Concern about gun safety and schools has soared since the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown on December 14, 2012. In the midst of mourning and soul-searching, the National Rifle Association’s call to put guns in every school was widely condemned. But questions about school security remain.
Making schools secure is not the same as turning them into armed camps. This is the time to think clearly and act responsibly on school security.
Keep vigilantes out of the schools. Concern is high right now among parents and teachers. Many people own guns for the purpose of defending their homes and families. But very few gun owners have the training and skill needed to respond in a crisis situation without further endangering students and staff. School security experts overwhelmingly agree that private individuals with guns increase the danger in a crisis.
Reduce the risk of unintentional shootings. Although the Newtown massacre is the focus of public attention, on a day-to-day basis, accidents and inappropriate access to firearms are the causes of many more child deaths. Careless gun owners, like the Oregon gun dealer who lost his handgun in a theater where it was found by school children the next day, are far more common than mass murderers. School kids need to be protected from them as well.
Put school districts in charge. An estimated 25% of the schools in the country already have some sort of armed police presence at least some of the time. Local districts confer with public safety officials, teachers, and parents to design security programs. If armed security is required in a school, it must be provided by trained professionals. In addition, proposals to provide schools with the resources they need to update their physical security systems, like locks and cameras, deserve our wholehearted support.
Do you support keeping guns out of our schools? If so, we need you to speak up by signing our petition.
Some gun-rights activists insist that they are entitled to bring hidden, loaded handguns into our public schools, from elementary schools to college campuses. Stand with us in calling for gun-free schools by signing this petition.
Allowing anyone with a concealed handgun license to possess hidden, loaded guns on Oregon campuses puts everyone on and around those campuses at greater risk of injury and death by gun violence.  We agree with the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA) that “‘conceal carry’ initiatives do not make campuses safer.”  We need your help to ensure that all students, whether they are kindergarteners or college students, are safe from gun violence. Let's make the message clear: "Schools are no place for guns!"
Some people insist that they are entitled to bring hidden, loaded handguns into Oregon public schools, including elementary schools. We believe that schools should be gun free for the safety of students, teachers, and staff. Keep guns out of our schools.