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February 15, 2013 - Image 4

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-02-15

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4 - Friday, February 15, 2013

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

4 - ridy, Fbrury 1, 213 Te Mchign Dily mihigadaiyco

1[ e michinan
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Edited and managed by students at
the University of Michigan since 1890.
420 Maynard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
tothedaily@michigandaily.com
MELANIE KRUVELIS
and ADRIENNE ROBERTS MATT SLOVIN
EDITORIAL PAGE EDITORS MANAGING EDITOR

NOTABLE QUOTABLE
Knowing the extent of how things went, I may
have second guessed myself. I didn't expect a
big commotion to happen!.
- An Engineering junior told the Daily after he sparked panic by dressing in fatigues,
a black jacket, a gas mask and an empty ammunition pack.

ANDREW WEINER
EDITOR IN CHIEF

Unsigned editorials reflect the official position of the Daily's editorial board.
All other signed articles and illustrations represent solely the views of their authors.
FROM THE DAILY
Legislative misfire
Michigan Republicans want concealed weapons in schools
Gun control has become a legislative focus in past months
since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy. President
Barack Obamahas started pushing through the most exten-
sive changes in gun control in recent decades. He has asked Congress
to approve an assault rifle ban as well as background checks on all gun
buyers. However, it seems that Michigan's Republicans have decided
to move in a different direction to stop mass shootings and increase
school safety. Legislators are proposing a bill that would allow teach-
ers, administrators and other school employees to carry concealed
hand guns on school property. Michigan's schools and legislature-
should focus on other measures of increasing school safety instead of
simply handing minimally trained school officials weapons.

Reactionary k

This bill aims to prevent school shootings,
which have become a tragic fixture of our
nation. Michigan House Speaker Jase Bolger,
a supporter of this bill, said "I don't think it's a
coincidence that such monsters that are carry-
ing these out are going to gun-free zones to do
their massacre," according to an article in the
Petoskey News. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder
vetoed a similar bill at the end of the 2012 leg-
islature, directly after Sandy Hook, citing the
fact that schools, day cares and churches have
a legal right to ban firearms if they see fit. The
new billwould allow teachers and other school
officials to carry concealed handguns, but
legislators have added a clause that would let
schools maintain a firearms ban if they wish.
School safety expands beyond the trag-
edies such as Sandy Hook, Columbine High
School and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and
State University. While these are the stories
that make the news, they're extremely hard
to prevent with any type of legislation. Mass
shootings are the exception, but student-on-
student or student-on-teacher violence is the
bigger problem in many schools. There are
many other measures that could be enacted
to increase safety in schools, none of which
involve supplying teachers with firearms.
Securing exits by requiring visitors to sign in
and submit to a pat down is one way of pre-

venting unwanted people or weapons on cam-
pus. But, we must remember that no policy,
however strict, can prevent every act of evil.
Schools are supposed to encourage learning
and the betterment of one's self. Students are
unable to learn ina stressful or unsafe environ-
ment. The idea that any teacher could be con-
cealing a gun doesn't make for an comfortable
place to learn. It's not the job of administrator
or teacher to protect students from an unlike-
ly violent attack using a firearm. Their focus
should be on education in the classroom, not all
the possible threats outside of it. The best way
to decrease violence in schools is to increase
the student body's investment. After-school
programs, sports and school spirit have all been
shown to decrease violence. Investing in coun-
selors and spurring teacher engagement can
prevent violence, but is more closely tied to the
main goal of any educational institution.
Gun control needs to be addressed, and
legislation to reduce mass shootings should
be on the floors of Congress. However, there
are other and more effective measures than
what this particular bill proposes. Snyder's
veto of a similar bill last year shows that he,
too, thinks there needs to be a change in how
we prevent violence. We shouldn't be teach-
ing students to fight violence with violence,
especially in schools.

teacher once told me that
our government only acts in
response to a terrible event
and that the
true goal of the
U.S. government
isn't necessarily
to be proactive,
but effectively
reactive.
Perhaps thish
mantra is true
for what Ameri- PATRICK
ca was supposed MAILLET
to be - for what
our forefathers
truly envisioned as a more perfect
union. But unfortunately, in the
dawn of the limitless campaign fun-
draising age, where bipartisanship
is a surefire way to be unelectable,
our government no longer runs on
reactive logic, but instead on out-
of-touch political idealism perfectly
structured in order for politicians to
remain in power.
Seventy-two days ago, 26 inno-
cent people were slaughtered in
Newtown as a result of government
negligence and a lack of logic.
I must admit, when I first heard
about the shooting in Newtown,
Conn. I said to the friend who had
told me of event, "How many were
killed this time?" The moment the
words came out of my mouth, I felt a
sickness within my body. How have
we come to the point as a society
where we simply expect these types
of ruthless acts of aggression to be a
normal event and that there's noth-
ing that can be done to prevent them?
Immediately following the mas-
sacre, like many other gun-control
advocates, I was pleased to see the
possibility of actual legislation
being passed that would help pre-
vent future gun violence.
Now, I am unfortunately being
brought back to reality.
President Barack Obama's origi-
nal response to the Newtown
shooting was a plan based upon four
core elements: require background
checks for gun owners, institute
an assault weapons ban, limit the
size of ammunition magazines, and
conduct further research on mental

