Commentary

Thayer: Schools need real protection, not gunsenseless laws

By Gregory Thayer

As a Republican candidate for Vermont Lieutenant Governor, I believe that the Democrat leadership is failing Vermonters and our school children. A group of us Republican candidates, with Second Amendment advocate Jim Sexton, held a press conference on Friday, 3 June on the steps of the State (People’s) House in Montpelier. Here’s what I said then, and believe now.

Greg Thayer

We want to express our sorrow for the killings over the past month around America. We are highly concerned with the inaction’s of the Vermont democratic leadership here in not protecting our school children and the general public at large. We are equally sad by the ongoing gun violence in cities with some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. Further, we are sad with senseless murder of innocent babies and no democrat running to the micro phone to protect these lives.

Four years ago this legislature adopted S-55, after the Fair Haven threat. And they have not done anything to protect your children in the government schools, other then more gun regulations – nothing else. We want action to protect our children, and I am calling on the governor and legislature to return here to adopt common-sense approaches to school safety, no more senseless gun laws that do absolutely nothing. Criminals will get the weapons to kill innocent people. Protecting children is expensive, but worth the cost.

Two recent studies support that background checks and waiting periods are not effective. At the Univ. of Missouri, two Political Science professors studied a forty year (1980 to 2020) period, analyzed the data on every mass shootings in the United States during this period and found that a more comprehensive background check would have changed the death outcome in these shootings. Time Magazine agreed with the findings, saying it is difficult to point to cases where more expansive background checks would have saved lives. The NY Post reported that the Uvalde shooter had been planning his rampage for either months. No waiting period would have defused that murderer.

I have a plan to address making our schools safer for all students and educators and staff. The legislature has failed the people. It is time we work to implement safe measures:

Address the mental-health problems in our communities and stop kicking the can down the road. If a student exhibits mental-health issues and the parents won’t voluntarily submit their child to an independent evaluation, a second (and possibly third) licensed and trained therapist must evaluate the subject. This issue needs serious attention by serious people, and the current leadership isn’t doing the right thing. Change and adopt statutes to address these problems.

We should also take a good, hard look at the pharmaceutical drugs—especially ADHD drugs and antidepressants—that seem to play a big role in many school shootings and massacres.

Install metal detectors in schools in Vermont.

Install live surveillance cameras around every school across the state. New surveillance technology can detect firearms on a person or in a vehicle and lock down the school.

Place retired law enforcement officers and veterans in our schools as resource officers. We are now finding out that police officers stayed outside the Robb Elementary School in Texas for over 40 minutes, doing nothing to save the kids—in fact, aggressively preventing parents from entering the school and trying to save their kids. We need officers inside our schools to prevent this from happening again.

Allow highly trained Educators and staff to carry and conceal a firearm.

Recently on the State House steps the Senate Democrats took a victory lap on this past session’s legislation, despite not doing more to protect school children from violence. I’m tired of Democratic reps calling for more gun grabbing and controls. It does not work. Also, Sen. Baruth is planning to introduce more gun regulations.

Step up people, and look outside the box. What you are doing is not protecting our children and fellow Vermonters. It’s time the “We The People” demand action to protect our children and all people.

Categories: Commentary

25 replies »

  1. Re: “Allow highly trained Educators and staff to carry and conceal a firearm.”

    ● “Allowing teachers and staff to carry concealed handguns is nothing new in the United States, and hasn’t created any problems. Before the early 1990s, there were no state laws specifically restricting concealed carry on K-12 property so that teacher carry may have been common for much of our history.”

    ● “School insurance rates are no higher for schools that allow teachers to carry.”

    ● “A couple of facts immediately become apparent. There hasn’t been a single mass public shooting in any school that allows teachers and staff to carry guns legally. Since at least as far back as January 2000, not a single shooting-related death or injury has occurred during or anywhere near class hours on the property of a school that allows teachers to carry.”

    ● “Having a single entrance with a metal detector creates its own safety hazards by leading to
    crowded bottlenecks of people that present easy targets to attackers. Metal detectors won’t
    stop someone from shooting their way into a school.”

    ● “… if attackers don’t know who is carrying a concealed firearm, they won’t know whom they need to attack first. Perhaps because police understand the difficulty of their jobs, they are strongly in favor of abolishing gun-free school zones.”

