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Posted: 10/13/2005 7:38:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2005 7:44:38 AM EDT by DrMark]
Poll is at:

www.dailypress.com - left cold


Where do guns fit in?
SCHOOL BOARD: YORK MAN LEGALLY TOOK PISTOL TO MEETING

York school officials want the law amended to prevent firearms at meetings after a parent wore his gun.
BY BEVERLY N. WILLIAMS
757-247-4755
October 13, 2005

YORK -- When Chet Szymecki does anything - goes to the store, pumps gas at the local Wawa, mows his lawn - he wears his handgun on his hip.

So last month, when the 38-year-old father of three decided to attend the York County School Board meeting to voice concerns about a cell phone tower proposed at Dare Elementary School, he called the Sheriff's Office to find out if he could take the gun with him.

He could. So, he holstered his .45-caliber Heckler & Koch on Sept. 26, just like he does every day, and headed for York Hall in Yorktown where the board meets each month. He waited his turn to speak and when called, spoke for the three minutes he was allotted and sat back down.

All the while, Szymecki's gun was in plain sight of the board members, students, parents, teachers and school employees in the room. It also was visible to anyone watching the meeting broadcast on York's public access channel.

It was perfectly legal.

But the School Board is upset, so upset that it wants the state to change its laws. In a letter sent to several local legislators this week, the board asked them to consider amending the law to prohibit firearms at school board meetings regardless of whether they're held on school property.

"We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms," said board Chairman Mark Medford. "It's just a common-sense issue. We don't want to have weapons at our School Board meeting, because if someone decided to snap or got angry about a decision we make, we don't want the worst-case scenario."

Medford wrote: "Our concern is for the safety and well being of the students present at this school-related activity. Thankfully, nothing happened. But it would seem prudent to take action before a tragedy occurs."

Szymecki said Wednesday that he didn't realize carrying the gun to the meeting would create such a stir. He carries the gun solely for protection.

"I wasn't saying, 'Hey, I'll show you,' " he said. "The primary reason I was there was the cell tower. I had read the code and checked to make sure I wasn't violating any laws, and I called the sheriff's to discuss their interpretation of it."

"The first thing that came to my mind was the word 'school,' " Szymecki said. "I wasn't sure where the School Board fell in that, and where they meet used to be a courthouse, so I also asked about that. I wanted to double-, triple-check with everybody."

Medford learned about Szymecki's plan from the Sheriff's Office. He immediately notified school officials and the other board members and made arrangements with the Sheriff's Office to have two deputies at the meeting.

"It brought up some valid points: Should a citizen have the legal right to come with a gun to a meeting like ours at a nonschool site," Medford said. "Are we a continuation of a student function because we have students and parents at our meetings on a regular basis?

"This is something that could affect all school boards in the state," he said.

Philip Van Cleave, president of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, said changing the law would only affect law-abiding citizens like Szymecki, whom he said did the responsible thing by calling to check on the legality of bringing a gun to the meeting. The league advocates for gun rights throughout the state.

"We'd definitely oppose this change to the law," he said. "Their presumption is backwards because putting up a law doesn't stop the bad guy, and just because they feel afraid, they can't infringe on people's rights."

Del. Tom Gear, R-Hampton, agreed. "He has a right to bear arms, and he has a permit," Gear said. "If I was at the School Board meeting, I'd have felt safe because I'm not worried about that guy. It's the wackos that you don't know anything about, who don't say anything that you need to be worried about.

"It's clear that the people who have permits are not breaking the law," he said. "I would not support changing the law."

Frank Barham, executive director of the Virginia School Boards Association in Richmond, said the group plans to help York County lobby its legislative proposal to change the law, but he doubts it will win.

"I don't think this will get anywhere, because people with concealed-weapons permits can go to restaurants or walk down the streets where there are children," Barham said. "But I think this will cause most school boards that do meet off school property to meet on school grounds."

Medford said moving York's board meetings to another site would be costly and hamper its ability to televise the meetings. But Barham said that might change one day, if more people start bringing guns to School Board meetings.

"The safety and welfare of children," he said, "comes before a televised meeting."

Link Posted: 10/13/2005 7:41:56 AM EDT
Poll Hit
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 7:42:46 AM EDT
Should school boards be allowed to regulate firearms at school-related activities off campus?
Yes: 45.5%
No: 54.5%
154 total responses

Recommend making your link cold.
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 7:45:07 AM EDT

Originally Posted By FortyFiveAutomatic:
Recommend making your link cold.





Link Posted: 10/13/2005 8:02:20 AM EDT
Hit, In Oregon we can have our CCW's in schools and there isn't anything they can say or do about it. I suspect we can even open carry at our schools and school functions. There are signs saying No Firearms but they are unconstitutional and should have been removed several years ago but haven't.

People are such idiots. I would worry more about the nervous guy that comes in with out a visable weapon then someone who comes in with confidence with an open carry.

It makes me mad to see he was set up too. How is that ARFCOM army coming?

Patty
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 8:11:49 AM EDT
"We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms," said board Chairman Mark Medford. "It's just a common-sense issue. We don't want to have weapons at our School Board meeting, because if someone decided to snap or got angry about a decision we make, we don't want the worst-case scenario."

This quote is the heart of the matter. How does telling someone they can't bring their weapon to a meeting NOT infringe upon their right to bear arms? Very similar to the New Orleans situation. The constitution does just grant rights to citizens when everyone is happy and it is convenient. Our rights apply 24/7.

Soon, some asshat will be saying "we don't want people having guns in their cars because they might get into an accident and snap or get angry when someone cut's them off," or we don't want people having guns in their houses because they might shoot some troubled youth that is just trying to steal enough food to live."

