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January 08, 2014 - Readers sound off on open-carry

On Thursday, December 12, a man lawfully carried a Glock 9mm handgun into Oxford Middle School to attend a concert a family member was in. He didn't shoot anyone, he didn't violate the law, and no one got hurt.

That man was me. Therefore, I think I have a unique point of view to comment on an article that was created due to my lawful and appropriate actions.

Firstly, lets keep a brief lecture on the legal ramifications simple. The Federal Gun-Free School Zones Act prohibits ANYONE to come within 1000 feet of school property with a firearm, except under very special conditions. One of those very special conditions is if the person in question has a license issued by the sate (Michigan) to carry a weapon concealed. Therefore, the quote in the article is dead wrong when it says that "any individual could open carry into a school".

To legally do so, you must undergo legal training, as well as live-fire training. Only someone, like me, who possesses such a license, can legally carry a firearm into a school.

The problem is that MCL 28.425o prohibits anyone from carrying a CONCEALED weapon into a school. That is why myself and others must resort to carrying our weapons OPEN.

But why would anyone want to carry a gun, let alone into a school? Why would you need one?

Well, personally, I carry at least one everywhere I legally can. Sometimes open, sometimes concealed, depending on the law's stance on where I am going. It is so I can defend myself and the lucky people around me from unwanted attackers where ever I am.

Did you know that the theater in Aurora, Colorado was the only theater in the area that prohibited firearms? Yet a mass shooting happened, and no one inside could defend themselves. Did you know that it is illegal to carry guns in the Naval Yard in Washington, D.C.?

Did you know it is illegal to carry guns into schools in Sandy Hook Elementary, Columbine High School, and Virginia Tech?

The shooters seem to go only where no one is allowed to have a gun to defend themselves. I, personally, will never be caught in that situation where someone is murdering people around me and I have no way to stop it.

My Second Amendment rights "shall not be infringed" because I have a duty to protect myself, my family, strangers I don't even know, and my freedom.

And THAT is why any further illegalization of firearms in schools is a dangerous idea.

James Baker

Addison Township

The Dec. 25 article "District wants open-carry of guns banned in schools' was full of misinformation and political pandering.

First of all School Board Trustee Jim Reis' statement that anyone can open carry a pistol into a school is incorrect. MCL 750.237a section (4) states that it is a misdemeanor to possess a pistol in a weapons free school zone. Section (5) then lists the qualifications for whom this does not apply, one of which is having a concealed pistol license. Therefore only persons in the general public with a concealed pistol license can open carry into a school.

He also states "It just creates panic and the district isn't setup to handle that on a daily basis." I would like to know how many times the schools have had to go into a lockdown because someone was legally open carrying a pistol. I am not aware of any incidences of this in at least the last three years. This type of drama is uncalled for.

The Michigan constitution states "Sec. 6. Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state."

Based on this article and the article back in January 2013 in which Oxford Superintendent Dr. William Skilling stated that he was glad that Governor Rick Snyder vetoed Senate Bill 59 which would have made it illegal to open carry in a school, but make it legal to carry concealed, I can deduce that our school board needs some education on the rights of the people.

Jim Zinke

Oxford

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