    This information is based on research conducted over the last 20 years. If anyone has any data supporting an alternative to these findings, speak now. Otherwise, we know what must be done.

    https://crimeresearch.org/2019/05/major-new-research-on-school-safety-schools-that-allow-teachers-to-carry-guns-havent-seen-school-shootings-during-school-hours/

  2. Every point of Thayer’s approach is valid and “commonsense”. Sorry libs, but the term commonsense isn’t just for your wrong ideas on gun laws.
    Thayer addresses the mental health problems, a certainty in every school shooting. Thayer may not go far enough with the mental health issue, as merely throwing tax dollars at it will resolve little- decades of spending are proving that fact.
    As the democrat candidates for Lt. Gov rail on about abortion “rights” and “climate change” Thayer offers ideas and solutions to the more serious and immediate problems Vermont and the nation face. I guess it’s a simple choice, accept more of what is- or rally around candidates that offer a solution- But if you are a regular reader here- you know that. We must carefully and politely as possible encourage conversation with those we know to become involved with this election cycle.
    To get the apathetic voter off the fence and into a voting booth this September for the primary and November for this general election. Their vote does matter- and we need to encourage them to vote wisely.

  3. Thank you, Mr. Thayer, for your creative solutions to making our schools safer. AS a teacher for 35 years, I guess I could have gotten better homework completion from my students if I was “packing”.

    So, Mr. Thayer, how would you address shootings in churches and synagogues, shopping centers, grocery stores, movie theaters, public transportation, etc.? I guess we could just turn our communities into modern day Dodge Cities with Marshall Dillon carrying an AR-15.

    • Only someone biased with an irrational fear of guns would suggest that an armed teacher would use a firearm to coerce students into homework compliance or that having more armed citizens would result in widespread armed conflict. If the teacher drives an automobile to work, would he threaten to run over his students if they didn’t finish their homework on time? I have not heard of this occurring. Obviously, only those teachers who are willing and qualified would be allowed to be armed. My observation and bias tells me that most teachers are of the leftist, snowflake persuasion and hate guns as a matter of ideology, so very few would be part of any such program. Having a few armed school officials still leaves an attacker guessing as to who may have the tools to prevent an attack, just like being out in any public situation. An armed society is a polite society. The paranoid “Dodge City” claims made by those who oppose the Second Amendment have not materialized in places that have eased their concealed-carry restrictions over the years. Contrast this with the shootouts that take place regularly in parts of Chicago and NYC which are subject to heavy gun restrictions. It isn’t that there are just the armed and the unarmed…it’s that there are people who dont accept the unfortunate fact that there are evil people in the world and those decent, law-abiding people who have the opportunity and the willingness to keep them in check. It is obvious after the Uvalde Texas school shooting that having police on the outside does not prevent nor stop an active shooter situation in a timely manner.

    • John, it appears that you have NO CLUE about responsible gun owners. As one, I have gone to all the places you list and then some carrying and concealed carrying my firearms. No, I am not the only one nor do you have a clue as to how many are carrying in any of these places. To own a gun is to take on the responsibility of protecting self and others. To date I have not even pulled my firearms out for those reasons, Thank God. But if need be, I would,. Much like as a ferry captain and even a deckhand jumping into the lake to save someone was part of the responsibility of the job as well as other life saving certifications. There are cops who will not do their job as seen in Uvalde and in Parkland… But a mother got her kids out. Yes without a firearm, but the ones with them were doing nothing even when they were just feet from the suspect. Your hyperbole is showing, biggest clue, you use the special liberal talking point of bringing up the Armalite 15, also known as a big scary black assault rifle. Well I own stuff that makes that gun a joke and no one is going to “carry” one for population safety. Personally I believe letting everyone and their brother know about these shooting and giving them all this press time is a recipe for another trying to get a higher number. Just like Jake Busy in Frighteners, yes a movie, watch it you will see.

  4. THANK YOU GREG!

    We The People are responsible along with our Representatives for the security of government entities especially our schools. Our Elected Officials in Vermont are failing miserably on this matter.

    In response to John:
    Let’s not confuse people by conflating the subject of public schools with
    ALL private buildings and businesses that are NOT under the government’s authority and purview. It is NOT our job to tell private businesses and churches how to handle their security.

    Businesses and churches should establish and decide on their own methods of protection. As options, they could have trained employees who are licensed for concealed carry or there are security businesses already offering these types of services.

