Meadville Tribune

Local News

January 16, 2013

GUNS IN SCHOOLS: Local officials, educators chime in on divisive issue


MEADVILLE — Don’t take guns lightly

“I believe in the Constitution,” Stefanucci said. “I’m all for having guns. I don’t think there should be gun control — because I don’t think guns are the problem.”

Schools, as Stefanucci sees it, should be teaching teachers to run with their children and to hide with their children. And if guns are ever allowed in schools, teachers should be taught to shoot only as an absolutely last resort.

This advice doesn’t apply only to teachers. In fact, any current or potential gun owner needs to understand exactly what a bullet can do. For Stefanucci, the bottom line is simple: If you’re not prepared to use that gun to take another life, you shouldn’t carry it.

“A bullet can go through a wall. It can go through a body. After it’s all done, what if you find a student who was killed with a 9 mm bullet that came from a teacher’s gun?” Stefanucci asked, noting that while police officers are constantly training both physically and mentally to deal with lethal situations, teachers simply don’t have the time needed to put in the hours required.

Other factors must also be considered.

To cite just one example of the complexity, many officers who have been involved with shootings are no longer police officers. “They either can’t take the pressure from the community or their own feelings about taking another life,” Stefanucci explained. “The problem isn’t when the shooting takes place. It’s afterwards. If they don’t get the proper psychological help after they’ve taken another life, they won’t stay police officers — and if you don’t get help after that, you probably shouldn’t be a police officer. Teachers will have to think about things like that.”

Sperry, a gun owner himself, agrees. “It’s a huge jump from carrying a weapon to firing it at someone,” he said.

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