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'School Gun-Free Zones Paint Big Targets'

Area firearms instructor says it's time to allow any qualified concealed carry weapon licensee who works at schools to have guns available, because the government's decision for schools to be gun-free zones advertises their vulnerability.

Friday's mass shooting in a Newtown, CT, elementary school prompted many discussions this weekend regarding whether school staffs now should be allowed to carry a concealed weapon (CCW).

Greg and Loni Pugh teach firearms handling and safety every day from their privately owned and operated business called St. Louis CCW. Their facility and shooting range is located near Lonedell, about 39 miles west of Eureka.

"I believe we saw the answer on Friday. They give people who are intent to do harm a government guarantee that they will be the only ones with a gun in our schools," said Greg.

"Then government officials pretend to be surprised when things like this happen. Government representatives need to stand up and say from this day forward, CCW is authorized for any qualified principal, teacher or janitor."

Greg, who has taught firearms classes for the past 30 years, including to law enforcement officers and highway troopers, said he spent 14 years lobbying about CCW in Jefferson City.

He said lack of security in public and private schools was one of the reasons he and his wife chose to home-school their children until they reach high school age.

"My opinion is that teachers are put in charge of helpless kids, but they are given no means to really do that when something like an intruder shooting happens. Not every person should carry (CCW), but if a teacher chooses to take on that responsibility and takes it to heart, those who are willing and certified, should be allowed to defend themselves and the children," said Loni.

Loni, who frequently works with women at their facility regarding how to get comfortable with CCW and how to stand with a gun, said it always made her nervous to get automatically buzzed in to schools. "It just seems like school staffs can't see who is coming in, and that there is no security there. No one even asks why you are there. School safety includes dealing with so many variables."

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Research Behind the Pughs' Approach

Greg said last April he studied with Dave Grossman, an American author who has specialized in the study of the psychology of killing—which has been termed 'killology'. The Mascoutah, IL, resident is a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. According to Grossman's biography, he is a member of the American Board for Certification in Homeland Security as well as the American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. He speaks internationally about human aggression and the roots of violence and violent crime.

"Grossman said many eye-opening things," said Greg, who attended the same class as St. Louis County Police Department officers.

Grossman, as Greg recalls, said there are two steps that every school should take:  have a single point of entry and give teachers dead-bolt doors that can be locked from the inside of classrooms.

"He said every teacher who props a school door open for any reason should automatically be fired," said Greg.

"And that it's a proven fact, those who go into lock-down mode in classrooms and stay there, are not as likely to get shot."

Greg said the problem is that U.S. culture has taught us guns are bad, which is only partially true. "Guns are only as bad as the bad people who have them."

Moving Forward with School Safety

Under CCW in Missouri, qualified people are allowed to have guns in their vehicles. Greg said he knew of one case during which a school principal with a CCW license ran to his vehicle to get his gun and eventually shut down a situation that was about to result in children getting killed from an intruder.

"It's such common sense to allow qualified and licensed gun users to have them in places such as schools and hospitals. We are trusting people with our children and with our lives for medical needs, but won't trust them in this other area; it doesn't make real sense," said Greg.

He said he believes one of the main reasons there are so many school shootings is that society has "put it out there that no one at an elementary school will be carrying a gun."

Greg said a faction of politicians prompted a no-gun policy, and that they need to own the consequences. "Politicians have invited these bad people into our schools. It's time those politicians own the results."

"Gun free zones only work for good people, because bad people don't obey those rules," he said.