    Remember the church situation in Texas where an armed man attending the service shot a criminal who showed up to wreak havoc and kill? There are many similar situations. There should be NO MORE GUN FREE ZONES THAT OPENLY INVITE EVIL DOERS!

    Democrats/Liberals/Marxists/Progressives have a fear of guns and they constantly project and promote their fear to others. If people are taught to rightly handle and respect guns, they don’t fear them. They appreciate them.

    Evil has existed since the beginning of time. There will always be some who choose to do evil. Some will use guns for destruction and murder. We The People have a Unalienable Right to Defend Life especially our vulnerable children.

  5. There is no utilitarian reason the greater public needs to know the identity of a mass shooter. If we as a society can somehow take away the incentive of “fame”, we may be able to greatly limit one of the greatest motivational factors- attention. Of course this would take a great deal of ethical application on the part of our media, which unfortunately will most likely never happen.

    • The lamestream media is heavily anti-gun and feeds the fire with mass-shooter stories, but is careful to avoid coverage of those in which the perpetrator(s) are “protected classes”. Major League Baseball solved the problem of fans running out onto the field for their 15 seconds of fame…it got the media to go to a commercial or show the pigeons sitting on the outfield fence instead.

  6. The common factors are schools and guns. To end shootings, while protecting the rights of gun owners, end schools. There were zero mass shootings at any school closed for lockdown, proving my point. The issue is schools and we are failing to acknowledge this. Abolish schools and the problem disappears overnight.

    Then, we can turn all the schools into indoor shooting ranges to ensure that gun owners have reasonable access to recreational opportunities. These buildings would be sold to investors and the dollars earned used to provide every American with free firearms. we would then have a fully armed citizenry and all firearm related injury and death would disappear.

    You can thank me later…..

    • Thank you for showing us what unconstructive, unsubstantiated, nonsense is. Why don’t you carry your logic to its ultimate conclusion? – that abolishing people makes the problem disappear for certain.

    • I am very sorry for your lack of common sense and conscience Mr. Guzziman.
      I’m sure those suffering right now from the loss of a child would agree and also think your humor is disrespectful and inappropriate.

    • So Guzziman, do you have a real solution because being a jerk really doesn’t help much. If you think that more laws are going to stop mentally ill kids or ruthless criminals, you probably can’t grasp the concept that neither one obeys laws. While the adults here are trying to do some constructive thinking, you must think that actually protecting school kids is a joke. If you think that criminals are going to obey some worthless law in a book, the evidence says they won’t. In every case of a mass shooting, it is always ended one of two ways. Either the shooters commit suicide, or they are put down by a good guy with a gun.

    • Very interesting thought…what if children did not attend schools untill later on? What if schools were all private with no government oversight? What if the private schools needed to accommodate only those students who could pass their test? What is trade schools were separate from general education schools? What if citizenship was more valued in schools? What is communities were invited back into the schools? What if depression and alienation were not the norms? What if every student felt included regardless of their age? What is students learned to love their country and the place they live, instead of hate it? What if we celebrated our own cultures while learning about others?

      A lot factors for sure! I think the first step is taking the government out of schools.

  7. Yes Dano, and other finding in the end is “someone or more” knew this person was volatile and possibly dangerous to others….We all are responsible to pay attention and seek input when we know something…..Let’s get everyone on the same page, if you know something say something; please………no who or where you are, let someone else know

  8. This is am easy fix! Remember, this has not been a Vermont issue. An act has not been carried out in our gun-friendly State. But, we should still aim to prevent this from happening, especially now that radicalizatiin has become common place.

    Listen up Phil- A single port of entry, security checks regularly by leadership, metal detector, armed officer, armed educators= no shooters.

    Guns stop shooters, it’s the only way shooters have been stopped. Shooters do not shoot in places that a gun friendly. Why? Because it’s a suicide mission when trained individuals are armed.

    Another issue is threatening and red flags. When this happens the individuals should recieve help, inclusion, and support. They should not be persecuted, alienated, and destroyed. If you help these people, you help everyone.

  9. So here is a serious question. At what point does a ‘law-abiding gun owner’ become a homicidal maniac? The guy in Las Vegas. When was his transition?
    1.) When he bought multiple semi-automatic weapons?
    2.) When he converted them to fully automatic?
    3.) When he bought thousands of rounds?
    4.) When he booked a room overlooking an event?
    5.) When he moved the weapons and rounds into that room?
    6.) When he broke out the window in that room?
    7.) When he looked at the event through a scope with an unloaded gun?
    8.) When he repeated 7.) with a loaded gun?
    9.) When he chambered a round?
    10.) When he fired a shot and missed?
    11.) When he made his first kill shot?

