrific tragedy, when seconds count, the police are minutes away. Why should we as law-abiding Americans be told to disarm ourselves and make ourselves potentially vulnerable to a criminal with a gun? In this country, well-trained individuals with firearms protect our politicians, celebrities, professional athletes, airports, jewelry stores, etc. However, we do not protect our schools with guns. Is it terribly surprising, then, that criminals are able to wreak havoc with guns much more easily at schools than they are at gun-guarded places like sports stadiums or banks?
  4. When someone kills another person while driving under the influence, we do not blame the car, or the car company, or the beer company. When someone stabs someone to death, we do not blame the knife or the knife manufacturer. When someone detonates a bomb using nails and a pressure cooker, we do not blame the pressure cooker. Yet, inexplicably, there are many anti-gun activists who focus on blaming the gun instead of the killer.

If you want to stop the scourge of gun violence, that is a very noble goal! That is my goal, too! However, gun control laws and “gun free zones” have proven to be very poor solutions.

I have been a lawful gun owner for 15 years. I have earned gun safety certifications and marksman awards. Unfortunately, current laws prevent me from bringing my firearms to campus, and because I am a law-abiding citizen, I comply. I hope and pray that we never hear gunshots from a murderous criminal rampaging through a Skyline College hallway… But if it did happen, and you were in my classroom, wouldn’t you want me to have my firearm to defend you?

Dr. Zachary E. Bruno

Skyline College Professor