Man brings gun to school board meeting


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griz
October 13, 2005, 04:32 PM
From this article: (http://www.dailypress.com/news/dp-02089sy0oct13,0,3116508.story?coll=dp-widget-news)

A local man who open carries everywhere went to a school board meeting armed. He checked with the police first, and it is legal because the meeting is not on school grounds. The reaction is unfortunately typical. The board chairman wants the law changed, is considering having the meetings on school gounds, and is of course worried for "the children".

But what caught my eye was the chairman was worried enough that he had two deputies come to the meeting. If he would have asked for unarmed security guards I might think he was concerned about the danger of guns, but he called upon others who were armed to protect him.

The link will expire so the text is in the next post.

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griz
October 13, 2005, 04:33 PM
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
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."
Copyright 2005, Daily Press

TheOtherOne
October 13, 2005, 04:39 PM
How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 04:45 PM
The meeting was not at a school.

Thankfully, nothing happened. But it would seem prudent to take action before a tragedy occurs." Whew! Close call there! :rolleyes:

Frandy
October 13, 2005, 04:47 PM
"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."

Let's see if I understand this correctly. This guy Medford thought that if someone got really, really, really, pissed off about something that Szymecki would pull out his HK and shoot the guy who was pissed off?

Oh, no.. I get it now... If Szymecki was the one who was pissed off, he would pull out his gun and kill everyone in the room.

No, no... NOW I got it.... If Szymecki gets pissed off, he'll pull his pistol and kill himself.

No, wait a minute... I think i finally got it.... :rolleyes:

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 04:53 PM
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." Don't make stupid decisions. Here's some incentive for 'ya.

"Decided to snap..." :scrutiny: :uhoh:

CentralTexas
October 13, 2005, 04:53 PM
How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 05:11 PM
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.

So because one school board with baseless want's can change the law's of an entire state? Nice.

"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."
Maybe we shouldn't allow anyone who come's to the meeting to own firearm's. Since if someone was pissed off enough to kill you they could just go out to their car or home and come back with it, or find oyu after the meeting, and shoot you. And how does one decide to snap exactly? Last time I remember people don't go "Ok time to go nuts!" Worst case scenario is someone get's pissed off goes gets a gun come's back and open's fire with no one there to stop him before he shoot's everyone. Of he has to be rushed to be stopped resulting in needless casulties when a few well placed shots from someone defending themselves would stop it right away.

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."
Oh no a gun, he must be a criminal :rolleyes:

"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."
Says it all right there

How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?
It wasn't withen a school zone. It was held off school ground's.

carebear
October 13, 2005, 05:22 PM
Central,

Read it again. The meeting wasn't on school grounds.

He called the Sheriff to check if it was okay because "school board" has the word "school" in the title and because in a former life the meeting hall had been a courthouse.

CentralTexas
October 13, 2005, 05:28 PM
I was replying to the post about gun free school zones-

Ruled unconstitutional I believe-

"How did he get around the federal law the prohibits guns within a certain distance of a school zone?"

Henry Bowman
October 13, 2005, 05:53 PM
Ruled unconstitutional I believe- Yes, but was re-passed by Congress (and signed by Billy Boy) with a clause that says "because this relates to the regulation of interstate commerce... ." Has not been ruled on since, but newer SCOTUS law (Raich) says "it's interstate commerce if Congress says so." :fire:

Car Knocker
October 13, 2005, 07:12 PM
In Utah it is legal to carry in public schools with a CFP. School employees cannot be prohibited from carrying in schools.
UCA 53-5-704

THere is a federal exemption under 18 U.S.C. 922(2)(B) (ii) that allows those licensed by the State and whose eligibility is verified by the State, to carry in a school zone.

nhhillbilly
October 13, 2005, 07:19 PM
NH it is also leagle to carry on school grounds either open or concealed with carry permit.