    Just say the number when he ceased to be a law abiding gun enthusiast?

    I refuse to apologize to any gentle snowflakes offended by facetiousness. I bet you are less offended than the parents who bury kids to yet more offers of ‘thoughts and prayers’ in [lace of action.

    • False Flag. Do some historical context research. Look up The Smith-Mundt Modernization Act of 2012. That is the propaganda reauthorization bill still very much in effect. Since then, we have seen a real increase in shootings related to the FBI and other agencies that have done little to stop real crime. In most cases the “government” knew about these people and did nothing. What you are doing is repeating a lie of the deep state. I submit the following to answer your question :
      https://truepundit.com/fbi-insiders-blow-whistle-massive-las-vegas-cover-agents-told-not-investigate-key-evidence-including-isis-terror-link-mandalay-bay-massacre/

      There are even more examples of what has been done to scare people into giving up our rights for “safety” much like this covid scare. If given time all that dirty laundry comes out. The trick is to not be distracted by people like you.
      I need say nothing else.

    • Dear Mr. Guzziman,

      Every human action is first a thought, a desire or an idea in a human mind. Your questions are not easily answered, because we would have to have the capability to read a human mind. Your same questions could be asked of a person who murdered with a knife, a hammer, poison or their bare hands.

      It’s not about the instrument or the method used to murder. There is good and there is evil in our world and there has been since the beginning of time. Every human being has free will to make choices. ALL the choices we make have consequences even if they are not obvious and plainly seen. Each individual can choose actions that help, build and nurture or choose actions that kill, steal and destroy.

      My questions to you:
      1.) What makes a human being choose to kill, steal and destroy?
      2.) If a human being understood their very high worth and value would they
      choose to kill, steal and destroy?
      3.) If a human being saw other human beings as highly valued would they
      choose to kill, steal and destroy?
      4.) If a human being believed they had purpose and a future would they
      choose to kill, steal and destroy?
      5.) If human beings were taught about their personal value and worth as well
      as the value and worth of other human beings in childhood would they
      choose to kill, steal and destroy?
      6.) If human beings were taught about the existence of evil and good in our
      world and how to choose good over evil would they choose to kill, steal
      and destroy?
      7.) If human beings were taught self-control in their childhoods would they
      choose to kill, steal and destroy?
      8.) If a human being knows their high value, has hope, a purpose and a future
      would they take drugs, commit suicide or want to kill, steal and destroy?

      Being genuinely respectful, considerate and empathetic to the pain and tragic circumstances others are experiencing is not being a snowflake. It’s a conscious choice to help, build and nurture the high value of the human beings affected.

      • These are good points. Realistically we can only determine good and evil through actions, right? Words can count or every playground argument becomes evidence of ‘evil’.

        But, empathy is fundamentally worthless without a willingness to act. The original poster had some ideas, but all that will do is shift the target. After 9/11 box cutters were not allowed. After the liquid bomber liquids were restricted. After the shoe bomber, we had to take off our shoes. Once schools are the new fortresses of America, will the deranged look at them and say ‘Well, I’ll just forget it then’, or will they look for an undefended target? It’s already happening – malls, churches, workplaces.

        So your real ‘good v. evil question might be why do we seemingly have more than our fair share of evil? https://worldpopulationreview.com/country-rankings/murder-rate-by-country.

        Japan has a rate of 0.2 per 100,000, the US 4.96. Does that statistic make us 25 times more evil than Japan? 7 times more wicked than New Zealand? or five times nastier than the Germans?

        This a pages and pages discussion, but I agree with you that the fundamentals of ‘right and wrong’ are clearly a part of it.

    • Mr. Guzziman: First I want to express appreciation for your commentary here on VDC. It’s not often that the progressive point of view is expressed here. And it would be beneficial if others displayed your courage. But if you could answer your own questions, you might be considered to have something constructive to add to the discussion.

      Re: “At what point does a ‘law-abiding gun owner’ become a homicidal maniac?”

      This is yet another instance of an oft used strawman argument, a logical fallacy.

