Allowing Employees to Carry Guns Increases Risk of Workplace Murder

The Tri-Valley School Board will meet on April 11 to give second reading to its proposed school gunslinger policy. If the Tri-Valley board won’t believe my contention that bringing guns to school puts kids at physical and psychic risk, perhaps they’ll believe this workplace research showing that pro-gun policies put employees at greater risk of homicide:

In this study, the risk of a worker being killed at work was substantially higher in workplaces where employer policy allowed workers to keep guns: workplaces where guns were specifically permitted were 5 to 7 times more likely to be the site of a worker homicide relative to those where all weapons were prohibited. Only a small increase in the risk of homicide was associated with workplaces that allowed weapons other than guns. After we adjusted for workplace characteristics and preventive measures, further analysis suggested that the increased risk associated with employer policies allowing guns was not completely explained by either characteristics of the workplace that may be indicative of its inherent “riskiness” or employers’ failure to adopt recommended protections [Dana Loomis, Stephen W. Marshall, and Myduc L. Ta, “Employer Policies Toward Guns and the Risk of Homicide in the Workplace,” American Journal of Public Health, May 2005].

This research suggests that allowing school staff to carry guns will put school staff at greater risk of getting killed. Maybe the risk won’t increase for kids as much, since they are smaller targets… but there are more of them. How about we just not test the math? Tri-Valley, stand down. Stick with your armed, uniformed school police officer if you must, and don’t put your staff and students at greater risk.

100 Responses to Allowing Employees to Carry Guns Increases Risk of Workplace Murder

  1. barry freed


    Another issue that statistically never happens written by a research company that will find in any way you pay them to find.

    The authors introduce their topic by stating their real agenda as an assumption: “we hypothesized that policies allowing guns in the workplace may increase the risk of homicide for workers.” A more appropriate hypothesis would have been: “Do policies allowing guns in the workplace have an impact on the risk of homicide?”

    A fake science, dog whistle.

  2. mike from iowa

    Another issue that statistically never happens written by a research company that will find in any way you pay them to find.

    Easy enough to settle this claim. Cory,how much did you pay them for these stats?

    Personally, I don’t think workplace violence happens because of unicorns.

  3. When a school shooting happens in SD that could have been prevented by a Superintendent that was carrying a pistol, blame the liberals.

  4. Chuck Point

    Here is something that is a Statistical Absolute, More Guns equals More Gun Violence, Less Guns equals Less Gun Violence. No Guns equals No Gun Violence.

  5. Stum, who do we blame when a school shooting is a result of a Superintendent carrying a pistol? When they overreact to a threat, or when they escalate a situation into a shootout rather than being able to resolve it peacefully, who is to blame then?

    When you have a gun at your side, it tends to be a lot easier way to “solve problems” than using a brain and logic.

    The simple truth is, if we look to our latest school shooting in South Dakota, the end result was one minor injury to an arm, no lives lost, and one kid in jail. Had the teacher and administration been armed, I’m guessing things would have ended quite differently.

    I find it difficult to internally justify a desire to have more guns in school knowing that it will most likely result in more gun deaths and more shootings.

  6. Darin Larson

    Craig, you illustrate the point well. Had the administrator been armed, the kid would be dead.

  7. Eve Fisher

    When a school shooting happens in SD that was caused by a student stealing the gun that a Superintendent supposedly was keeping in a safe place, well… that’s the price you pay for freedom.

  8. barry this is a peer-reviewed study, not just something someone paid for and published in a less than credible journal. It was published in the American Journal of Public Health and drafted under the guidance of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health.

    It was also funded by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It was not funded by the Brady campaign or a gun control group. It is also interesting to see since it was funded by the federal government and published in 2005 that the grant was probably distributed in 2003 or 2004. It must have been a pet project of the liberals who were running the country back then. Oh wait…

    Back on Earth for a moment – if barry doesn’t agree with the findings perhaps he should consider citing a source which claims the opposite. A peer-reviewed study published in a reputable journal which shows that having more guns in a workplace results in fewer gun deaths. What’s that barry? You don’t have the time or energy to locate such a fictional study and it is just easier to attack sources that you disagree with by attempting to discredit them? Oh I see.

  9. Steve Sibson

    Those who give up rights for the sake of safety will have neither.

  10. The Study you cited is incomplete. How many of those carrying guns had 40 hours of training? how many of those homicides were caused by non-lethal ammunition? There is still too many questions. That and you are only focused on one very small aspect of the entire plan.

    What do the parents of Tri-valley students think?

  11. Darin – that is one possible outcome, but other possibilities are even more horrific. It is possible we would have two or more people with guns shooting at one another with little to no concern over where those bullets might travel after they leave the gun.

    Best case scenario – the teacher or administrator shoots the kid to disable him, but it isn’t a life threatening injury. Everyone lives to see another day. Worst case scenario the kid knows some teachers or administrators might be armed so instead he just goes in guns blazing and kills anyone in the same room as the original target. He then leaves and continues firing his weapon at other targets until he runs out of ammunition. Eventually a staff member who has a gun is able to respond and return fire but an few missed shots penetrate the wall of a classroom and injure or kill another student before the gunman is finally shot dead.

    I guess I sort of like the way it actually ended… nobody died. I don’t see any possible outcome which would have been better, and I don’t see any scenario where a staff member with a gun would have improved that situation. Guns will never prevent a gunman from taking the first shot because we can’t predict what others might do. Guns are only a reaction, but the risk of their presence has been shown to increase the chances of more gun violence. So what have we solved?

  12. Does anyone believe that Betty Olson and Stace Nelson were unarmed in the capital in compliance with the gun prohibition? There will always be those who subscribe to the idea that it’s better to ask for forgiveness than for permission. I wonder if this Tri-Valley superintendent is packing heat in school already.

