Ron Maurer: Guns in school? Fine by me!

Kari Chisholm FacebookTwitterWebsite

If you have a concealed handgun license, then you should be permitted to bring it to school. - Ron Maurer

I've been spending some time lately watching the videos of the appearances of various candidates at the Washington County Public Affairs Forum. Last night, I was watching the appearance of Supt of Public Instruction Susan Castillo and her challenger, Rep. Ron Maurer (R-Grants Pass).

It was a fairly sedate discussion - mostly about school curriculum, funding, structure, etc. But there was one Q&A that was fairly jarring.

Apparently, Ron Maurer's fealty to the gun lobby is so strong that he actually thinks teachers should be packing when they're in the classroom. Here's what he said:

My answer is that if you have a concealed handgun license, then you should be permitted to bring it to school.

Unbelievable. I took some flak a few weeks ago when I suggested that Maurer's right-wing views on social issues should matter to voters. I'm more convinced of that than ever.

Guns in school? That's absurd. And not what Oregonians want in a state schools chief.

Full transcript and video on the jump...

QUESTION: Recently, there's been a high profile court case regarding a Medford teacher who was harassed and stalked by her ex-husband. She wanted to bring a concealed handgun to class to protect herself. Oregon Court of Appeals denied that to her. I was wondering whether you support allowing teachers to bring handguns to school or into their classrooms.

MAURER: I have not been asked that question before, but I will give you my answer.

My answer is that if you have a concealed handgun license, then you should be permitted to bring it to school.

I believe that the Oregon Constitution is clear. Oregon statute is very clear. That is a district policy. And it's been adjudciated in the courts.

CASTILLO: Well, I do not support having guns in school. At all. And I think, you know, it comes down to - we make decisions about not allowing guns in courthouses.

You can't go see a Trailblazer game and carry a weapon to go see a Trailblazer game. I don't know why our children wouldn't get the same sort of protection in school. Guns do not belong in school. So, I would be opposed to it.

Susan Castillo is exactly right. Nothing good can come from having teachers packing heat in the classroom. (I could certainly see an argument for trained security personnel and police officers in particular situations - but that's a different question.)

Here's the video. The relevant discussion happens at 47:45.

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    Of course, you might also point out that the Superintendent of Public Instruction has absolutely nothing to do with whether guns are allowed in schools.

    Personally, I don't think we should be electing the head of the Department of Education in any event. One of the reasons is that these kinds of irrelevant political issues too easily become the basis for making the selection.

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      I agree that we shouldn't be electing the Labor Commissioner and the Superintendent. And perhaps even the Treasurer and many judges.

      But to say the Superintendent has "absolutely nothing to do with whether guns are allowed in schools" is an overstatement.

      The Superintendent should be an expert on school issues, should use her bully pulpit, and should be someone the legislature and school districts can consult when looking at laws and policies.

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    Guns in school? That's absurd. And not what Oregonians want in a state schools chief. Isn't this a little presumptuous of you Kari? Won't we know whether or not voters want it after May 18th?

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      I suspect even if Maurer were to win, most Oregonians wouldn't want this in their school chief. They'd be voting for him despite it, IMO.

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    The Medford School Board took a stance not supported by Oregon Law and it has been upheld thus far. The truth of the matter is the Superintendent is not the person making the rule or even a decision maker.

    Susan Castillo has spent the past two terms defending and maintaining the status quo. It is time for a fresh approach and Dr. Maurer will provide that fresh approach. Imagine someone with a doctorate of Education at the helm of the State board of education. Simply amazing!

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      Uh, I think that by "fresh" you really mean "ripe," as in foul, smells bad and will make you (in this case, our schools) very, very ill.

      Or if that's not what you mean, it sure is a lot closer to reality!

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      I find it amusing that so-called conservatives decry the usefulness of an education degree...except when it's held by a candidate they support.

      How very enlightening.

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    Hi Kari,

    Are you therefore admitting that teacher's pose a grave danger to school children and that we should keep weapons out of their hands? I can understand this position given what's come to light with that Beaverton School District Teacher ...


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      Just like guns in homes, the problem is with unintended users like kids, or like someone who steals the gun from the teacher when the teacher whips it out for protection.

