One dad’s “right to bear arms” unfairly trumps the feelings of all other parents in a toddler music class
A dad in Kalamazoo, Michigan has the community riled up after he brought a handgun – legally – to his toddler’s music class, which takes place at a school. Because who knows when you might need to defend yourself against a bunch of three-year-olds singing the “Hello!” song, right?
Michigan is an open carry state, so you’re allowed to walk around with your gun out in the open as long as it is legally purchased. Schools are off limit – unless you have a specific concealed carry license. Then, bringing a handgun into a school – openly carried, not concealed – is fair game. The dad in question is totally within his rights to bring his handgun onto school property, which is how the families attending the toddler music class at the Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency’s West Campus have ended up in this mess.
According to NBC4i, “police and administrators have escorted the open-carrying father to and from the class and the school has been locked down during his three visits over about the past month.” So what was once a fun, family trip to attend music class is now a security-heavy, gun-filled, terrifying experience for many parents, toddlers, students, and administrators at the school.
Needless to say, some people are pissed. The community gathered to voice their concerns this past Monday with the district superintendent and country prosecutor, who was on hand to explain how the dad was not actually breaking any laws. The dad in question was also present (kudos to him, ‘cuz showing up to a meeting solely about you sure takes some balls) but is keeping his identity private for obvious reasons.
This controversy comes not even a month after the horrible mass shooting in Kalamazoo, in which an Uber driver named Jason Dalton shot and killed six people from his car on February 20th. “There are people that are concerned on both sides of this issue,” Kalamazoo County Prosecutor Jeff Getting told NCB4i. “There are people that think they are better off by being protected themselves by having their own weapon.” But, he added that others believe bringing guns into these public environments “creates them to be more dangerous.”
It should be every parent’s right to determine if and how they want to introduce their children to firearms. This dad bringing his handgun to class is essentially making that decision for those other parents. He could be the safest gun handler in the world, but he’s still exposing children to firearms and taking all control away from the other parents in the room.
One argument often mentioned by pro-gun activists is that Americans should have the right to keep their families safe. But that right should also apply to those parents who don’t want their children anywhere near guns, too.