Punish criminals, not everyone

As a retired school teacher and NRA Concealed Firearms instructor I am very concerned about recent government proposals to further restrict my Second Amendment rights. I feel restricting the availability of certain firearms or restricting the number of rounds in a magazine or allowing more background checks punishes law-abiding citizens while doing little or nothing to stop those who don’t follow the laws anyway. I seems kind of like trying to reduce drunken driving by making it tougher for sober people to own cars.

Instead I propose the following:

School marshals: Allow school staff members to carry concealed in the schools. This idea is not so radical as some would have us believe. In most schools there are staff members who might be willing to become “school marshals.” Some custodians, administrators and other professional staff would be perfect candidates for this program. They could be properly screened and sent for thorough training similar to what the air marshals receive.

These “school marshals” should be required to conceal carry their firearm very discreetly. Only the administrator should even be aware they are carrying. Kind of like the air marshal program, but in schools. They should be required to carry the firearm on their person. They should receive a stipend for this service, have their firearm and practice ammunition provided and be trained at the governments expense. I think the NRA has already indicated it would do the training for free. I feel something like this could be effective in stopping these school shootings.

Stricter penalties for using firearms in crime: Another proposal would be to pass laws making life harder for criminals who break firearms laws already in existence. Anyone caught with an illegal firearm should have five years added to their prison sentence. Anyone using a firearm in a crime would have 10 years added to their sentence. Anyone who uses a firearm in a violent crime or murder should have 20 years added on to their sentence.

Let’s make life harder for criminals, not for law-abiding citizens and gun owners.

James L. Carez

Parkersburg