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    It really raises the broader issue for me. Guns in courthouses? No. Guns at sporting events? No. Guns in grocery stores? OK. Guns in churches? OK. Guns in Starbucks? OK. It's hard to come up with bright-line policy reasons for some of the distinctions; for me, if we've concluded that it's just a bad idea for people to be packing heat in places where there's some greater vulnerability to using a gun, then the concealed weapons laws should be changed.

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    "Fresh," like "innovative," is one of those faith-based descriptions used to avoid talking about actual issues, about the resources needed to accomplish what we expect of our schools, and about plans to make it happen.

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    I am a firm beleiver in the 2nd ammendment. However, schools, courthouses and federal buildings should be off limits to guns of any sort not being carried by certified law enforcement. The issue with the teacher in Medford should have been handled differently by law enforcement so that she was not in fear and felt compelled to carry her weapon at all times. These are seperate issues.

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      Then schools need the same level of entry screening that those other places have. I am pretty sure schools are not there yet by a long shot.

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    "Kip" Kinkel knew there would be no guns there.

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        Let's not let reality get in the way of a perfectly good diatribe. In order to obtain a Concealed Cary Permit, an Oregonian must be an adult. Thus obviating armed teenagers in a public school.

        Bottom line, Oregon law does not restrict properly licensed Concealed Carry Permit holders from carrying siad weapon in public buildings. that includes public education buildings.

        Don't like it? Change the law. Personally I would have no problem with such a change. Until then follow the law.

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          Except we weren't talking about Concealed Carry Permits in this context. We were talking about "guns in school" in general. So let's at least try to all work within the same context, please. This also was not a discussion of the law-but a discussion of what's appropriate. Just because one "can" do something, doesn't mean one "should".

          Moving to "concealed carry permits" to allow guns in schools or other heavily populated public places: I'm still not seeing why it's appropriate or a good idea. It's a set up for more violence and crossfire--and not getting to the root of the problem of why people feel unsafe in the first place. And in my view, it makes the situation much less safe to add firearms to that already potentially volatile mix.

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            Carla, I visited a plant sale at the Expo Center a few weeks back and a gun show was being conducted in the neighboring building. Posted prominently at each entrance to the gun show (but not at the entrance to the plant sale) was a sign emphatically stating "no guns allowed". Now there's a vote of confidence. I guess those weapons vendors know their constituency. ;>)

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            Actually Carla We WERE tlkaing about concealed carry permits in this context. I know of course that you will be gentically unable to admit that you were wrong - but you are.

            The entire discussion is about Concealed Carry and handguns in Oregon public buildings. Specifcally public schools.

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              Actually, Kurt, only YOU, Maurer and the other gun nuts were talking ONLY about concealed carry permits. Susan Castillo, Carla and the rest of us are talking about the broader issue, and are quite clear where we stand: no guns, in any school, for any reason, period. And no hiding behind absurd interpretations of concealed carry laws, either.

              It is you who seem to want to narrow things down to where you can assert "The Medford School Board took a stance not supported by Oregon Law" with a straight face, despite your own admission that this supposedly unsupported stance "has been upheld thus far." Looks like we don't need our Judiciary any more, since we have you to tell us what our laws do and don't support.

              In the mean time, we'll continue to oppose those such as you who seem to think that the solution to gun violence in America (in our schools or anywhere else) is more guns.

              And you'll continue to fault our "genetics" demonstrating for all to see how much the truth is on your side. (BTW, was that meant as an attack on Carla's gender or heritage, or do you have documentation of her personal genome that we don't?)

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                Jay, you are either a nwcomer or have not posted under your name in the past. Carla has a rich history of divergence and obfuscation when presented with facts opposite her pre-concived ideals.

                actually in this case we ARE talking about what Dr. Ron Mauer was supposed to have said about guns in schools. Since he is from southern Oregon the issue arises out of the actions taken by the Medford School Board las year in denying a concealed carrier permit holder, also a teacher form carrying. Oregon law leaves all public buildings open to concealed carry permit holders. That includes public school buildings as well as University buildings.

                I am no "gun nut" as you blythly accuse, just someone pointing out the hypocrasy of those on the side that would violated state law when it fits their needs or desires. Don't like the law? Change it. But don't tie a ribbon around a bag of sewage and spray liac water in it in trying to convince me it is perfume.

