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MA Firearm Instructors: Protect Schools With Guns, Legalize Assault Rifles

Friday, January 04, 2013

 

Basic firearms instructors in Massachusetts are overwhelmingly in favor of placing armed guards or teachers in schools and for the statewide legalization of assault rifles.

GoLocalWorcester asked 16 registered firearms instructors in Worcester County questions concerning gun safety and regulation. Respondents spoke on cartridge limits in magazines, assault rifle legality, the possibility of armed guards or teachers in schools and the role that mental health should play in the purchase of firearms.

Of the instructors polled, 87.5% reported they would like to see armed guards, teachers or both in schools. In addition, 75% of the respondents said they were against the outlawing of assault rifles, as defined by the 1994 Federal Assault Weapons Ban, in Massachusetts.

To Arm or Not to Arm

Gage Skidmore/flickr

In the wake of the mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut that left 26 dead, head of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre called for the placement of armed guards in schools. He asserted that the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Firearms instructors in Massachusetts seem to agree.

Of the respondents, 44% said they would like to see armed guards in schools, 19% would like to see armed teachers and 25% said they would like to see both. However, all instructors who said they would like teachers to carry firearms, stipulated that only if the teachers felt comfortable doing so and received adequate training.

“The way things are in the world today, a trained guard inside the school is probably needed,” said an East Brookfield instructor who asked not to be named. “We need to protect our most prized possessions, our kids. If the President and members of Congress have armed security, why shouldn’t we have it in our schools?”

Only two respondents said they would hesitate to place armed adults in schools.

“It would have to be a last resort,” said Dan George, registered in Sutton. “It would have to be something everyone agreed upon. Personally I’d like to see pro-active approaches rather than reactive.”

The Battle Over Assault Rifles

The majority of firearms instructors surveyed expressed disappointment in the term “assault rife” as defined by the Federal government, arguing the term has become politicized.

“’Assault rifle’ is a bad term,” said Steven Tamburri, a Basic Firearms Instructor registered in Brookfield. “They shouldn’t be banned. As a sportsman, I like target shooting and there is a place for that with these guns. Some people shouldn’t have them and keeping them out of the wrong hands should be properly looked into.”

Others expressed disappointment that law abiding gun owners are being blamed for the action of a troubled few.

“They should be legal,” said Matthew Lichtenstein, an instructor registered in Leominster. “Assault weapons aren’t the bad guys here, it’s the people behind them that are the issue.”

Several instructors also pointed out that it’s unlikely for assault weapons to become legalized in Massachusetts due to the political climate.

Two respondents said they think assault rifles should remain illegal while another two said the question should be left for legislators and voters to decide.

Mental Health An Issue

Nearly all Massachusetts firearms instructors surveyed say mental health history needs to play a significant role in determining whether or not an individual is fit to carry a gun. Most agreed that states and towns need to do their due diligence in assessing one’s background and mental state before issuing a gun permit.

“Background checks are paramount,” said Michael Cravedi, registered in Sterling. “You should have to demonstrate ability and common sense to be given this privilege.”

But where to draw the line is a trickier issue. Alison Pickwick, of Clinton, says if people who seek mental health help are concerned about having their weapons taken, they may be reluctant to receive the treatment they need. Other situations, like soldiers returning from battle, also need to be considered.

“It’s a tough question,” said Joseph Warren, registered in Oxford. “Veterans come home with PTSD, should their rights to bear arms be taken away? Should we also take away their rights to vote? Mental health right now is too broad to define.”

The Trouble With Magazine Capacity

Massachusetts is one of six states that have banned large capacity ammunition magazines, outlawing all magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds of ammunition. 31% of firearms instructors said there should be no limit and 25% said they have no objections to the current limit.

Many respondents argued that individuals who are skilled with guns are able to change magazines extremely quickly, therefore making the number of cartridges per magazine less important. The answer, they say, lies elsewhere.

“If you ban a high capacity magazine, someone is going to buy whatever the highest capacity available is and you’re going to get the same results,” said Tamburri. “The more important thing to focus on is keeping guns out the wrong hands.”

Others echoed similar sentiments.

“It doesn’t matter to me,” said Warren. “If you’re proficient with the weapon, it really doesn’t matter. The real problem is that there are absolutely evil people out there.”

