Senator Ed Emery’s Legislative Report for March 15, 2018

Emery - Column Banner - 011013Education and the Second Amendment

“Liberty cannot be won, only defended because the battle for liberty is timeless. Its enemy is man’s fallen nature – elitism, selfishness, and pride which are both pervasive and relentless.”  Anonymous

You may have observed this week’s student demonstrations against guns – verifying the frequent assertion that state schools are frequently more about indoctrination than education. Instead of using the school day for reasoned debate in student assemblies or classrooms, students were released to “hit the streets” for public demonstrations – “my way or the highway.” Nelson Mandela said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world,” but demonstrations that are more about loud than logic are not education. They are more aligned with tyranny and propaganda than deliberation.

This office has received a flurry of emails from those who fear the defamation of honest, law abiding citizens because of a crazed killer seeking infamy and of the possibility of attacks on constitutional liberties. We have assured them that my office supports stopping the shooter, not banning the instrument of their evil. If a drunk semi-truck driver ignored a stop light and killed a family, it would be unreasonable to demand the elimination of all 18-wheelers from our roads. America has millions of law-abiding gun owners who have broken no laws nor do they intend to. In fact, it is not infrequent that these law-abiding citizens protect themselves and others by their ownership and responsible use of firearms.

I recently attended a public school demonstration of security options. Two non-mutually exclusive approaches were illustrated. One was a lock-down device designed to keep an aggressor out of the classroom. It was definitely better than a typical door lock but still breachable. The other was a live intervention that I would like to describe. First, an employee was posted to a building where a school security officer would be most likely to be stationed. A call was made from an adjacent building to dispatch the “security officer” as if there was a live shooter incident occurring. The officer arrived at the location in approximately four minutes – an eternity in the event of a shooter. The second trial was pretending that there were armed teachers in the building, and the same signal was given over the building radios. The “faux” staff was not given a location, only that an incident was taking place. Staff arrived in under 30 seconds – quite a difference from four minutes.

Some Missouri schools already train and arm designated staff in the hopes of intercepting a school shooter in 30 seconds rather than four minutes. Specialized training for school employees is available that can extend even to engaging trainees in mock live-shooter encounters. A terrorist is distracted from his objective if one or more weapons are firing back.

Teachers love their students, and love is the purist and most reliable source of heroism. Why should throwing themselves into the line of fire be their only option? My wife just retired this year from teaching kindergarten and she is a better shot than I am. I can assure you she would have done anything to protect “her” kindergarteners.

No doubt the attacks on guns and gun owners will continue both here in Jefferson City and in Washington, D.C. Those of us who love the Constitution and liberty will push back in debate, hopefully with reason, truth and conscience. If only that was the process in our state schools instead of shouting and demonstrations on school time.

This week the Senate defeated an anti-gun amendment with a party-line vote. The Senate also began debate on Senate Bills 617, 611 and 667 which represents major tax reform. Debate on the tax bill will continue when we return from the spring recess. The Missouri House of Representatives perfected a large number of bills this week and those bills will now begin making their way through the Missouri Senate.

Thank you for reading this legislative report. You can contact my office at (573) 751-2108 if you have any questions. We welcome your prayers for the proper application of state government.