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                  Kurt: As you can plainly see, I wasn't responding to anything that Maurer said. I responded to the person who alluded that guns should be in school.

                  Your need for me to be wrong is quaint--but sad. I know you bear a grudge because I've pushed back on you (and posted links to back it up). But you're just getting silly at this point. Seriously.

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                  Kurt, I may not post frequently, but have posted her under my own name since the M66/67 dustup, and under the nickname of "jaybeat" for many years previously.

                  As far as I'm concerned, Carla has a rich history of exposing all kinds of (usually, but not always) right-wing debauchery, malfeasance and flat-out lies. No offense to any of the other regular contributors to BO, but she seems to me to be the most cast in the investigative-journalist mold, researching original stories, and backing them up with 1st-hand sources and verifiably factual data. I've seen many examples of "divergence and obfuscation" from ideologues who are obviously annoyed at the thoroughness of her reporting, but Carla's arguments (not to mention poise in the face of disgusting and off-topic attacks--genetics, anyone?) almost always emerge unscathed.

                  Anyone who thinks guns belong in schools is welcome to argue that position on the merits. I reserve the right to consider anyone who would wish to do so a gun nut, along with other things not suitable to be published in a family blog!

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                  What a strange position I find myself in. I am usually very liberal in my views and consider democrats far to conservative for my taste. But I have to admit unfortunately, that I disagree with Carla, Kari, et al and agree with Kurt and company.

                  I have ccp and feel guilty because I don't exercise my rights and carry more. Kurt is right, ccp folks can carry and do carry into schools and other public buildings. In Portland the city regulates that you separate the magazine and weapon. I never thought I was a gun nut. I am sad to learn that I am. I'm adamantly opposed to the promotion of more unarmed victim zones.

                  What Ron (who I will not be voting for) says is fine with me. I think a district who wants to regulate similar to Portland's laws seems reasonable. It may alleviate some of the fears Kari was concerned about. The whole state is open carry with regulation in some cities (PDX, Salem,etc.). It's not allowed in federal buildings. Even the state and county parks with their "no guns" rules on the signs are unenforceable.

                  I heard Carl and Kari's discussion on this topic on 620 the other morning. I normally enjoy him, he is a savvy guy, but found myself wondering which one of us was extreme on this.

                  "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Dr. Ben Franklin

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              Actually, Kurt, I took Carla's comment to be a concern about teachers bring weapons into rooms full of teenagers with raging hormones. Wouldn't take much to overpower a teacher and remove his/her gun.

              Unless you expect the teacher to be quick on the draw in the classroom?

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      Sure, because Kip Kinkel was clearly very concerned with how he fared?

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    Yeah,let's emulate Afghanistan and Somalia where everyone is packing a piece.

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    If the Good Guys are not allowed to have guns in our schools then the only ones who will have them will be the Bad Guys, the shooters, the mass murderers. The greatest risk in our schools is having none of the Good Guys bearing arms for the defense of innocent students and teachers. This means a policy the result of which is that only the shooters will have guns -- a policy that is sheer lunacy.

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      Todd, It appears you really do live in an imaginary world, peopled with "Good Guys", "Bad Guys", and "Innocents". Just like a John Ford Western movie (except in the movies everyone had a copy of the script...and they were shooting blanks). In your world, how do you distinguish between the three, by the color of their hats? In your world, of all the people walking around the school carrying firearms, how do you (or anyone else) know who the "Bad Guys" are? Is that person who just drew a weapon a "Bad Guy" or is (s)he a "Good Guy" who just spotted a "Bad Guy" that you missed? Or is this person with the gun an "Innocent" who just picked up a gun dropped by a "Good Guy" (or do they never drop their "piece" in your world)? When would you have been able to tell, in a school full of armed people, that Kip Kinkle was a "Bad Guy"? And that cop from Gresham who killed his wife and her friends. When should the armed "Good Guys" in the bar in your world have started shooting him? What special knowledge do you have to distinguish your "Good Guys" from your "Bad Guys"? Do you give lessons? Heck, the highly-trained INS agent can't even tell by looking whose student Visa has expired. How do you propose identifying who is a "Good Guy" and when they should start shooting? "Good Guys" even get shot in the movies, so even screenwriters haven't figured that one out yet. But apparently you have.