 

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Comments:

pearl fanch

gangsters and whack jobs are in favor of assault weapons also.

who cares what these people want.

Wuggly Ump

@ pearl fanch

How can you find people that want to protect YOUR rights "gangsters and whack jobs"?

Do you understand that this is Government getting bigger? More regulations on more innocent citizens. My heart goes out to all those affected in Sandy Hook, but we must think with our heads.

paul zecchino

At last, some common sense statements from knowledgeable people.

The anti-gun crowd places emotion above intellect, false piety and moral certainty above facts, and fear tactics above reason.

The anti-gun crowd includes great figures of history: pol pot, hitler, stalin, lenin, mao, and castro, to name a few gun-banners.

"We do not let them have ideas, why would we let them have guns?"
- v.i. lenin, hydrocephalic psychopathic mass murderer


"People who fear firearms suffer from arrested emotional and mental development."
- S. Freud, M.D.

paul zecchino

Small point easily missed: you do realize, GoLocalProv, that 'assault rifles' are fully automatic 'machine guns'? You know they're different from semi-auto rifles, right?

You also know that the term 'assault weapon' weas concocted by anti-gun money-grabber Josh Sugarmann to 'exploit the public's lack of knowledge about firearms'?

An assault weapon is anything you wish it to be, a gun, knife, brick, anything.

Is is an utterly meaningless, rhetorically loaded term which communist gun grabbers and their hysterical useful idiots parrot to frighten uninformed people into surrendering their liberty and property.

pearl fanch

You guys are WAY off.

My RIGHTS??? Seriously? You’re actually going to try and hide behind the constitution? I piece of paper, written over two hundred years ago, when ARMS meant a musket, and not an assault weapon?!?!??!? Wake the F up.

People are getting slaughtered every day on the streets, in schools, in movie theaters, in malls. EVERY DAY. This is happening because you think you have a RIGHT to bear arms.

You want to own a gun, fine own a gun. Gun owners should be limited as to how many bullets they can have. Lets say 6. If you need more than 6 bullets to protect yourself, MOVE, change your peers, or maybe ACT LIKE A HUMAN.

Taking guns off the streets is the answer. Everyone says, well then only the criminals will have the guns, and everyone else will be unprotected. Are you STILL out of your F**ing minds???? Take ALL the guns off the streets!!!!! Do you seriously think that government and law enforcement don’t know where ALL the guns are?!?!?!? Sure, only the honest citizens will turn them in freely. Then the others will be taken away (with a fine or penalty attached).

When ALL guns are removed, then you can all throw bullets at each other. Then you can all walk around and fight with your fists instead of shooting innocent people dead.

RIGHTS????? What RIGHT do YOU have? As a county, we have lost the RIGHT to bear arms, because as a country, we’re like idiotic teenagers who can’t control ourselves.

Wuggly Ump

@ pearl fanch
Yes I am going to stand behind a piece of paper that gives US the citizens control over the U.S. Government. That lets Government know they don't grant rights.

Note about the musket. That was the military weapon of the day. It is exactly what the writers meant. The Second Amendment is there so citizens would be able to protect themselves from Government.

The last mall shooter out in Washington was confronted by a concealed carried handgun by an honest citizen at which time the shooter promptly committed suicide. How many lives were saved?

Government can't keep all the drugs off the streets and we have an entire law enforcement agency dedicated to doing just that, ever hear of the DEA, (Drug Enforcement Administration). Prohibition doesn't work.
Instead of taking firearms away from the law abiding why not just out-law crime, then we could just take all the criminals off the street? That's right we did that too, but the criminals are still running around. We could make "gun free zones". That's right that didn't work. How about a law against committing murder? Oh yeah we have that.

Sorry pearl there are evil people out there that just want or need to do bad things. That is no reason to punish or take away rights of good people.

Some of us do control ourselves very well thank you very much. Of the more than 300 million guns in the U.S. less than 1% of the guns in the U.S. are used in a crime, less than 1% of those are semi-automatic rifles. More murders are committed with hammers and clubs than rifles.

Would you give up your First Amendment so easily? How about the Fourth? The Government is after them now, looking to regulate the internet and talk radio.




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