Mac Messy December 18, 2012 at 01:11 AM
Don, I will try to respect you as you are a fellow human and my elder. Your comments do show a large amount of ignorance on this topic. By this I mean lack of gun education! Since there invention guns have been prevalent in our society. You would not ask our military and police to disarm? They defend you right? Many citizens since 1985 have also protected you and you were not aware. This protection comes in the form of the educated an trained public allowed to carry concealed weapons. If you watch local news you will not find the countless times when armed citizens have stopped crimes with said weapons. The main stream media will NOT report these incidents. Because half of Americans own guns a significant number of them also carry concealed. You just don't know because you don't see them. Cities with gun bans like Chicago IL, New York have higher assault crime rates. Do your own research on this topic please. Also the response time of the police is never as fast as a fellow human with a concealed weapon. In closing every nation to disarm its public has resulted in loss of its rights, freedoms, and life. There has to be a balance, a equalizer to oppose tyranny at the very least. Please educate yourself Don.
Mac Messy December 18, 2012 at 02:14 AM
I second this motion!
Don December 18, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Too many guns created the mess we have today and you folks are trying to tell me that even more guns will fix it. That's madness! More guns in the hands of more people will only make the problem worse than it already is - but it will make the companies the gun lobbies work for even more blood money. Enough is enough! I renounced my NRA membership in the 1970's after I left the service when I saw how uncompromising they were. Since then, I've never regretted turning away from the extremism they espouse. My world isn't based on the hatred and scare tactics they proselytize - Thank GOD! The automatic rifle used to kill those kids can shoot between 200 and 900 rounds per minute. It's shear madness to allow ordinary citizens to own such weapons designed for killing people. These are not hunting weapons - there is no sport in destroying the game your going after unless you're out to kill people. It's time to put a stop to the sale of high capacity clips and military weapons to ordinary citizens. Only the military and police should own weapons of this type.
Stu Strickler December 18, 2012 at 01:04 PM
You have proven that you do not have a clue, Don. It is called freedom! Have you ever thought of blaming the person?
Gale Nie December 18, 2012 at 01:06 PM
Wow, Don. You said so many things that could easily be countered but I will limit it to one. The NRA is uncompromising because they are protecting the 2nd Amendment and FREEDOM. There is no compromise on freedom. You're either for it or against it. We have a God-given right to self-protection and no man can legitimately take that right away.
Gale Nie December 18, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Got that right, Stu.
Marc Perez December 18, 2012 at 01:19 PM
Don misses so many facts, it's a bias beyiond logic. The "semi-automatic rifle" does not shoot 200-900 rds/min. The firearm carries the same ammunition as most conventional "looking" firearms, it just "looks" different. The NRA is the world wide leader in firearms education and hunter safety education in the world. "YES" the NRA/ILA works to protect 2nd amendment rights. I ask people "Which other constitutional right are you willing to give up?" Oh, how about religion or voting, perhaps freedom of speech or give up the right to search and seizure of your home, person or property? It's America....
Don December 18, 2012 at 02:26 PM
I've got a clue alright. The NRA is not about the 2nd amendment - they're about protecting the profits of the gun industry and have been very effective in scaring the wits out of their supporters. To see what's wrong with America just follow the money on any issue.
Age of Reason December 18, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Now you insinuate the teachers are also insane?....It never ceases to amaze me that some people are more fearful of the weapon in their own hand, than one in the hand of an insane shooter. I fear not the weapon in the hands of a good man.
Age of Reason December 18, 2012 at 04:47 PM
. Because only a credible deterrence will preclude domestic oppression against the people; which will in turn forestall revolt and revolution. To keep our liberty intact, to not have to fight, to not have to suffer, to not have to rebuild, this is the legacy of the 2nd Amendment.
Age of Reason December 18, 2012 at 04:49 PM