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      The mindset demonstrated by this post is frighteningly paranoid. It's this type of fear which leads people with guns to open fire in a panic, leading to "unintentional" or, as I like to call them, negligent shootings. The constant fear of everything around you, Todd, is not healthy.

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    There is no doubt in my mind that this is a calculated opinion on Mauer's part to court the gun lovers in Oregon, and bolster his conservative street cred. Not that it needs it though. Simple politics, that.

    But on the other hand, this in an issue with no suitable resolution. Guns, particularly in our culture, imply violence, and seem intuitively out of place in schools, court houses, churches, etc. Anywhere, in fact, where we try to get along with some semblance of civilized behavior, and solve our differences without threats, implied or otherwise.

    On the other, other hand -- there are bad people in the world who would harm us in these places too. But as the recent murders of three women in Gresham show, even police officers, let alone citizens who hold concealed weapon permits, are not beyond being the bad guys.

    I own guns, locked up safely in, well, a safe. They’re for target shooting only and I would never, ever, consider packing a pistol around town under my jacket or on my belt, and doing so seems to me to border on a paranoia fueled by the media’s love of selling fear.

    There’s also an element among some of the gun toters of self-aggrandizement, a sense that they are the inheritors of some old-west ethic of machismo and rugged manliness. I sense this is why people -- like Lars Larson for instance -- make such a big deal of letting everyone know that they’re “packing heat,” and why Mauer wants them in schools.

    One does wonder though what the effect would be on little Johnny and Suzy’s history class if they knew the teacher had a .357 under his jacket.

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      That's an excellent description of the scenario I was trying to describe above.

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      Wow. How to prove any point you want by supposition and hyperbole.

      Masterful, yet vacuous.

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        Thanks Ken! I'm equally impressed with your incisive comment which adds nothing of actual value to the discussion.

        I seem to have missed your comment on the actual post. Do you favor guns in schools?

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          I will post comments on what I choose, but I do reserve the option to call BS when I see it. Hence my post in response to you creating some scenario that would make your point. I can speculate a scenario to make my case as well. That is devoid of reality so I call BS.

          To the post: When I was in grade school in Oregon, guns were in school quite often. Kids had to bring their rifles in to the hunter safety classes, which were conducted in the school. In high school, students often had rifles in their gun rack in the school parking lots.

          Nothing bad happened. The gun is not the problem.

          A person who has a C.C.P. is not a criminal, not insane and has either demonstrated proficiency in the military or passed a safety course where he or she learns not only gun handling, but also his/her liabilities when carrying a gun in public and if ever needing to defend his or herself or others.

          A gun doesn’t take itself to school, so the question isn’t about guns in school; it is about a citizen, following the law, being armed at school. I support that. I support all the constitutional rights.

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   my scenario above is so far out there that it couldn't happen that way....good to know.

            And you're right, Ken, since nothing bad every happened at your school where people did have guns that clearly that proves that there should be no problem with people bringing guns into schools.

            What do you think WILL happen when/if a shooter enters a school and we have armed teachers as well? Do you think the armed teacher is going to take out the shooter and the kids are going to just sit quietly and wait to see that happen? Or are you just saying that if teachers are armed shooters will suddenly become sane and go "oh gee, I better not go there. There might be someone else with a gun to shoot back."

            And FYI---being a citizen, following the law, will still get you shot by police if they can't tell if you are the original shooter or not. And it doesn't keep you from shooting kids in your classroom while trying to take out a shooter.

            Guns don't belong in the classroom. Kids should be able to go to school without worrying about their teacher being in a shootout. One more thing....just because you get CCP doesn't mean you are just means you qualified as sane to get the permit. And people snap all the time. I had a teacher who snapped and put her arms through the window glass in our room and then started throwing chairs. I shudder to think what would have happened if she'd been carrying a gun.

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              Well, clearly we will not agree. But, to paraphrase John Stuart Mill, the risks to society from the misuse of freedoms is not as great as the risk to society by restricting those freedoms.

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    does Ron Mauer advocate for students who are 18+ being able to bring concealed weapons to school? into classrooms?

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