Thursday’s lead editorial suggests that
Aside from law enforcement officers, does anyone really have a valid reason to carry a gun onto a school campus?
Yes, the S.C. General Assembly has apparently decided, based on a law enacted in June. People who have concealed weapons permits – in other words, people older than 21 who pass a safety course and a criminal background check – should not be penalized by having to leave those guns at home. Permit holders are said to pose no threat to students, so when they lock their guns in a car's glove compartment or trunk, the new law says they can bring them onto school property without fear of prosecution.
School board members in
“We just said, ‘Nobody brings a gun to school,'” board Vice Chairman Benny Elliott said back in October, just prior to the district issuing a total ban on firearms on school property.
That principle seemed sound, as a
ban would prevent a legally carried gun from tragically falling into the wrong
hands while on school property, and an inconvenience to the permit holder
seemed a small price to pay. In December, however, S.C. Attorney General Henry
McMaster issued an opinion (requested by state Rep. Thad Viers of
Accordingly, Superintendent Randy Dozier has recommended the district revise the ban in accordance with McMaster's opinion, rather than fighting it. Amid million-dollar budget cuts from the state, the gun issue would be an unneeded distraction.
The school board was right to make an additional effort to protect its students with the ban, but would be wrong to incur any more taxpayer dollars or district resources in a court battle defending it.