by Kevin Starrett
Yesterday’s Senate Judiciary Committee “hearing” was another display of the paranoia of the anti-liberty crowd.
Although the meeting was supposed to be a hearing on three good gun bills, it was, in fact, nothing more than theater arranged by, and for, the anti-gun rights, government school establishment.
In an unusual “informational meeting”, the opponents of gun rights were given a virtual monopoly on public testimony, but more, they were given information provided to no one else and the opportunity to testify at length before anyone from the pro-freedom side had a chance to respond. While limited and abbreviated testimony was taken from a few pro gun citizens, no one from OFF or NRA had a chance to testify in spite of the fact that they were “signed in” before almost everyone else.
The meeting followed a format we have never seen before. The “informational meeting” took center stage but no pro-gun people had any insights into exactly what the meeting was about. Strangely, that was not true of the people who testified on behalf of the government schools.
They repeatedly voiced their support for “amendments to HB 2797.” 2797 is the bill that clarifies lawful carry of handguns on motorcycles, ATVs and snowmobiles. The “amendments” clearly outlawed CHL holders from being on school property. Oddly, only the government school representatives seemed to have actually seen these “amendments.” Even one member of the committee asked what these supposed “amendments” were, since he had not seen them either.
After repeated references to these amendments. the chair of the committee, Floyd Prozanski, informed the audience that “there were no amendments to any of the bills” being heard today. But even after he said that several times, more representatives of the government schools referred to the “amendments to HB 2797.”
It was quite odd that numerous people who worked for the state school establishment testified in favor of amendments to a specific bill that would outlaw CHL carry on school property, but no one else saw these amendments and the Chair insisted they did not exist. Someone is not being very forthcoming.
Although we were told that the “informational meeting” would cover guns in schools, rights restoration for people with felony convictions, and “mental health issues” it was clear that the focus was on licensed carry at schools. It was also clear that the anti-gun school establishment was privy to inside information denied to everyone else.
The government school reps trotted out all the same paranoid cliches they have been relying on for years. School superintendent Susan Castillo testified that guns in schools were a dangerous proposition and illustrated her position by citing Columbine, Thurston High School and Virginia Tech. When asked if any of those shooters were concealed handgun license holders she admitted they were not, but the schools did not want to “wait “until a CHL holder opened fire on a class full of children. (Hey, it could happen, right?) Of course, just as every CHL holder is a potential mass murderer, every public school teacher is a potential child molester. So clearly we need to address that issue.
Ginny Burdick demonstrated, once again, her perennially addled state by testifying that CHL holders could not be trusted in schools because they did not have the extensive training that police have. She went on to illustrate her point by citing data from the New York City Police Department which concluded that NYC cops rarely hit their targets.
This is an interesting argument. On the one hand, the anti-gun crowd does not want to recognize the CHLs from other states because they may not meet Oregon’s lofty training requirements. On the other hand, we cannot trust CHL holders in schools because they have such paltry training requirements.
Of course, over and over, the anti-gun mouthpieces complained about the carnage caused by guns in schools. And over and over they were asked if any of the people who were responsible for violence in schools were CHL holders. The number of problems involving CHLs according to the anti-liberty zealots? Er…uhh…oh…none.
After listening to multiple representatives of the Oregon government schools testify that the most law abiding Oregonians need to be disarmed because of the acts of the most criminal Oregonians, we were struck with a horrifying thought. These people are teaching our children. There have been few more compelling arguments for homeschooling than today’s testimony.
If you are a public school teacher, you should know how you are being represented in Salem. If you are a parent with children in the public school system you should know how your children are being propagandized.
In spite of Prozanski’s repeated denials, there would seem to be amendments to one of the gun bills to, once again, dredge up the failed efforts to ban CHL holders from being on school property. Why we are allowed to be in malls, parks and even the Capitol, but we can’t be trusted to pick up our children from school is never answered by the school union reps, the School Superintendent, or the orchestrated and delusional members of the government school monopoly.
Either the teachers’ union or the Chairman of the committee is lying about the phantom “amendments” to 2797. The hearing ended with no testimony from any member of the gun lobby. Prozanski announced that he would pick this hearing up again next Tuesday. If the deck will be stacked again then, we cannot say. It is clear however, that there is an effort to butcher the pro-gun bills that passed the House with wide margins.
These three bills, House Bills 2787, 2792, and 2797, should be passed by the Senate as passed by the House with NO amendments.