health disorders and their relation-
ship with gun violence.
Simply put, these responses
are logical: They make sense, and
they're the essence of how a reac-
tive government should function.
After all, if you possess an instru-
ment capable of causing mass
death, shouldn't the government
make sure you're capable of han-
dling such a responsibility? Why do
"sportsmen" need a weapon power-
ful enough to rapidly shoot at a rate
of fire necessary only in combat?
How could a hunter possibly need
a 100-round magazine for anything
involving legal activities? And why
wouldn't we look into the mental
sicknesses that have caused count-
less mentally ill people to kill scores
of innocent civilians?
For as simple as these ques-
tions may seem, they apparently
are all too unconstitutional to even
bring up with regards to gun con-
trol. Luckily, it appears that two
of the four core elements will pass
through Congress: background
checks and mental health research.
But even these weren't passed
uncontested by the National Rifle
Association. Wayne LaPierre, CEO
and executive vice president of
the NRA, argued that background
checks hurt small gun sellers
Regardless, these two elements of
gun control seem likely to pass.
Unfortunately, an assault weap-
ons ban and a limit on magazine
size seem increasingly unlikely as
both Democrats and Republicans
begin to balk at the concept of lim-
iting gun ownership and thereby be
labeled an anti-gun legislator.
Obama reiterated his support for
gun reform in his State of the Union
Tuesday night, yet even then he
refused to mention assault weap-
ons by name and instead referred to
"weapons of war." This has a lot to
do with many Congressional Demo-
crats revealing they would not sup-
port the president in fighting for an
assault weapons ban. Weapons like
the AR-15, used by James Holmes
in Aurora; commonly referred to
by sportsmen as a "spray and pray"
assault rifle, will almost certainly

gic
remain legal within the foreseeable
future.
Although I was disappointed by
Obama's lack of acknowledgement
toward an assault weapons ban, he
at least honed in on the importance
of gun control and made it a vital
piece of his speech. Conversely, in
the Republican response to Obama's
speech, Florida Republican Sen.
Marco Rubio dedicated a whopping
11 seconds togun control and, in fact,
didn't even mention the word "gun."
1774 people have
been killed in the last
63 days as a result of
gun violence.

Instead, Rubio stated, "We must
effectively deal with the rise of vio-
lence in our country, but unconsti-
tutionally undermining the second
amendment rights of law-abiding
Americans is not the way to do it."
Wow, I'm sure that's just what the
parents of Newtown, Aurora and
countless other gun victims want to
hear from their elected officials.
In the past 72 days, approximate-
ly 1,774 people have been killed
in the United States as a result of
gun violence. These people are the
true victims of Newtown, because
instead of learning from our mis-
takes and reacting accordingly, our
government has remained stagnant
and has allowed continuous inno-
cent bloodshed. How many more
massacres will it take for us to final-
ly wake up and realize that maybe
a society with 300 million privately
owned firearms is not sustainable?
We have to startusing logic when
forming our gun policy. If not, and
if we do not react accordingly to the
deaths of 26 innocent children and
teachers in Newtown, then they
will have died in vain and we will
have no one to blame but ourselves.
- Patrick Maillet can be
reached at maillet@umich.edu.

0

0

EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBERS
Kaan Avdan, Sharik Bashir, Barry Belmont, Eli Cahan, Jesse Klein,
Melanie Kruvelis, Maura Levine, Patrick Maillet, Aarica Marsh,
Megan McDonald, Jasmine McNenny, Harsha Nahata,
Adrienne Roberts, Paul Sherman, Sarah Skaluba,
Michael Spaeth, Luchen Wang, Derek Wolfe
MISHARA DAVIS I
My semester ln Detroit

I first encountered the Semester in Detroit
program during Assistant Prof. Stephen Ward's
freshman seminar on Malcolm X. Even after
taking classes focused on Detroit, I believed I
could expand my knowledge of the city. As a
Detroiter, Cass Technical High School alum,
member of Detroit NAACP and precinct del-
egate, I seized the opportunity to experience
Detroit through the lens of an SID student. So
far, the program has exceeded my expectations.
When I first began the program this semes-
ter, I thought I knew everything about the city.
Was Iwrong? Duringtours in southwest, north-
west and downtown Detroit, I discovered ele-
ments of the city I never knew existed. I saw
black churches on the east side that survived
the threat of demolition during redevelopment
in the 1950s. I saw modern senior citizen liv-
ing complexes near Cass Corridor. I saw the
industriallandscapes of Ford automotive plants
throughout the city and in Hamtramck. And I
continue to see new things each week - in my
courses and at my internship.
In my SID seminars on urban planning,
Detroit history and internship reflection, I
feel as if I am on a journey. I move from the
turn of the 20th century to the climax of the
automotive industry - where race and class
played such a large role in American life - to

