Press "Enter" to skip to content

School Gunslingers Stupid, Hairbrained, and Uninsurable

Mitchell Christian School superintendent Reverend Joseph Fox wants to be a school gunslinger. Burke superintendent Erik Person says having gunslingers in school is stupid and hairbrained (no, really, Person used those words):

"It's one of the stupidest ideas I've ever heard and one of the most hairbrained pieces of legislation I've ever seen.... I'm not trying to make light of the school safety issue, but the idea that we're going to pick someone on our staff and adequately train them to carry a weapon, it's a ridiculous notion" [Erik Person, quoted in Luke Hagen, "Guns Not Mixing with School," Mitchell Daily Republic, 2013.08.24].

Bon Homme superintendent Bryce Knudson also thinks school gunslingers are a bad idea:

..."it's not right to make schools a shoot-'em-up battleground.... You can have all the security in the world, and if someone is dead-set on doing some damage, they're going to find a way no matter what we have" [Bryce Knudson, quoted in Hagen, 2013.08.24].

Your school board had better agree with Person and Knudson... if it wants to keep its liability insurance through EMC Insurance:

"Our policyholders have been able to count on EMC for more than 100 years because of our stability, and our underwriting guidelines play a large role in that. We've been writing school business for almost 40 years, and one of the underwriting guidelines we follow for schools is that any onsite armed security should be provided by uniformed, qualified law enforcement officers. Our guidelines have not recently changed.

"EMC respects the choice of each school district to ensure the safety of their children as they see fit. We care about the safety and well-being of school children and have concluded that handguns on school premises pose a heightened liability risk. Because of this increased risk, we have chosen not to insure school districts whose policies permit handguns to be carried by non-security personnel" [EMC Insurance Cos., statement, quoted in Hagen, 2013.08.24].

Uniformed, qualified law enforcement officers. Not plainclothes officers with concealed weapons. Not teachers with guns in their purses or desks. And not pastors of little faith making an absurd political statement that puts their children and teachers at greater risk of harm.


  1. Jill Callison 2013.08.26

    I bet the superintendent knows it's really "harebrained."

  2. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.26

    I checked that word, Jill! I assumed this was a predictable typo of harebrained. But it's a long-standing misspelling, used for centuries. The Scots used to spell the bunny's cousin hair, so there's an argument that hairbrained is an alternate spelling, not an error.

    But I'd rather my English teachers spend their time getting kids to research questions like the proper spelling of harebrained than calling in subs to give the teachers time to go to firearm training.

  3. Jill Callison 2013.08.26

    Hey, I learned something. But I will continue to protest "hairbrained." Until we're part of Scotland.

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.26

    Sean Connery could help us with that.

  5. Joan 2013.08.26

    Having armed employees in a Christian school doesn't sound very Christian to me. But then on the other hand I don't think it is a good idea to have gun toting employees in any school. I should also add I think there are way to many guns available to the general public. I person only needs a certain number of guns.

  6. MC 2013.08.27

    I'm not going to re-hash the arguments (you know them by heart by now)

    Each school board needs to make their own decision.

  7. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.27

    True, MC, each board needs to make their own decision. But since neither of us believes in value relativism, each board needs to make the right decision, based on a rational cost-benefit analysis and maybe even Christian principles, which will all tell them not to arm their teachers.

  8. Tim H 2013.08.27

    I wonder if there is any way to see what school districts have the insurance through them.

  9. Owen Reitzel 2013.08.27

    That might be Michael but guns in schools won't help.

  10. caheidelberger Post author | 2013.08.28

    Tim, I've been wondering that. EMC doesn't have a list online. We may just have to call each school district and ask.

Comments are closed.