Commentary: Keeping Guns From Kids

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, May 4, 2007

When he was asked about metal detectors for McClatchy High School, Sacramento School Board member Rick Jennings wisely warned against over-reaction. “What we don’t want to do,” Jennings said, “is create something more like a prison as opposed to an educational facility.” Jennings also suggested that metal detectors “won’t take care of the problem.”

He’s right about that. Kids don’t have to bring their guns on campus to endanger other kids. Last year, a 15 year old boy shot a gun outside a pizza parlor near McClatchy. Three years ago, a student shot and killed a classmate at a nearby sandwich shop. Police say a junior high school student was the source of the latest gun confiscated. Guns have been found on elementary school campuses. Should we put up metal detectors at elementary schools? At middle schools? At pizza parlors?

No. As a community we urgently need to stop the flow of guns to kids. But how? In a society awash in guns, violence and a gun culture, can we write and enforce laws that will keep guns out of the hands of children? Honestly, I’m not sure that we can.


Ginger Rutland writes for The Sacramento Bee opinion pages.