What exactly did the Founding Fathers intend in the 2nd Amendment by the phrase “the right of the people to bear arms shall not be infringed?” This has been the source of an ongoing debate in America for years. Let us briefly examine the question. Did they intend that bearing arms was to provide protection against criminals? Civil authorities provide some protection from armed thugs by police forces. If our civil authorities claim that crime is effectively prevented by armed police forces, then it follows that there is no reason for the people to bear arms. Did they intend that bearing arms was to hunt and kill animals for sustenance? In our society hunting is not required to procure meat. If people claim that hunting is brutal and unnecessary, then it follows that there is no reason for the people to bear arms. Did they intend that the phrase the people implied a militia, and that bearing arms was only for military men? If our leaders claim that state national guard units constitute a militia, then it follows that there is no reason for the people to bear arms. So that pretty much settles it, or does it? But there is another view, the real reason that our Founding Fathers insisted that the Constitution specified that private citizens have the right to bear arms. The primary reason that we have the right to bear arms is to deter aggressive and oppressive acts committed by a government against the people.
Caffeinated December 18, 2012 at 04:54 PM
"it's a bias beyiond logic" I'd say the same about you, Mr. Perez. The idea that the AR-15 used (which is semi-automatic) isn't an assault rifle is ridiculous. It is built to kill people. A lot of people in an efficient manner. Parse that any way you like, but it's true. There is no reason for you to own own a large-cap mag, semi-automatic weapon. You're only argument is that "it's legal." Well... I think the discussion should be whether it should be legal. The right to bear arms doesn't shouldn't allow you to bear arms that can kill masses of people. You don't need these things to hunt, and you certainly don't need it for self-protection. Answer this for me: Why do you need a large-cap mag and semi-automatic weapon? Please, tell me what reason.
Caffeinated December 18, 2012 at 04:57 PM
So you need your semi-auto large-cap mag rifle to keep the government from oppressing you? You're insane. You're all insane.
Stu Strickler December 18, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Don and Caffeinated, you are the insane ones. Would you like to come *try* to steal our firearms?
Caffeinated December 18, 2012 at 05:24 PM
No, I'll leave that to the ATF. Good luck with the militia thing.
Don December 18, 2012 at 06:31 PM
I suppose then next thing will be a duel at high noon in the town square once the gun lobby has the "open carry" laws in place. You're taking this country back okay - back to the "old west" and 1880's. What a shame for the U.S. with extremists in control. How sad that it's come to this. You'd better check under the bed before you lay down - President Obama and the boys from ATF are there already after your guns - and the decent sane people of America are urging them on.
Stu Strickler December 18, 2012 at 06:43 PM
I don't worry about the ATF or obama. I fully support the Constitution of the United States. That includes The Second Amerndment.
Stu Strickler December 18, 2012 at 07:01 PM
I spent 30 years of my life in the Army defending against foreign enemies. I will spend the rest of it defening against domestic enemies. Since I'm not out to win a popularity contest, I don't really care what you or anyone else thinks.
Scott Eguires December 18, 2012 at 09:19 PM
Give you a reason - how about competition. There are many people who participate for the sport of it. IDPA, USPSA, IPSC, Three Gun competition, etc. Additionally you do not have the right to tell me what I can or cannot own. I wouldn't presume to do the same to you. If me owning semi automatic weapons offends you them I am sorry but as far as I recall the constitution does not give you the right to not be offended. And again the police, etc does not have any more rights then me - I train more then most do and am at the range pretty much weekly. I was on the rifle team in high school and am ex military and have had training there as well so please do not lecture me on what rights I have.
Marc Perez December 18, 2012 at 09:22 PM
Missouri "IS" an open carry State, (Art.1 Sec. 23 of the Mo. Constitution) except where prohibited by local laws. It is legal in State Parks and National Park Service Property as well. People have open carried in Missouri since it was founded. Sorry, no duels in the streets, it is practiced by many responsible fireams owners.
Don December 18, 2012 at 09:28 PM
I'm a lot more fearful of the paranoid gun toting crazies, like the respondents here supporting guns for all, than I am of a government agent (local, state or federal) with a gun.
Gale Nie December 18, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Caffeinated, Why do you think I need to justify my purchases to you or anyone else? I don't ask you to justify the size house you buy, the amount of food you eat, the car you buy (more people are killed by cars than guns each year), the number or kind of knives you buy, the baseball bat you buy, the swimming pool in your backyard, etc. Drownings are the number one cause of injury death for children age 1-4 according to the CDC. http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml12/12186.html Will you be consistent and call for the outlawing of all dangerous items? Or just the ones you personally don't like?
Gale Nie December 18, 2012 at 10:53 PM