  13. Good Sense


    Another possible outcome is that the kid knew armed teachers were in the building and decided not to bring a weapon at all.

    Best solution.

  14. mike from iowa

    Don’t it stand to reason that if someone wants to shoot you,you should make that person work at it? Make that person run home and get his shooty gun,don’t let him have it on site. Too easy that way. If he/she/it has to go and get a gun there is a chance for some kind of intervention or preparation or taking to your heels and gamboling several ridges away where he can’t find you.

  15. So in Harrisburg last fall, did the student shooter know the regular armed school resource officer would be gone that day?

    If Tri-Valley already has an armed deputy on site full time, how many more guns do we need for any deterrent effect to happen?

    Of course, the deterrence calculus depends on assuming that we are reducing the risk of someone coming to the school with intent to kill. There’s already darned little of that intent, as evidenced by the rarity of school shootings in South Dakota (number in Tri-Valley: zero). We are trading a minimal reduction of an almost non-existent risk for a sizable increase in daily risk for everyone in the building. That’s far from the best solution.

  16. Good Sense: “Another possible outcome is that the kid knew armed teachers were in the building and decided not to bring a weapon at all.”

    Cory beat me to it, but since Tri-Valley already has an armed resource officer, doesn’t it stand to reason that he/she serves as the deterrent? How many people need to have guns before we feel that a potential shooter would think to themselves that it is just too risky?

    We hear about shootings on military bases all the time, and as we saw recently in Oregon even being surrounded by armed, well trained law enforcement doesn’t indicate a gunman will have a change of heart. The simple presence of armed men and women clearly doesn’t always change the actions of a determined gunman.

  17. Good Sense

    One would have to presume that gun-free zones prevent killings, but history has proven otherwise. Also one would have to believe that any person carrying a weapon will turn into a Rambo-type gunslinger (your word) who is just looking for people to whack.

    How many people have carried weapons at the State Fair or at the Sioux Empire Fair or the Brown County Fair. I know there have been. Has there been mass shootings?

    I would rather have someone near my children willing and able to take out a perp with a gun. I would imagine parents at Columbine and Virginia Tech might feel the same way.

  18. Good Sense


    Odds are that one armed person in a building the size of Tri-Valley school will not be in the right place at the right time.

  19. crossgrain

    Anyone bringing a gun into a school with the intent do do harm is NOT a rational actor. Expecting that person to act rationally to the deterrent of armed staff is therefore an irrational expectation, is it not? Two irrationals don’t make a rational.

  20. mike from iowa

    I’m betting that some one will challenge the theory that more guns equal safer schools. with expected consequences. Not every dispute can be or needs to be settled with bullets and blood. Next thing you know the NRA will demand debate teams settle debates with paint ball guns or worse.

  21. Good Sense

    If that is one’s belief then why have any laws at all? Speeding laws do not prevent all speeding, but do deter many. Texting laws do not prevent all texting but do deter many. Same with seat belt laws and motorcycle helmet laws.

    It has been said that a determined shooter is not rational. No protection from that shooter is more irrational.

  22. No, Barry, that opening statement alone does not show bias. Researchers construct a hypothesis to test, then test it. The alternate hypothesis you propose is too vague, pointing in both directions. They could have chosen either direction to phrase the hypothesis—gun policies increase risk, gun policies decrease risk—but they have to pick one or the other to investigate. You’ll need to show us real evidence of flaws in methodology or funding by some questionable source.

  23. Bad analogies, GS. My opposition to the school gunslinger law is not just about its inability to stop school shootings. It is about the increased risk that school gunslingers create for teachers and students every day, whether or not any school shooters show up.

    It is true that speed limit laws do not prevent every driver from exceeding a certain speed. However, can you show me that speed limits create a separate risk of deadly harm?

    Ditto texting laws: morons still text behind the wheel (stop it! Your message isn’t more important than not running me over!), but does a texting ban have some overarching negative impact on the people who obey the ban?

    Ditto seat belt and helmet laws (which aren’t on my high-priority list): can you show me that seat belts and helmets cause some physical harm (belts trapping people in blazing cars; belts strangling little kids? helmets causing brain cancer?) that outweighs the extra lives we save and injuries we prevent by requiring their use? If so, then yeah, I’m with you on voting on cost-benefit analysis.

    But on school gunslinger policies; you’re weighing infinitesimal, hypothetical benefits while ignoring the real increase in risk that the above study demonstrates. I’m more likely to get killed at work if my employer allows workers to carry guns.

  24. Stace Nelson

    If more guns in a dangerous situation makes it worse? Why is it you folks call the cops? Or our military?

    Gun free zones ONLY protect those who wish to commit evil. If they were magical? Every liberal would have a sign in front of their house saying the premises is gun free.

  25. mike from iowa

    Don’t tell me,let me guess- because cops are trained and paid to protect and serve the general public. With armed morons running all over the place,the good guys won’t know who the bad guys are and will just throw up their little arms in disgust and go home. See?

  26. mike from iowa

    How many people have carried weapons at the State Fair or at the Sioux Empire Fair or the Brown County Fair. I know there have been. Has there been mass shootings?

    How many more people have not carried weapons at any fairs? Have there been any more mass shootings?

  27. Roger Cornelius

    Exactly mfi, how will the police or military know if that armed teacher is not the shooter?

  28. GS: “Odds are that one armed person in a building the size of Tri-Valley school will not be in the right place at the right time.”

    So you believe two or three armed people would be? By all means please justify this assumption.

    Stace Nelson: “If more guns in a dangerous situation makes it worse? Why is it you folks call the cops? Or our military”

    If you can find me a cop or a member of the military who has only 40 hours of training and who has no requirement to continue to train on a regular basis, then I’ll show you someone who I don’t want showing up to a “dangerous situation” with a gun.