      Thankfully, we have a system of jurisprudence that best answers this question. It’s called ‘malicious intent’. And it’s acceptable to prove ‘malicious intent’ using circumstantial evidence. But every case is unique. Be one a gun owner, or a priest, or a VDC commentor, the law, presumably, is administered equally. Look it up.

      There is also the concept of ‘predictive law enforcement’, using algorithms to predict and help prevent prospective future crimes. But that smacks of Philip Dick’s 1956 short story, ‘The Minority Report’. For example, who will be authorized to determine when someone is acting of their own free will or compelled by external circumstances?

      When did Darrel Brooks, the Wisconsin Xmas parade driver who killed 5 and injured 48, become a homicidal maniac? Or is his insanity plea (not guilty by mental disease or defect) legitimate? And in the case of the Uvalde, TX school shooting, who is the more guilty? The teenage shooter who telegraphed his intent on public media. Or the public officials who had sufficient circumstantial evidence to arrest him for ‘malicious intent’ and did nothing. Or the police who had the opportunity to intervene but didn’t?

      Why, for example, has there not been a single mass public shooting in any school that allows teachers and staff to carry guns legally? Since at least as far back as January 2000, not a single shooting-related death or injury has occurred during or anywhere near class hours on the property of a school that allows teachers to carry.

      I repeat… not even a single shooting related injury.

      If the intent of your comment is to provide ideas for the safety of our children, that’s a good thing. But if your intent is to accuse law-abiding gun owners of being homicidal maniacs, a little introspection is in order.

      • Outstanding – constructive discussion.

        Short answer, none of us know. A person in favor of controls might say that amassing an arsenal (step 1) is proof of intent. Clearly, gun rights folks would decry such a move, and the more extreme would say that it is at the moment that a crime is committed (not when malicious intent is determined). So, in the Uvalde case, would others have come to the shooters defense were he denied his rights? We see even two days ago lawmakers coming to the defense of non-married domestic abusers’ gun rights – the so called ‘boyfriend loophole’, despite that fact that over 50% of female gun homicide victims were killed by a perpetrator that they know.

        The issue is that we seem to have an issue with prevention in general. We don’t have a healthcare system, we have a sick care system. Any attempts to ‘improve health’ by banning or limiting sugar (for example) would founder upon the altar of freedom. Prevention isn’t sexy and makes for lousy news headlines. For example a police chief hears of an impending robbery and hides behind a hedge and shoots the perpetrator exiting the bank, Headline “Hero cop saves town.” Imagine he had instead parked a marked patrol car outside of the bank and the robber gets spooked. Headline “girls basketball team wins a close one”.

        Unlike other progressives I don’t paint all gun-owners as homicidal maniacs. I do not own a gun because in four years in the military I had to get the armorer drunk to sign my firearms qualification as I am such a bad shot. My choice is because I am more of a danger with a gun than without one! Others can, and do, make different choices.

        Thanks for engaging – I really appreciate the thought and concern you used here.

  10. Mr. Guzziman Christian,

    While you attend a function, concert, go to church, a theater, a mall or wherever you are and a madman shows up to murder people, you would prefer to die over protecting yourself and others. You would curl up and wait for the good guy with the gun to save your butt. It may happen to you because these instances are not predictable when we venture out from our homes.

    You are in a trance and can’t comprehend that evil lurks when we least expect it. While you bring up the Vegas mass shooter, you didn’t note that the investigation was incomplete, no reasons determined, facts inconsistent with reality and other leads not followed and the case dropped for lack of concrete evidence perhaps intended.

    Anyone familiar with firearms knows that what was done that day could not have possibly been done by one person with bump stock equipped rifles. So, people like you swallow the government Koolade and try to spread false information. Many of us carry firearms responsibly, train with them and believe in our God given right to self-preservation and the 2nd amendment.

    The next time that you venture out to your next public situation, look around but you will not see that there may be a sentinel in the crowd that could save your life and the lives of others and realize that your words against such a person are just as worthless as you would be in such a situation.

  11. We need to do profiles and share that with individuals in all schools so they know what they’re looking for. It’s a mental health issue, the school shootings and it’s an act of terrorism. Domestic terrorism is just as bad as foreign. Also need to set up 800 numbers like they do in Colorado where people can call in when individuals are needing the profile so that investigations can start before the shooting start. Not take away people’s guns investigations based on Facebook post writings comments made their friends etc this work really well in Colorado.

Leave a Reply