I think we better call the NRA SHTF hotline on this one before this goes any further.


Link Posted: 10/13/2005 8:25:13 AM EDT
200 votes and we're winning so far. Keep it up!
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 8:30:15 AM EDT
Should school boards be allowed to regulate firearms at school-related activities off campus?
Yes: 35.5%
No: 64.5%
214 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 9:02:36 AM EDT

Originally Posted By pattymcn:
Hit, In Oregon we can have our CCW's in schools and there isn't anything they can say or do about it. I suspect we can even open carry at our schools and school functions. There are signs saying No Firearms but they are unconstitutional and should have been removed several years ago but haven't.

People are such idiots. I would worry more about the nervous guy that comes in with out a visable weapon then someone who comes in with confidence with an open carry.

It makes me mad to see he was set up too. How is that ARFCOM army coming?

Patty



Same goes for Utah too. CCW's in schools allowed if the person has a CCL.
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 9:15:16 AM EDT
No=75%
Yes=25%
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 9:21:02 AM EDT
Well aside from being a good citizen, we know that chet has impeccable taste in firearms.

That's a nice USPC45 he's got there. Way to go Chet!
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 9:36:39 AM EDT
24% yes
76% NO
360 responses

keep it up folks!
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:07:59 PM EDT

Apparently the protagonist in this story is a member of VCDL, the Virginia Citizen's Defence League!

www2.vcdl.org/cgi-bin/wspd_cgi.sh/vcdl/vadetail.html?RECID=851172&FILTER=

Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:12:45 PM EDT
Hit 83% our way.
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:15:39 PM EDT
17.6% yes
82.4% no
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:16:29 PM EDT
I hit it.
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:20:02 PM EDT
Hit, but that sure is a crappy and unorganized lookin website.

Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:25:41 PM EDT
Hit it.

Yes: 17.2%
No: 82.8%
754 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:29:47 PM EDT
I done did it
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:31:35 PM EDT
done and done

Yes: 17.0%
No: 83.0%
765 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:37:38 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TomHighway:
"We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms," said board Chairman Mark Medford. "It's just a common-sense issue. We don't want to have weapons at our School Board meeting, because if someone decided to snap or got angry about a decision we make, we don't want the worst-case scenario."

This quote is the heart of the matter. How does telling someone they can't bring their weapon to a meeting NOT infringe upon their right to bear arms? Very similar to the New Orleans situation. The constitution does just grant rights to citizens when everyone is happy and it is convenient. Our rights apply 24/7.

Soon, some asshat will be saying "we don't want people having guns in their cars because they might get into an accident and snap or get angry when someone cut's them off," or we don't want people having guns in their houses because they might shoot some troubled youth that is just trying to steal enough food to live."

I think we better call the NRA SHTF hotline on this one before this goes any further.





SSSSHHHHHHH!!!!!!! For all that you hold dear, man, don't give them any ideas!

Poll hit:
Yes: 17.2%
No: 82.8%
775 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 4:58:01 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2005 4:59:56 PM EDT by LonePathfinder]
+1 for HK USP 45

Edit:

Damn the power of ARFCOM is obvious:

16.9% yes
83.1% no
792 responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:04:28 PM EDT
Hit. I hated going to those schools years ago.
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:08:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/13/2005 5:08:30 PM EDT by DrMark]

Originally Posted By LonePathfinder:
Damn the power of ARFCOM is obvious:

16.9% yes
83.1% no
792 responses



Ya know, we were losing when I went there this morning!

Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:08:33 PM EDT
hit
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:14:44 PM EDT
Hit it. 82.2% no
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:20:31 PM EDT

Originally Posted By TomHighway:
"We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms," said board Chairman Mark Medford. "It's just a common-sense issue. We don't want to have weapons at our School Board meeting, because if someone decided to snap or got angry about a decision we make, we don't want the worst-case scenario."

This quote is the heart of the matter. How does telling someone they can't bring their weapon to a meeting NOT infringe upon their right to bear arms? Very similar to the New Orleans situation. The constitution does just grant rights to citizens when everyone is happy and it is convenient. Our rights apply 24/7.

Soon, some asshat will be saying "we don't want people having guns in their cars because they might get into an accident and snap or get angry when someone cut's them off," or we don't want people having guns in their houses because they might shoot some troubled youth that is just trying to steal enough food to live."

I think we better call the NRA SHTF hotline on this one before this goes any further.





Uh, if someone "decided to snap", I think firearms laws and the wishes of the school board aren't going to be something they care very much about. What the hell happened to the concept of looking at what a person is actually doing as opposed to obsessing over "OMG, they have a GUN" ? Simple, if it stays in the holster, it's all good, if it comes out of the holster in public for any reason other than legal self-defense, it's called brandishing, which is already a crime. Let alone deciding to threaten or shoot people just because they piss you off. Also, AD's/ND's while carrying in public are a punishable offense (reckless endangerment). What's the difference between carrying at a school and carrying at any other public place ? For that matter, since when do school boards have the authority to try to make law ?
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:35:55 PM EDT
Yes: 16.5%
No: 83.5%
826 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:40:54 PM EDT
Yes: 16.5%
No: 83.5%
823 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 5:48:57 PM EDT
Yes: 16.4%
No: 83.6%
834 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 6:03:16 PM EDT
Should school boards be allowed to regulate firearms at school-related activities off campus?
Yes: 16.4%
No: 83.6%
842 total responses
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 6:08:42 PM EDT
I hitted it, and that is absolutely disgusting.
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 6:14:36 PM EDT
hit it

for the children!
Link Posted: 10/13/2005 6:20:32 PM EDT
Yes: 16.1%
No: 83.9%
857 total responses

hit
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