    I understand having an armed school resource officer and I really don’t have a problem with that. I don’t think they need a gun in school, but I understand it is part of their uniform and they may be called elsewhere and find themselves in need of it. So I find it acceptable for them to have a firearm on them at all times because it isn’t feasible to expect them to lock it up elsewhere. However a school resource officer is a trained law enforcement officer. They go through thousands of hours of training. They deal with stressful, often violent, situations. They are trained to de-escalate situations and they are trained in non-lethal means of incapacitating an assailant. They know a firearm is the last means of defense and most hope they never need to use it. They also go through re-training and regular firearms certification to keep their skills fresh.

    I consider that a big difference. If they want to add another resource officer who has been trained then by all means do so. Arming a random administrator or teacher and expecting it to make our schools more safe isn’t logical. I’ve seen far too many stories of self-proclaimed gun rights advocates who claim they know how to safely handle guns and who love to brag about how they don’t leave their homes without a concealed firearm who end up on the wrong end of a bullet.

    Just ask Jamie Gilt how well that mentality works out in the end. She was another one who thought more guns equals more safety. Right up until she was shot by her four year old son.

  29. crossgrain

    Can we tax ammo enough to pay for more resource officers? Put your money where your mouth is!

  30. “Gun free zones ONLY protect those who wish to commit evil.” Sigh

    Mr Nelson is still relying on flawed and inaccurate information and refuses to even be open to other problem solving ideas. Guns, guns, guns, is the only answer in that kind of mindset. Period. Very sad, and that “theory” gets way too many people in this country killed on a daily basis (not a very pro-life stance, is it?) The last time I “tried” to have a discussion with Mr Nelson about his flawed data on this, he told me to move out of South Dakota….so I won’t even try again. Trying to have a discussion with a closed minded person is like trying to divide by zero.

    that being said, the statement “Gun free zones ONLY protect those who wish to commit evil.” Hmmm, the GOP convention is going to be a gun free zone. I’ll just leave it at that.

  31. bearcreekbat

    How about a compromise position consistent with the 2nd Amendment – Allow “arms” (guns) in schools, in the state Capital, in courthouses, at Republican political rallys, in big box stores, in children’s clothing and toy shops, at malls, in movie theaters, churches, and everywhere, but prohibit the manufacture, sale or possession of ammo. After all the 2nd Amendment is silent about ammo and without ammo guns could still be used as “arms” under the 2nd Amendment because a gun without ammo could be used as a club or projectile. Problem solved!

  32. mike from iowa

    About a month ago,the Tennessee lege made the Barrett M-82 sniper rifle the official state gun. Today,they made the bible the official state book. Trust in the lord,but keep your enemies a mile away?

  33. Mike – the Tennessee Bible bill made it out of committee but hasn’t passed the full Senate yet nor has it been signed into law.

    The official state gun however is legit. As the character Bob Lee Swagger (Mark Wahlberg) in the 2007 film “Shooter” said… “Welcome to Tennessee, patron state of shootin’ stuff.”

  34. Stace, you know that old cliché if people kill people and not guns. then how come you soldiers need guns in the first place?

  35. Stace Nelson

    Happy to compare my LE & marksmanship instructor bonafides with anyone.

    All the police in the world does you no good if they are 5 minutes away. Additionally, LE will not run into a hot shooter situation. When time is of the essence? Give me a law-abiding armed citizen on scene anyday.

    I support your choice to be unarmed in a dangerous world, your choice to be fearful of law-abiding citizens affording themselves of their Constitutional Rights translated into efforts to ignorantly disarm them? I will oppose to the best of my abilities.

  36. mike from iowa

    Craig,you are correct and I stand corrected. Thanks.

    There is no constitutional right for Rambos to run around shaking their guns at everyone. Sorry, bud,it just isn’t in there.

    Scalia is dead and his quaint notions hopefully died with him. No more paid for vacations from people/korporations he presided over,either.

  37. crossgrain

    I’ve spent a lot of time in high schools all over the upper midwest. I’ve yet to find this “dangerous world” you’re so fearful of. The most frightened I’ve ever been is whether or not my concession stand nacho cheese is going to be hot enough.

  38. Stace Nelson

    The afraid of guns but are okay with armed police crowd need to understand that our LE community are public servants to the law-abiding citizens of their community. Studies show that armed law-abiding citizens have a direct (and logical) impact on reducing the violent crime rate:

  39. We need to disarm the mentally ill, though Stace. This liberal is not against the 2nd Amendment, just insane people blowing up movie theaters and malls and post offices.

  40. Do you make all your daughters carry, Stace?

  41. Stace – with all due respect… your source attempting to link an increase in concealed carry permits with a decrease in crime is comical. You could just as well show a graph linking the increase in average global temperature to a decrease and crime and run around claiming that Global Warming causes a decrease in Crime. There is no data there to support their supposed link and no attempts to eliminate other factors such as population density, economic factors, legal vs. illegal firearms used in crimes, the overall crime rate in areas with lower CCW etc.

    Do you understand correlation does not equal causation? If that is the type of research you relied upon as a member of our legislature I’m genuinely embarrassed for you. I mean come on man… that isn’t a credible study, it hasn’t been published in a peer-reviewed journal and it is put out there by John Lott of all people on a website which is proven to be nothing but pro-gun.

    It is one thing to have an opinion, but when attempting to make an argument you need to spend a few minutes digging for some reputable data as opposed to just taking someone’s word for it because they run a website that supports the same causes as you do.

  42. I’m pretty sure Stace is brighter than that, Craig. He’s just a little wingnutty when it come to his guns.

  43. Scorecards don’t lie!

  44. mike from iowa

    crossgrain-carrying a gun could ensure that nacho cheese is hot enough-one way or another.

