As a mother, grandmother, church member, physician, and citizen of Maine, I am deeply concerned regarding several legislative bills under consideration in Maine this spring. These bills are reckless and careless in their effect on the health and welfare of children in our schools.

L.D. 52 proposes to impose on school boards the responsibility to authorize certification standards and training programs to arm, and supervise armed, employees.

L.D. 1577 proposes that anyone with a permit be allowed to carry concealed weapons on school property. Since the age requirement for concealed carry permit is 18, this bill would invite high school seniors to attend school each day with loaded guns.

L.D. 518 ignores the documentation provided in numerous studies, that the presence of armed school officials has not decreased the fatal, or non-fatal, gunshot injuries during mass shootings in the United States. In fact, the rate of deaths, 1980-2019, was 2.83 times greater in schools with an armed guard present, according to  a study in JAMA Network.

These proposals in the Maine Legislature are tragically naïve. The idea of “good guys shooting bad guys,” over the heads of our terrified children, has no place in the serious legislative approach to removing the threat of gunfire from our everyday life in civil society.

We rely on a thoughtful and well informed legislature to hold the line against such foolhardy proposals.

 

Margaret Duston

Brunswick

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