Saturday, October 13, 2007

Teacher wins first round in bid to carry loaded gun

HIGH school English teacher Shirley Katz went to court in Oregon yesterday to fight for the right to carry a loaded gun to class. As America reeled from a series of shootings and school massacre plots, Ms Katz won the first round of her legal bout for the right to carry her 9mm Glock pistol on to school grounds.

After a day-long hearing, a judge said he would not dismiss her lawsuit against the school district. Jackson County Circuit Judge G. Philip Arnold said he would issue a written opinion on Ms Katz's claim that Medford School District policy prohibiting teachers from carrying weapons on school grounds violated state law.

Ms Katz, who has a concealed weapons permit, wants to carry her Glock to class at South Medford High School because she fears an attack by a Columbine-style intruder or her former husband. Ms Katz would not say if she had ever taken her gun to school, but she practised with it regularly and had thought about what she would do if she had to confront a gunman. She would be sure students were locked in nearby offices out of the line of fire, and she would be ready with her pistol.

"Our safety plan now is that if somebody threatening comes in, you try to avoid eye contact, and do whatever they say, and that is not acceptable any more," she said ahead of the court hearing. Shootings at Virginia Tech University and the one-room Amish school in Pennsylvania "reinforced my belief we have to take action, we can't just acquiesce as we have been taught to do", she said.

In court, Ms Katz's lawyer, James Leuenberger, argued state law allowed holders of concealed weapons permits to carry guns into public buildings, including schools, and the legislature did not intend to give cities, counties or school districts power to regulate guns. "The idea that having a gun-free zone makes a safe zone is a fallacious theory," he said. [How many school shootings will it take before that is recognized?]


Colorado: Dog Owner Won't Be Charged For Shooting Mountain Lion: "A Wisconsin man who shot and killed a mountain lion that was attacking his dog will not be charged, the Division of Wildlife announced Thursday. Officials determined that Jeremy Kocar was acting in self-defense when he shot the mountain lion just outside his temporary home, near Gross Reservoir, earlier this week. Kocar could have been charged with an illegal take, and could have faced a fine of $1,400. State law allows people to shoot a mountain lion if their personal safety or livestock are threatened -- but officials said they didn't know if that would extend to dogs. Kocar and his wife, Angela, said that they heard a growl in the middle of the night and went outside to check out what happened and came face to face with the mountain lion. "It was standing right there under the tree branch with my dog in its mouth," said Angela Kocar. Jeremy tried to scare the mountain lion away but it didn't budge so he ran inside, grabbed his rifle and that's when the mountain lion approached him, he said."

Illinois county defends shotguns : "The Coles County Board on Tuesday gave its backing to a movement to oppose gun control laws. The board voted 12-0 to adopt an advisory resolution pledging it will “oppose the enactment of any legislation that would infringe upon the rights of the people to keep and bear arms. There was no board discussion on the matter other than member Marc Weber’s introduction of and motion to adopt the resolution. Weber is chairman of the board’s health and safety committee, which recommended the resolution to the board. He said the statewide effort behind the resolution, which has been adopted in more than 45 counties, came about because of proposed legislation to eliminate shotguns. They do have a downside, but in this case we are preserving them for hunting,” Weber said."

1 comment:

Martin Vennard said...

Hi, I work for BBC World Service radio in London and today (Friday) between 1.30pm and 2pm East Coast Time in the States we will be talking to Shirley Katz live in our international discussion programme, World Have Your Say. She is the Oregon teacher who wants to be able to take a gun to school for her own protection. If you would like to take part in the discussion, please email your phone numbers to or call me on +442085761720.
Many Thanks
Martin Vennard