    Mr Nelson, there appears to be some yooge disagreement about the honesty of crimeresearch.orgs principle researcher-Dr John Lott.

  45. Darin Larson

    Stace and Craig- If we can just get people to eat less chicken our crude oil imports into the US would go down:

    As Craig said, Stace’s “study” is not even a “study”; it is a “report” that does not use scientific methods. It uses correlation to suggest causation.

    Stace, as the saying goes, you are entitled to your own opinion, but you are not entitled to your own facts!

    One problem in obtaining facts is that the NRA has blocked funding for studies and blocked the government from collecting data on the effect of guns in our society.

    Stace, it appears that the NRA does not want scientific peer-reviewed information about the effect of guns on society. The NRA is not afraid of science is it?

  46. bearcreekbat

    Stace, in my experience guns are a bit of a pain to carry around, whether carried open or concealed, as I have experienced both. The only justification I see for carrying gun is that you are scared, very scared of the people you meet in public, and you doubt your own ability to confront anyone unless you are armed. You trust no one and fear being hurt by someone boogie man, or even by your friends and neighbors. You are so fearful that you are willing to put up with the discomfort of dragging a rifle, or the discomfort of hiding a handgun on your body in an effort to calm your sensitive nerves.

    Thus it seems a bit extreme to suggest you carry a firearm to afford yourself a Constitutional right. The reality is that people who must carry guns with them are doing so because they are fearful whenever they leave their homes. Unfortunately, this means of trying to comfort oneself creates new dangers for everyone else nearby. But it is understandable that people so fearful of others are willing to jeopardize innocent bystanders in an effort to feel safer.

  47. Stace Nelson

    Let’s do a little “scientific” study here..

    How many liberals who push “gun free” zones have signs in front of their houses declaring their residence is a gun free zone?

    Hypocrites or common sense understanding of the correlation of being unarmed and a safe target of crime?

    There is not one study, not one fact, that would satisfy any one of you folks as to the correlation of being armed as a deterrent to criminal activity despite your own acknowledgements of that obvious logic in your own actions and cultural responses to a violent threat. Not one of you will ever say that when threatened? Your first response is to call your closest unarmed liberal to deal with the threat, it is to get an armed person there as quickly as possible. Even if that armed person is someone you have repeatedly and publicly vilified or condemned because of their acceptance of a firearm as a neccissart tool.

  48. mike from iowa

    If you conceal carry,do you have a sign around your neck saying you are armed? Or is that an albatross.? Maybe you carry a sandwich sign advertising the fact you are frightened.

  49. owen reitzel

    they why Stace is the Republican Convention a gun-free zone?

    “Those who give up rights for the sake of safety will have neither.”

    What rights are being given up Steve?

  50. mike from iowa

    Somehow, I seriously doubt average John Q Citizen is gonna rush headlong into a firefight knowing or not knowing what’s what. More than likely that person would likely attempt to shoot at someone who is unaware they may be shot from ambush. Much safer that way.

  51. “Those who give up rights for the sake of safety will have neither.” ss


    “I would imagine parents at Columbine and Virginia Tech might feel the same way.” gs


    “How many people have carried weapons at the State Fair or at the Sioux Empire Fair or the Brown County Fair. I know there have been. Has there been mass shootings?” gs

    bullsheit. are these gun free zones? am guessing yes. there seems to be knowledge of law-breaking.

    liz may and stace nelson seemed to have concealed carried in the capitol. a law legitimizing that ex post facto criminal act(s) makes their individual argument specious.

    barry carry-crickets. and no one called you an ammosexual although your opening dismissive yawn is no less incendiary. you don’t seem capable of rationally discussing the issue of regulation of a dangerous right. I am impressed that Daniel burish did not jump in the mud. but maybe that’s just wrong place, wrong time.

    if my throwing the bullsheit flag is without citation, give me a reason not to.

  52. I suspect that the insurance companies will ultimately settle this one. When school boards have to justify outrageous insurance premiums supporting “arming the custodian” – then the voters will put an end to the ammosexuals in schools.

  53. Darin Larson

    Stace- you go from citing a bogus “study” to saying that no study will satisfy “liberals.” Sounds like you are running away from serious discussion.

    Gun free zones are not free of guns. There are guns on campus, but they are held by trained law enforcement professionals whom the public trusts. I don’t think my kids will be more safe at college with more non-professionals on campus with guns. In fact, I think the opposite. In fact, that is what most students think.

    I’m not calling my friends with guns when I need help; I’m calling 911.

    I see you didn’t respond to my question on why the NRA stands in the way of scientific study. I think we all know why you didn’t respond.

  54. Stace Nelson

    @Darin You speak down to a certifiable LE & marksmanship instructor expert because of your inability to accept your
    Limited understanding of a subject you clearly have no experience in.

    You trust the limited training and experience of a college police officer though.

    Your right to entrust you and yours safety to someone with limited training does not supersede my rights to advocate for the individual rights of the public and myself.

    Ironic yet again for you liberals to throw yourself on the salvation of government even while despising the expertise of superior training and experience simply because it refutes your limited understanding of a subject.

  55. stace-has your arrogance been your undoing? whew.


    “you liberals”

  56. Stace Nelson

    P.S. Darin, you will have to excuse me.. I am not waiting with baited breath to respond to every whim and fancy of your ignorance of LE or marksmanship ability of entry level LE or law-abiding citizen carry.

    Of course you aren’t calling a fellow unarmed liberal when you have trouble, you are calling entry level ARMED LE.

    Additionally, you are jot relying on the ignorant “gun free zone” declaration for your residence that you insist on for our children as you know that idiocy invites attacks on innocents.

  57. Stace Nelson

    Leslie, you confuse arrogance with self confidence, experience, and the best training our nation had to offer.

