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Guns at School

| October 20, 2006 12:00 AM

Times have changed and so have the rules.

For years, it was common for Libby High School students to stow their rifle in their rig so they could hunt after school. No one thought much of it.

These students were primarily teenage boys who more than likely grew up in homes where both their fathers and grandfathers hunted. They most likely shared a passion for hunting, which they learned from previous generations.

They also most likely were well aware how a gun can seriously hurt a person or kill someone.

Most of today's hunters are no different, but society is.

Too many deadly school shootings over the past 10 years gave lawmakers reasons to prohibit any kind of weapon on school property. It's a law taken seriously and one that needs enforced.

Last week, two Libby High School students were suspended for having hunting rifles in their vehicles. Principal Rik Rewerts determined that neither of the students brought the guns to school with any malicious intentions. In most cases, when it's happened in the past, they're oversights.

Rewerts gave these students a break. He suspended both for three days each and spoke with their parents about the violation. The students could've been expelled for the remainder of the year.

Rewerts told the school board during their Tuesday night meeting he doesn't plan to continue giving kids breaks.

Any teen responsible enough to use a rifle needs to have the responsibility of knowing the law. Leave the gun at home.

Parents also need to make sure their students are not taking guns to school.

I'm not saying that any of these students would commit a crime, but with each terrible school shooting, you can't help but wonder what will happen next.

On Sept. 27 an out-of-work drifter walked into a high school in Bailey, Colo., taking six teenage girls hostage. He sexually assaulted several of them before killing a 16-year-old and himself.

On Oct. 2, an unspeakable school shooting occurred. A married father of three shot five Amish girls execution after ordering the boys and school aides out. Armed with a pistol, a 12-gauge shotgun, a rifle, a stun gun and hundreds of rounds of ammunition, he bound 10 girls ages 6 to 13.

When you hear stories like this, it's understandable why any type of weapon - from a gun to a pocketknife - is no longer allowed on school property. We live in somewhat dangerous times with some pretty scary people.

We need to protect our young people, and if it takes laws to do it, so be it. - Gwen Albers