Traverse City Record-Eagle


May 25, 2014

Editorial: Guns, schools make uneasy combination

Memorial Day weekend, when the nation recalls and honors those who have given their lives in military service, is as good a time as any to talk about guns — and in this case guns and schools and whether the two should ever meet.

A few weeks ago Interlochen resident and Grand Traverse County Commission candidate Andy Marek attended a Traverse City Area Public Schools board meeting with a holstered pistol on his hip.

It was, under a wrinkle in state law, legal. It turns out that people with concealed weapons permits can legally carry a gun onto school grounds, but it can’t be concealed, Thus the holster on his hip.

Marek‘s comments to the board didn’t have anything to do with guns, but his pistol did his talking for him. It was StrokeStyle/$ID/Solid— as he no doubt meant it to be StrokeStyle/$ID/Solid— disconcerting. And intimidating.

Marek later said he carried his gun with him into the school board meeting “for protection.” Really? From whom? Or what? Some caustic comments, perhaps about those who carry guns into public places for no apparent reason?

The reality is likely more that Marek wanted just what he got StrokeStyle/$ID/Solid— attention for himself as a candidate, and attention to the issue of guns and schools. And perhaps just a bit of intimidation.

Marek stands by his legal right to open carry, but any debate about that issue is, for all intents and purposes, moot.

The Michigan Legislature is hardly going to revisit existing gun laws, at least not with an eye toward making them more restrictive. The National Rifle Association is a powerful lobby in Michigan, and woe to the candidate who wants to buck that status quo.

So while state residents with the proper permits can legally strut their Glocks into schools and classrooms, bigger questions remain – like what’s the point, and how will other people – particularly children - react?

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