    The fact remains that liberals, while cursing and bemoaning those armed to protect innocents, call armed people to protect themslves from the real life threats that law-abiding people are prudent enough to protect themselves and their loved ones from, immediately.

  58. Steve Hickey

    Stace – “you confuse arrogance with self confidence”

    That’s one of my lines. You are welcome to it.

  59. mike from iowa

    Nelson-who the flock appointed you ammosexuals guardians of the freaking world?
    You love your guns? Great! Try not to shoot yourself or any other innocents, Rambo.

  60. mike from iowa

    What a police state needs is cops that shoot straight,right? Chortle,chuckle,cackle,guffaw,he-he.

  61. Mr Nelson needs to quit painting with a broad brush when it comes to “liberals” and “guns” and “unarmed”. I own guns. I support the Second Amendment (AS INTENDED, and NOT how it has been rewritten by the NRA —

    Also, as ex LEO myself (I just don’t feel the need to have to continue to repeat that info like you do) I have seen the result of gun violence (Columbine, would be one that I was unfortunate to see — by the way, Columbine had an armed office on campus at the time – not 5 minutes away, like you like to talk about) There is so much more evidence that more guns equals more violence. Types of guns and high capacity magazines is also a problem. And that the “good guy with a gun” theory is faulty. Yes, I see where guns can defend people. Of course! But it has been a minority of instances where that has helped, more than hurt. Wasn’t Pres Reagan surrounded by armed LEO and Secret Service when the assasination was attempted? Hmmm

    More guns on the streets has severely increased the danger to innocent people in this country. Especially children. (children slaughtered in closet in their school – didn’t even make the gun nuts quiver – how disgusting is that? Yet, those same folks want to legislated women’s bodies…so odd) The toothpaste has come out of that tube, sadly, in flooding the streets with guns. Common sense gun safety laws won’t eliminate all gun deaths, but it sure will help.

  62. Darin Larson

    Stace- Your ego seems to know no bounds. Just like Dana P I own guns and use guns from time to time. I support the 2nd Amendment as it was intended as well. What I don’t support is your Rambo mentality that guns belong everywhere in society and we cannot regulate firearms in any reasonable manner. This is not the wild west. There is not a gunmen around every corner. You seem to live in fear. That is no way to live.

    You assume that every “law abiding citizen” carrying a gun is going to improve the security of a college campus. But having tons of amateurs walking around with guns all the time does not offer any guarantee of security and often times leads to more gun violence.

    A Scalia led Supreme Court recognizes the 2nd Amendment isn’t a divine right to be armed with every weapon under the sun at all times and place. And just wait until we confirm a moderate to the Supreme Court (or a liberal if your brain trust refuses to confirm Garland this year). SCOTUS will revisit the Heller screwup and hand guns will be regulated again. And it will partially be your fault because you are so extreme that you are driving the conversation to more regulation as a reaction to your over the top demands for gun rights.

  63. Stace, we will have so much fun in the Senate together.

    Stace wonders why liberals don’t put “gun-free zone” signs in front of our houses, even as concealed weapon carriers walk around without “I’m packing!” pins on their lapels. Geese and ganders?

    Guns do make situations more dangerous. When police or soldiers bring firearms to a location, there is a greater chance that a gun will go off and do harm than there is when there are no firearms. We call the police or the military (o.k., I don’t call the military‚—posse comitatus—but I get Stace’s point) when some other threat is so grave, clear, and present that the minor increase in danger from the arrival of an official armed person is outweighed by that official armed person’s ability to quell that other threat. If a school shooter shows up, sure, send the SWAT team. But the everyday threat of school shooters is not sufficiently clear and present to justify the increased workplace risk (which no one has refuted!) or expense of maintaining an ongoing armed presence in our schools.

    I look forward to applying the same calculus to debates with my esteemed colleague from Hanson County on the Senate floor. There is a minuscule chance that someone could take the unprecedented (i.e., it has never happened) action of walking into the South Dakota Senate and opening fire. That chance is so remote that it does not justify the continuing presence of firearms on the floor of a Legislative body charged with the sacred calling of ruling by reason and law rather than by deadly force.

    At the very least, I should be able to find out which teachers and janitors are carrying pistols in my school so I can avoid them and tell my child to avoid them. Likewise, I should be able to find out which legislators are sneaking guns into the Capitol so that I can warn lobbyists and constituents about the deadly force hidden in their jackets and purses. Curious: in the Senate, could I call a point of order and ask the sergeant at arms to confiscate weapons brought into the chamber by fellow members?

  64. Stace Nelson

    @Darin, et al,
    I always get a good chuckle out of people who advocate for gun control while claiming they support the 2nd Amendment as written which is an admission they have no clue as to the Founders cloquial word usage. The 2nd Amendment was written with he understanding of the time that every member of the community was the militia. The Founders understood that having ALL of the people armed (which was required back then) allowed the people to protect themselves and their communities.

    Claiming that having college campuses adhere to the same laws as the rest of the 99.9999% of South Dakota that exist around the small slivers of college campuses, will somehow cause cataclysmic results to public safety? is just ridiculous. Gun free zones do NOT work and attract mass shootings.

    There is no reputable safety expert that any one of you can cite that advocates disarming of the populace and having them rely on LE to protect them 24-7. On the contrary, every reputable security expert advises people to be armed!

    For those of you that advocate for more gun control, even as you claim to be armed yourselves, how is that not the worst hypocrisy ever?

    To revisit Stat Wars, the dark side and the empire want the rebels unarmed and helpless to protect themselves against government control and tyranny. So did England.

    Proud to carry on the light side fight and to be a rights supporting Ametican rebel.

  65. I agree Cory, you and Stace would be unusual allies in the fight against SD corruption. I’ll be waiting for the Nelson-Heidelberger anti-corruption bill!