Detroit's future. My reflection seminar helps
me conceptualize current events in the city
and offers insight on how the Detroit Future
City framework will focus on the economy
and may work to sustain the city for the next
50 years. To process it all, I engage with com-
munity members at monthly Detroit Speaker
Series events, where panelists and the public
discuss the city.
At my community-based internship, I
encounter reoccurring themes from Detroit's
history, such as urban redevelopment. I have
the honor to work alongside attorneys at the
American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan
- a non-profit legal reform organization that
strives to protect and expand the rights guar-
anteed to us by the Constitution. I review
prospective cases and help determine if a
complaint violates the client's Constitutional
rights. This legal perspective, coupled with
courses on the history of Detroit, enrich my
experience in the program.
I could tell you all about my time in SID,
but the best way to gain a full experience of
Semester in Detroit is to apply. The applica-
tion deadline for spring is March 1. Learn
more at semesterindetroit.com.
Mishara Davis is an LSA sophomore.

MAURA LEVINE N
Gu
Next to a daycare is one of the best
places to live. Sure, being woken
up in the morning by the sounds
of shrieking children isn't the best
alarm clock, but it's worth it for the
5:30 p.m. pick-up when I get to see
parents reunite with their children.
On the day of the Sandy Hook Ele-
mentary School shooting I watched
more than one family grab their
children a little tighter and carry
them out of this Ann Arbor daycare:
The whole parking lot seemed tense
as parents surelythought about how
lucky they were to hold their pre-
cious ones safe from harm.
After the horrors of Sandy Hook,
we all must now look at the avail-
able options to protect children in
school. The Michigan Protection
Act, recently suggested by State
Sen. Mike Green (R-Huron), would
give schools the autonomyto choose
whether teachers and administra-
tors could carry concealed weap-
ons on school property. All school
grounds are currently deemed
"gun-free zones," making them
highly susceptible to gun violence,
such as the shootings we've seen at
Columbine High School, Virginia
Polytechnic Institute and State
University, Sandy Hook, Elemen-
tary School and others. If attack-
ers know there's no way for people
to defend themselves on school

grounds, it makes the attack seem
more attractive.
While the act goes too far in
allowing teachers to carry weap-
ons, it brings up a valid idea about
keeping schools safe. Instead of
allowing every teacher or adminis-
trator to carry a concealed weapon,
public schools should train admin-
istrators and individuals in public
school offices how to use a handgun
in self-defense. The weapons should
be kept locked in a small gun safe
under a desk in a central adminis-
tration office so that in case of an
emergency, trained officials can
defend the school. On the day of the
Sandy Hook massacre, Dawn Hoch-
sprung, the heroic principal, went
out into the hallway and "lunged
toward the shooter in an attempt
to overtake him before being fatally
shot," according to a Daily Beast
article. If Hochsprung had a gun
when she went out into the hallway
to try and overtake the shooter, we
might be mourning the loss of far
fewer people today.
Some argue that administrators
aren't police officers and there-
fore shouldn't have to be trained
in shooting a weapon, but that's a
naive attitude. Unfortunately, we
live in a world where gun violence
in schools exists. While it's unfortu-
nate that we have to prepare for the

worst, isn't it best that we be pre-
pared? It's expensive for all public
schools to have an on-duty police
officer on campus grounds every
day, and it's not an effective use of
tax dollars in communities with low
in-school violence, such as Newton,
Conn. The Sandy Hook massacre
goes to show that gun attacks can
happen anywhere. It would be a
good use of our tax dollars to train
select administrators on how to use
a weapon if necessary. Every school
should have a hidden weapon,
locked away and only used in - God
forbid - emergency circumstances.
Sandy Hook Elementary had
recently implemented new security
measures before the attack. None of
them proved to be useful. When an
attacker wants to get into the build-
ing, he or she will do it. The question
is: How will we protect our children
once the shooter is inside? Will we
continue to keep gun-free zones
where self-defense is impossible?
Or will we take a proactive stance
and train administrators to strike if
necessary? I know if anyone in my
family had been a victim that day
-I would want the best self-defense
strategy in place to prevent future
families from having to experience
the same.
Maura Levine is an LSA sophomore.

nning for safety

0

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Weil Can Do It: Ellery Weil argues that
the partisanship is present even with legislation that
podiurncould potentially save lives.
Go to michigandaily.com/blogs/The Podium

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