Is Tucson School District's Gun-Safety Pledge Anything to Freak Out About?

Categories: Morning Poll
shooting-green.jpg
Leon Terra via Flickr


There's a freak-out brewing over a Tucson-area school district's pledge for parents to sign, asking for them to agree to be responsible gun owners.

The completely meaningless pledge asks for such controversial things like teaching children not to shoot someone during an argument.

See also:
-School Asks Parents to Agree to Be Responsible Gun Owners, Freak-Out Ensues

Consider the following gripe from the Arizona Independent:
Perhaps the most disturbing provision in the contract for Tucsonans is the requirement that parents must "carry out my responsibility to teach my children how to settle arguments without resorting to violence and to encourage him/her to use those ideas when necessary, and to follow school guidelines for reporting guns and weapons they see on campus to an appropriate adult."
We're disturbed that someone finds that disturbing.

Others griped about the provision of the pledge keeping to keep guns in the home locked away from youngsters. One anonymous Internet commenter complained that this would keep the homeowner unarmed when "some Democrat/meth addict" broke down the door.

Of course, the harsh penalty from the Flowing Wells Unified School District for refusing to sign this pledge is . . . absolutely nothing.

See the pledge below, and below that, vote on whether it's anything to freak out about:

gun-contract.jpg
goaz.org

Cast your vote below:


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Follow Matthew Hendley on Twitter at @MatthewHendley.


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16 comments
sammi.briggs101
sammi.briggs101

I voted yes it was but please read my full comment before posting some ironic back comment. I believe it's scary that they want people to be defenseless, I think it's scary that children have to be taught not to resort to violence, I think also think it's disturbing that someone combined democrat and meth head together LOL...but anyway it's no wonder we're third last in education in the whole damn country.

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

The only thing that can stop a bad kid with a gun, is a good kid with a gun.

KJ Shah
KJ Shah

If you're serious... ur a an idiot

eric.nelson745
eric.nelson745 topcommenter

Poll results demonstrate that a fair number of New Times readers are confirmed gun wackos.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

A couple of random points:

Note that the contract itself says that it's whole purpose is to "draw attention" to the parents' responsibility.

If sending information home to the parents in the packet they have to sign and return during the first week was an effective means of communication, drop-off and pick-up wouldn't be such a cluster during the first weeks of school.

Those packets seem to serve best as practice in forging parents' signatures.

Joe Rollins
Joe Rollins

I think we should just arm the children. We, and they, would be much safer.

Roger Nichols
Roger Nichols

Um... How is "locking away" my home defense considered safe for anyone other than the home invader kicking in my door? A firearm is like a parachute... If you need it once and don't have it, you'll probably won't ever need it again. :/ Besides... Wouldn't this be another subtle way to pinpoint gun owners?

brenro12
brenro12

I think guns are too easily accessed in our society but I still think this comes off as a bit condescending and insulting asking parents to sign a pledge to be responsible adults.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

A couple things that are important to note:

1. There is no penalty for refusing to sign and return this.  Apparently many parents don't and there are no consequences whatsoever.

2. Its been in place for a number of years with no complaints to the school district board by parents or voters (that I could locate).

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

The simple fact is that schools have no right and no business telling parents that they must raise their children in certain ways even if those ways make perfect sense to most people.

They can make suggestions and try to educate the parents, but telling them that they have to sign a form agreeing to teach certain values is crossing a very important line.

As a society, we're becoming too quick to let the government tell us what's best for us rather than thinking for ourselves.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@eric.nelson745  

Yes, indeed.  Many of those wackos form their opinions of all gun owners based only on the small percentage who are foolish or evil enough to become particularly newsworthy, and so have trouble understanding that the overwhelming majority of gun owners are actually responsible.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public  

I still don't like the schools trying to give the impression that they have the authority to require such a thing.   Most people, particularly those who need to be told to play nice with guns, are stupid, and will come to believe that the school has such authority, which, over times, effectively grants them that authority.


JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative.  Goes back to the school's role within a community.  School's do everything from offer parks and rec after school programs to serving as community disaster shelters to being the site of the local 4th of July celebration and fireworks show.  In northern Arizona, if there were a wildland fire, the school would serve as the command post, housing for firefighters and a shelter for those that were displaced.  Schools serve a central role within a community that is more than just math and reading.  And unfortunately, in everything from Columbine to Sandy Hook, schools have also been the location of serious and unfortunate gun violence.

Was this a great approach - making this into a type of moral contract - in my opinion no.  Do schools have a role in trying to prevent on-campus gun violence, absolutely.  Was there a better way to do this, probably.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public  

Sending my kids to a public school doesn't grant the district any authority over me.  They have authority over the kids while on school grounds or at school events.

As a responsible adult, I should take my role as a partner in the kids' education seriously and cooperate with the school, but I have no obligation to follow their instructions when I'm not on campus.

JohnQ.Public
JohnQ.Public

@valleynative  It does have authority of those citizens that avail themselves of the school and its facilities - including students - so it does have some level of authority.  It has the authority to collect money from citizens in the form of property taxes.  This wasn't sent to everyone in the school district, it was sent to students and their parents - people who are availing themselves of the school's services.  I understand your point and to some degree I agree with it, but I don't see it as being as clear cut as you do.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@JohnQ.Public  

The role of the school is to be a resource, available to those who want to use it.   It should never pretend to have any authority over the citizens.

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