  66. Darin Larson

    Stace- I’m going to take lectures from you on the 2nd Amendment which is part of my professional background about as well as you are going to take lectures from me on how to be a marine.

    But you don’t have to take my word for it. You can take Scalia’s word for it and the rest of the Supreme Court. I get a chuckle thinking about people like you who say they are for honoring the Constitution and then you disagree with the most conservative experts on the Constitution. That is not being conservative; that is being wrong and extremist. Welcome to the fringe. You are as a far out there as you fancy “liberals” to be.

  67. bearcreekbat

    Stace, you seem like an expert on the 2nd Amendment. As an expert in determining the meaning of the 2nd Amendment, do you rely on the plain language of the Amendment? Or do you rely on some outside source or sources that you believe ads to, or clarifies, the plain language of the Amendment?

    For example, I see nothing in the plain language 2nd Amendment about guns or ammo. How is it that you have concluded which weapons fall within the term “armed?” Why doesn’t the Amendment protect your right to be “armed” with a nuclear weapon? And if the right to posses a nuke can be restricted due to the danger it creates, why can’t the same analysis be applied to other weapons that pose a danger to innocent people, such as semi-automatic weapons, handguns, shotguns, etc?

    One pro-gun scholarly article relies on a textualism analysis to conclude the plain language of the 2nd Amendment means we have the right to possess any type of military weapon, including nukes, and argues it might be appropriate to adopt a 28th Amendment that explicitly restricts the right to bear arms to only guns and ammo, rather than nukes and other weapons of mass destruction.

    He focuses on a variety of 18th and 19th century definitions of the term “arms” to support his conclusion.

    But then he argues that “the preamble supports the idea that we the people can rein in someone’s claim to a “right” if that right presents enough of a threat to our domestic tranquility, and if the general welfare of our people is in enough danger. The danger posed by powerful weapons controlled by incompetent, careless, or malevolent individuals obviously qualifies.”

    In other words, although the 2nd Amendment in no way restricts your right to have a nuke, other parts of the Constitution must be construed to allow reasonable limits on the 2nd Amendment’s protections.

    If you agree with this textual analysis, then do you agree that we have the right under the 2nd Amendment to possess military weapons of mass destruction? And do you agree with the author’s conclusion that “we [simply] will have to look outside the Second Amendment to other parts of the Constitution to find the authority to” restrict the type of weapons that an individual can possess, and when and where he can possess this weapon?

  68. “disarming the populace”….no one is saying that. but the gun nuts LOVE to throw that propaganda out there. Jeez Stace….jeez.

    Darin and BCB…..thank you for bringing clear and logical points to this discussion.

  69. Stace Nelson

    @Darin You are entitled to your own opinions, not your own facts. Your gun control ideas are considered fringe here in SD, and are incongruess with the explicit intent of the 2nd Anendment and the Founders own views on the matter. As proof? I will wager that my young opponent will do his best to run from his gun control positions with the voters in District 19. Additionally, you will not find one candidate in SD who adopts your fringe ideas on gun control and makes it a center piece of their campaigns. Supporting and defending the 2nd Amendment are one of the top platform positions of my campaign.

    And by the way, it’s Marine and happy to compare 2nd Amendment professional bonafides anyday.

  70. I’m wondering where you hide your pistol, Mr. Nelson. Is there a 45-shaped indentation under your belly flap?

  71. Darin Larson

    Stace- Arguing with you is like herding cats: you are all over the place.

    You say “Your gun control ideas are considered fringe here in SD, and are incongruess with the explicit intent of the 2nd Anendment and the Founders own views on the matter.” By the way, I assume you meant “incongruence” and “Amendment”, while you can assume that I meant “Marine.” If I need to refer to you as “Your Royal Highness”, you’ll have to let me know.

    So you are claiming that my idea that there are limits on 2nd Amendment rights is not shared by most South Dakotans and the Supreme Court of the US? You can’t be serious!

  72. Darin Larson

    Dana P- thanks for bringing up the “disarming of the populace” quote from Stace. It is the tried and true scare tactic of the NRA faithful.

  73. Yes Darin, it sure is. When folks like you and me talk about common sense gun safety, people like Stace throw unsubstantiated NRA propaganda and talking points out there. Things that we’ve never said, nor have we come close to implying. Not once.

    And while we are talking here, there has been another active shooter incident in Virginia at a Greyhound bus terminal. Six shot, state trooper killed. According to news reports, state police were holding a training session there. So presumably, lots of armed cops. Soooo, it WASN’T a so-called gun free zone. Shooting still happened. Hmmm, yet another “incident” that blows the gun nut theories out the window.

  74. mike from iowa

    Image result for when were rifles invented
    The first half of the 19th century saw a distinct change in the shape and function of the bullet. In 1826 Delvigne, a French infantry officer, invented a breech with abrupt shoulders on which a spherical bullet was rammed down until it caught the rifling grooves.
    Rifle – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    When the 2nd amendment was written,there were no rifles of any type being used anywhere for any purpose,including assault rifles. The colonists had smoothbore muskets and ye olde blunderbusses.

  75. owen reitzel

    “The 2nd Amendment was written with he understanding of the time that every member of the community was the militia. The Founders understood that having ALL of the people armed (which was required back then) allowed the people to protect themselves and their communities.”

    Back then Stace everybody had to have a gun. We were a new country trying to survive. But to carry that forward to day is ridiculous. Nobody is attacking me or my family. I’ve been to Sioux Falls and even bigger cities and no problem. I refuse to live my life being paranoid all the time. I agree that we have a right to defend myself and my family, but we should be free to do it as we see fit.
    I think smart gun control is needed. No I don’t want government coming for your guns-which hasn’t happened and won’t happen. Despite what the NRA spews.