TO give you idea how the school works in my town. The Supervisory unit (people in charge ) SAU is in Enfield about 1/4 mile away from any school. No students in this building. Everyhunting season they get upset as they can hear shots being fired. NO crime. THe people paid for this building and they act as if they own it and make the rules. The people own it including the hunters.

Old Fuff
October 13, 2005, 08:04 PM
I always wonder why these school (and other) officials can't get it through their heads that what they really need to worry about is the mental-case that brings a concealed weapon to one of their meetings (without any kind of permit of course) and decides to shoot up the place.

In this instance, if the School Board sheeple are so concerned why don't they simply hold the meetings at a school?

Of course that would do nothing to protect them from the consequences outlined in my first paragraph.

Must be something in the water around there ...

CAPTAIN MIKE
October 13, 2005, 08:13 PM
Thank goodness those evil g-g-g-g-g-g-g-g-GUNS didn't jump out of their holsters on the 2 other open-carry armed people in the room (the deputies) and suddenly "go off". Thank goodness the two other armed people in the room weren't having a 'Bad Day' or that they weren't 'upset' by their children's grades that particular day.

The school board official obviously hasn't considered that he may have already spent many hours in the company of concealed-carry folks. The logic of the board chairman is the same logic of the "blood in the streets over parking spots" argument that other anti-gunners use.

....Now....About That Cell Tower .... I recommend the York School Board start issuing tin-foil hats @ Dare Elementary School.

R.H. Lee
October 13, 2005, 08:33 PM
"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."
I can't adequately describe how much that mentality bothers me. It is both ignorant and arrogant at the same time. It says that the mere presence of a firearm is enough to cause a crime, and if you are in possession of a firearm, you must be mentally unbalanced and on the verge of violence. It makes no sense, yet that is the prevailing attitude. These are the people in charge of educating our children. :scrutiny:

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 09:07 PM
Not my children if I can home school them

...when I have them

Homeschooling all the way

Standing Wolf
October 13, 2005, 09:08 PM
We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms...

It's always refreshing to see an elaborate lie started with a nice, clean, clear, old-fashioned simple lie!

Desertdog
October 13, 2005, 09:42 PM
"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."
Since there is a confirmed coward and liar, by his own statements, at the head of the school board, I think the brave people of that school should have Mr. Chet Szymecki run for his seat. At least he is not afraid of of guns.

If Mr Medford doesn't want a "worse case scenario" I suggest he either have Mr Szymecki or the deputies at all school board meetings.

Hopefully, since it has been proven legal to have firearms at school board meetings, maybe a dozen or so parents should carry their firearms to the meetings to show their support for Szymecki's rights to keep and bear arms, before they lose theirs.

R.H. Lee
October 13, 2005, 11:07 PM
Is Mark Medford carrying around the equipment necessary to rape any woman in the room? How do we know he won't 'snap' and use it?

Makes about as much sense.

Lupinus
October 13, 2005, 11:19 PM
better keep everyones finger nails clipped to and mouth guards in so there is no biting of scratching.

MikeIsaj
October 13, 2005, 11:49 PM
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."Because if I want to shoot you, I'm going to do it in a room full of people and a cable TV camera.:banghead:

Here's a homework assignment; Look up the statute and determine what your states law actually says about weapons and schools. You might be surprized. Had this conversation with a school board member in Pa. He insisted that it is illegal in Pa. for me to carry a weapon in a school. I asked him to cite the statute. He actually did and then read it closely. It provides an exception for CCW as a lawful purpose. He then attempted to develop a policy for the district that would prohibit concealed carry. Other members were not interested because "it is already illegal." We win by ignorance.

Hawkmoon
October 14, 2005, 01:11 AM
No, wait a minute... I think i finally got it....
No, you missed it again.

The meeting was about cell phone towers. If Szymecki got upset, he would undoubtedly start blasting away at the nearest cell phone tower. Now that would REALLY be a worst case scenario -- a room full of excited people, and no way to call anybody on their cell phones to babble on endlessly about the nutcase who just shot up the cell phone tower.

mattx109
October 14, 2005, 01:38 AM
I did a quick search, but didn't turn anything up. Has anyone found a way to contact Mr. Szymecki?

