Traverse City Record-Eagle

Opinion

December 18, 2012

Editorial: Gun bill must be vetoed

If a good thing could possibly come from the slaughter of so many innocents in Newtown, Conn., it would be that Gov. Rick Snyder puts down his pen and declines to sign — ever — gun legislation that would, in part, allow individuals to carry guns into schools and day-care centers, of all places.

This bill, rammed through the Legislature during a late-night frenzy that saw passage of all kinds of off-the-wall legislation lawmakers didn't have the courage to debate before the Nov. 6 elections, was indefensible before Newtown. Now, it verges on the obscene.

Do we really want to allow a parent who may be angry at a teacher pack a pistol during a parent-teacher conference? Do we want dads involved in a custody dispute open-carry their Glock semi-automatic pistol into a day-care center where he may run into his ex-wife?

Schools cannot become just another place for individuals to exercise their Second Amendment right to own and carry firearms. These are the places we send our children to be educated and learn how to socialize with other children and to grow up.

Schools are supposed to be safe havens, where the last thing on a child's mind is worrying about getting shot or watching a classmate die or wondering why that mom or dad is carrying a gun. Schools aren't just other places; they must be special places where children learn how to learn and build friendships.

Snyder told The Detroit News the gun bill would receive "extra scrutiny" from him before he signs it. Vetoing the bill or demanding wholesale, basic changes would be a minimum the people of Michigan expect.

The shootings in Newtown can't be just another page in America's long, long history of gun insanity, soon forgotten. Snyder must ensure Michigan schools don't become gun zones.

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