    Twisted any way you want Stace but smart gun control is needed and feeding people’s fears is BS

  76. owen reitzel

    Oh and do Gun-Free zones cause more shootings? It’s just a myth and not true.

  77. Owen, good article! It seems to suggest that good guys with guns don’t stop bad guys with guns from opening fire.

  78. Darin Larson

    Right on point, Owen! Also, from the article you cited:

    “Veteran FBI, ATF, and police officials say that an armed citizen opening fire against an attacker in a panic-stricken movie theater or shopping mall is very likely to make matters worse. Law enforcement agents train rigorously for stopping active shooters, they say, a task that requires extraordinary skills honed under acute duress. In cases in Washington and Texas in 2005, would-be heroes who tried to take action with licensed firearms were gravely wounded and killed. In the Tucson mass shooting in 2011, an armed citizen admitted to coming within a split second of gunning down the wrong person—one of the bystanders who’d helped tackle and subdue the actual killer.” The notion by Stace that we need nonprofessionals running around with guns at all times to protect us is insane!

  79. stace, imo these tirades of yours expose a true lack of qualification for electability by reasonable people. the 2nd amendment’s roots are steeped in maintaining slavery. you seem to be waving the stars and bars, too, on top of every thing else.

    the problem is that you likely have and will use your gun, not in self defense, but in defense of your version of an NRA created myth. if u carried in the capitol, I rest my case. I didn’t use a hyphen and capitalizing “marine” is a bit over the top (I did enjoy the esprit de corps of whiskey tango foxtrot, the movie). your royal highness is about right.

    I thot I lost this post, but it just popped up so i’ll post, despite repetition.

  80. bearcreekbat

    barry, here’s one for you:

    “We now have more than 300 million firearms in private hands. In the last four years, nearly 100 state laws have loosened restrictions on them. To varying degrees, every state except Illinois now allows guns to be carried in public.

    All of which raises an obvious question: If more guns in more places is a solution to the bloodshed, then why did we just witness the worst year for mass shootings in recent history?”

  81. barry freed

    No Bear
    Respond first to the news accounts that prove armed citizens are saving lives.

    They cherry pick what they call mass shootings to fit their predetermined conclusion. Their largest advertiser is the Brady Campaign.

    Their editors live in gated communities and have armed guards.

  82. wapo article carries much nuance “proving” inconclusive claims on both sides.

  83. bearcreekbat

    barry, can you point to any evidence that last year was not “the worst year for mass shootings in recent history?”

    I take your criticism of the Rolling Stone’s bias or credibility with a grain of salt when I see your first article comes from Breitbart.

  84. bearcreekbat

    As for whether an armed person has stopped a gunman or a mass shooting, it seems pretty clear that if there are over 300 million guns in the hands of the population that mass shootings are on the rise. And the more mass shootings that occur in the US, logic suggests there is a likelihood that sooner or later one of these 300 million guns will be carried by a bystander present at the shooting and used to shoot the assailant.

    The apparent flaw in the argument that more guns are better so good guys with guns can stop mass shootings seems fairly obvious. It is beyond dispute that the more guns there are in the hands of our population, the greater the opportunity for bad guys to get guns unlawfully, and the greater likelihood that good guys who turn bad will have access to guns. More guns and less restrictive gun laws, in turn, mean more and more killers will have access to the guns needed for mass shootings regardless of how many good guys carry guns.

  85. mike from iowa

    The problem with Barry’s articles are they repeat the same three or four incidents, then provide conjecture that it could have been worse. Umpqua CC had armed students who chose not to intervene for fear of being targeted by the police. Where were the good guys with guns on Aurora,Colo., or Columbine or Sandy Hook School or the black church?

  86. barry freed

    Where were the “good guys” is THE question. People think cop shows on TV are real. Response time on TV is ten seconds, real life is much, much different. I didn’t cull citations that had dupicates as I have decided to waste as little time as possible because the readership here does not have the critical thinking skills or the integrity to say: “I was wrong, there have been crimes prevented by CC”. At least these citations are honest, unlike the tripe of citations misrepresenting teenage, crack dealing felon killers as: “children” like we see on DFP, and by our impotent President.

    Let us examine the same three of four incidents that are repeated on this site in every gun discussion.

    The school administrators at Sandy Hook had 25 minutes, while the shooter was trying to break through the security glass, to simply shoot him through the window he was breaking in. Or use a stun gun, but those too, are illegal for highly trained professionals to possess in the schools. The next time I burn toast, I’ll just let my house catch fire and burn until the “professionals” arrive 25 minutes later. Only someone specifically trained in fire fighting and employed by a municipality could successfully unplug the toaster and carry it outside; just as only cops can successfully point a shotgun and pull the trigger.

    At Columbine, where were the “good guys” in the YEARS leading up to the shooting when the bullies were torturing their smaller 12 year old victims? Where were the many Principals who met with parents and then did nothing, where was the County Sheriff who took the reports of assault, but never filed a charge? Where were the Coaches who knew of the assaults by their first string players, but did nothing to stop them from beating up smaller, weaker, children? Columbine was something that occurred over YEARS, it didn’t “just” happen. The same system that has convinced the star athlete OJ that he could do no wrong, that it was always someone else’s fault, created Columbine. Michael Moore had to leave a lot of facts on the editing room floor.

    In Aurora, you want it both ways. Because no one was carrying in a “no carry” establishment, you claim it proves a gun owner couldn’t have done anything. Then you hypocritically expect someone to rush the shooter while they change clips. It won’t be the average DFP contributor who does that.

    Umpqua: It was one kid with a gun, on the other side of the campus. Again, this citation exhibits no integrity or honesty. That student didn’t venture across campus to the shooting site because he or she didn’t think they could be of help. they were afraid of SWAT. So what was the Police response time at Umpqua? Not a rhetorical question, what was it?