Yes, caffeinated, if the government is firing at me with semi-auto, large-capacity mag rifles, I definitely need the same to protect myself. That is the whole point of the 2nd Amendment. Try reading a little history so you can understand the genius of the Founding Fathers. If you think we don't need protection from the government, that we're somehow so far beyond that, as a foolish relative once told me, then you are at best, naive. But don't worry, those of us who understand that evil exists, will protect your rights too. We stand up for all rights, not just the ones we pick and choose.
Mac Messy December 19, 2012 at 02:11 AM
The only thing that stops a bad guy with a weapon is a good guy with a weapon! The police aren’t the good guy I speak of but an ordinary armed civilian, man or women. Historically the “law enforcement agents” are usually a little too late. Perhaps they have to wait for the media to get there first? We could magically get rid of all the guns in the whole world but then what would we do about the mad man who kills children in a school with a knife? What do we do about the psychopaths who use acid to burn and dissolve their innocent victims? Will you now ask yourself an honest question and that is; Can eliminating guns, knives, stones and acids eliminate mass murderer and psychopaths? The answer is? NO The fact is neither the guns nor the bad people are simply going to disappear by banning guns. No human is born a bad person. It is the circumstances, the life experiences and many other similar factors that play role in making someone’s behavior bad. To conclude, I simply want to ask the reader's to please stay rational and reason with logic. "The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. Those who walk alone are likely to find themselves in places no one has ever been before.” Albert Einstein
Gale Nie December 20, 2012 at 01:12 PM
Then you are definitely naive, Don. And know absolutely nothing about history. Governments around the world have murdered well over 100,000,000 of their own citizens. Read about Ruby Ridge, the Waco incident and others in the United States. Guns in the hands of "paranoid gun toting crazies" are used 2,000,000 times a year to prevent crimes in this country. If CCW folks were causing so many problems like you think they are, it would be plastered all over the news because it would help the commie media further their anti-freedom agenda. But you don't hear about that do you? Still, you'd rather only the criminals be armed and your fellow law-abiding citizens be helpless victims. Thanks Don, but no thanks. Try educating yourself. Read More Guns, Less Crime by John Lott and you'll see the benefits of an armed society that was eluded to earlier. You should be thanking us for making you more safe. http://rense.com/general76/univ.htm http://www.cato.org/policy-report/marchapril-2012/how-guns-stop-crimes And check out this map of murder rates around the world. Explain why countries like Mexico, Brazil and Russia have much higher murder rates than the U.S., despite guns being highly restricted in those countries. The problem is not the inanimate object. It's people, societal problems, etc. Wake up and stop trying to give away your liberty in exchange for promises of a little false security.
Gale Nie December 20, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Sorry, forgot the link to the map. http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/01/12/2586195/world-murder-rates.html
Mac Messy December 20, 2012 at 04:18 PM
My Personal Pledge of Resistance Against Any Attemp to Disarm Us by Means of an "Assault Weapons Ban" My conscience, and the urgency of our current situation, compel me to speak out. The victim disarmament freaks are now telling us that they don't want to disarm us- oh, no! They just want to take away our "assault weapons" - our semi-automatic, magazine fed, military-style rifles - and the "high capacity" magazines that feed them. They want us to believe that so long as we can own some kind of firearm, after our semi-auto military rifles are taken, we are not disarmed. That is a LIE.
Mac Messy December 20, 2012 at 04:20 PM
The truth is that our semi-automatic, military pattern rifles are the single most important kind of arm we can own, and are utterly necessary for effective defense of our lives, property, and liberty. When you are disarmed of your military rifles, you are DISARMED. At that time, the lion's share of your military capacity to effectively resist tyranny is removed (yes, accurate bolt action hunting rifles are useful in that role too, but the semi-auto battle rifle is truly the Queen of battle, as Col. Jeff Cooper correctly noted). It is a significant force on the battlefield, and as Patrick Henry said, when you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined .It is the height of Orwellian perversion of language and logic to say that disarming you of the most effective arms for combat that you still have is somehow not really disarming you, because you still have hunting rifles and shotguns. And you can bet that if you let them take your military semi-autos, next on their list will be your bolt action rifles, which they will call "sniper rifles" (and by God, that is certainly what they are good for!).
Stu Strickler December 20, 2012 at 07:56 PM
You are so correct, Mac Messy!
Marc Perez December 21, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Watch the folling youtube video, it might change opinions: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=M1u0Byq5Qis

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