    So keep distorting events and call those who disagree with you names. It serves to alienate those who might have voted for Bernie, and with him, other Democrats. He had my vote until he started bleating the half-truths about gun crimes and those ill feelings for Bernie carry over to other Dem candidates. Instead of voting for “anyone” but the Republicans we have in Washington, I’ll go fishing on election day. At least I won’t have to fight with the pollsters over not showing my ID.

  87. barry: “the readership here does not have the critical thinking skills or the integrity to say: “I was wrong, there have been crimes prevented by CC”.”

    Nice little jab there barry. It was subtle, but still rather sharp. I give you a solid 8/10.

    barry: “So keep distorting events and call those who disagree with you names.”

    This seems to conflict with your prior statement. You are essentially indicating that everyone who reads DFP lacks “critical thinking skills” (aka: is stupid) yet you don’t like it when people call others names. Pick a lane buddy.

    Maybe I don’t fit the mold that you feel all DFP readers or contributors fit into, but I’ll go on record as saying (as I already have) that I have no issue with properly trained law enforcement having a firearm in our schools. I feel they have the necessary training and continuing education to properly address threats, and if we have a legitimate fear of violence then we should be willing to pay for the services of law enforcement.

    What I do have an issue with is just allowing a random administrator or teacher to carry a concealed weapon. I don’t feel they would have the proper training to address a potential threat, and there is too much risk of that firearm resulting in injury or death that would not have occurred had the gun not been present.

    That is the key difference here.

    Now as to whether or not there have been cases where concealed carrying citizens have stopped crimes or saved lives I won’t dispute that. We know it has occurred – we know lives have been saved by good guys with guns. However we also need to acknowledge the number of cases where a “good guy” with a gun has made the situation worse. There are many cases where a person’s gun has been used against them, and study after study has shown that more guns does not equal less crime, but it is in fact the opposite. More guns will not automatically make our schools safer, and data suggests it could have the opposite effect.

    I support the Second Amendment and I’m a gun owner myself. I have no problem with those who wish to legally own or possess firearms and although I do believe we need to do a better job at screening gun purchasers as well as enact a few minor reforms, overall I don’t wish to create barriers between citizens and the right to bear arms.

    That being said, this isn’t about gun ownership – this is about where we allow guns and who we allow to have them. Bringing more guns into schools and placing them in the hands of people with very little gun training and no training that centers around real world hostile situations doesn’t indicate safety to me. It seems a lot more like a knee-jerk reaction to events without thinking about the potential ramifications. I think we can do better.

  88. mike from iowa

    ou claim it proves a gun owner couldn’t have done anything. Then you hypocritically expect someone to rush the shooter while they change clips

    No, I said nothing of the kind. I said where there were armed civilians, no one took the chance to be a hero because of fear the cops would shoot them. I expect you-personally-to be available at all hours to interject yourownself in every dangerous situation everywhere. Put your gat where your mouth is, killer and go get ’em.

  89. mike from iowa

    p s don’t feed me the BS that CCs strictly obey the laws and don’t carry where they are not supposed to.

  90. mike from iowa

    p s s I suppose if the fish don’t bite you would hose those commie, pinko, libs with lead for pure spite.

  91. Stace Nelson

    @Darin Your argument with my prose is with my tiny Iphone and my ever poorer eyesight. Regarding 2nd Amendment rights in SD, the empirical evidence is gun control views are fringe. Most of the politicians with your views still campaign and claim they are rabid supporters of the 2nd Amendment.

    @Owen You make my point as to the original intent of the 2nd Amendment. Your opinion for your own personal safety is irrelevant as to that point. Additionally, every police officer in SD (including your son) signal their disagreement via their continued bearing of arms in the Owen Reitzel certifiable safe SD. I went door to door in Alexandria the other day, I must have missed your gun free zone sign in front of your house.

  92. Darin Larson

    Stace, you lose me and most people when you disagree with the notion that there are limits on the right to bear arms.

    It is like an arms race with you and some NRA types to see who can agree with the most outlandish gun rights scenarios. Witness the lady who allowed her 4 year old? to get a hold of her loaded weapon and shoot her in the back while seated in a vehicle. To steal from Barry Goldwater, she was demonstrating her belief that extremism in defense of gun rights is no vice. I think extremism is a vice and I think it ultimately weakens reasonable arguments in favor of gun rights.

    You haven’t explained to me how you can disagree with and argue to the right of Scalia and the Supreme Court–themselves no bastions of liberalism– and still consider yourself not to be an extremist.

  93. Stace Nelson

    @Darin I share the same views on the 2nd Amendment as the Founding Fathers, and for the same reasons. Fortunately for us, they were the extremists and dedicated 3% fringe that the USA needed to free us from Britain. Nothing has changed from their reasoning that the common person in America has a right to be armed 24-7.

    If you would like to have an intelligent discussion, refrain from such ignorance as stereotyping my position on 2nd Amendment Rights, even as you complain you are not aware of my full arguments on the matter.

    Most elected officials claim to support your Constitutional Rights, is it a sorry statement of today’s USA when one who actually does so diligently, is considered an extremist?

    Absent pointed specific comparative questions regarding Justice Scalia’s views and mine, I am not interested in idle speculation as to which points of his numerous opinions you desire to be discussed.

  94. bearcreekbat

    Stace, I asked you very specific questions about the limitations, if any, of the 2nd Amendment at 2016-03-31 at 11:46. You did not respond. The only name I called you was “an expert on 2nd Amendment rights.” You did not respond.

    Your non-response supports the natural inference that you believe the 2nd Amendment guarantees everyone’s right to possess nuclear weapons and other weapons of war designed for mass killings. This seems to support Darin’s description of your philosophy about the scope of the 2nd Amendment even though such mass killing weapons of war did not exist and were likely beyond the comprehension of any of our forefathers.