I'd very much like to offer him a few words of support in the matter.

Desertdog
October 14, 2005, 02:37 AM
If you go to the paper home page there is a poll.
http://www.dailypress.com/index.html

NEWS POLL
Should school boards be allowed to regulate firearms at school-related activities off campus?
Yes No

And right now the score is;

Should school boards be allowed to regulate firearms at school-related activities off campus?
Yes: 16.1%
No: 83.9%
901 total responses

Camp David
October 14, 2005, 09:24 AM
Schools are very proactive about first amendment but rarely about second... If schools tell you you can't exercise 2nd, tell them they can't exercise 1st.

I think this issue is more about concealed vs. open carry; if you go to a School Board meeting conceal your gun, open carry it elsewhere! Simple as that.

However, any school which prohibits weapons is not paying due attention the Bill of Rights, and that should encourage more open discussion about it!

Cacique500
October 14, 2005, 10:52 AM
Medford wrote: "Our concern is for the safety and well being of the students present at this school-related activity

I don't have any kids...therefore haven't been to a school board meeting.

My question is are there kids present at these meetings normally? This just struck me as a really stupid statement from Medford.

"We're not infringing upon people's rights to bear arms," said board Chairman Mark Medford. "It's just a common-sense issue."

:rolleyes: Someone is lacking their common sense...

scout26
October 14, 2005, 11:05 AM
Mr. Medford is obviously correct. Most homocidal nutjobs call the police and check to see if what they plan to do is legal, before they get angry and decide to snap.[/sarcasm]


Thankfully, nothing happened. But it would seem prudent to take action before a tragedy occurs."

Hmmmm.... Heellllllooooo Mr. Medford, it's the clue phone and it's for you. THAT's why Mr. Szymecki carries. He's taking action before a tragedy occurs and that PREVENTS tragedies from occuring !!!

:banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead: :banghead:

Janitor
October 14, 2005, 11:40 AM
...someone decided to snap ...
Ok. Quick informal poll -

How many of you have decided to snap in the last 12 months?

Henry Bowman
October 14, 2005, 11:45 AM
How many of you have decided to snap in the last 12 months?
Once or twice, but changed my mind soon after. ;)

Dannyboy
October 14, 2005, 11:48 AM
OK, so the Principle guy essentially thinks that owning, or carrying, a gun makes someone a potential lunatic murderer.

The illogical extension of that would be to say that since this guy works around children all day then he is a potential child molester. Somehow, I don't think he would appreciate that thought and I wouldn't blame him. Of course, I think that when you make stupid remarks like he did, you get what you deserve.

antarti
October 14, 2005, 12:07 PM
How much do you want to bet that, deputies and all, that school meeting ran quicker, more efficiently, and more politely than all the others before it?

I bet nobody on the board tried to shout anybody down, berate them, or put on the elitist face and tell the people responding to the call for discussion that they "don't understand the issues" or that their "arguments are irrelevant".

Sounds like a good idea, and even better would be for all parents to show up armed. I bet the school boards would be more responsive to the opinions and standards of the community.

No lunatic (and I know a few) is crazy enough to call the police before showing up for a live broadcast show just for the pleasure of dropping some leech, no matter how deserving. Around here, that's what back-roads, salt marshes, and untethered & weighted crabtraps are for.

MikeIsaj
October 14, 2005, 01:09 PM
One more "NO" vote in the poll.

svtruth
October 14, 2005, 02:24 PM
Camp David, beg to differ.
Schools from colleges on down to kindergarten routinely act as if students have no first amendment rights, they limit/prohibit speeches, newspapers, tee shirts, religious symbols, etc.

rmgill
October 14, 2005, 03:11 PM
Yes, but was re-passed by Congress (and signed by Billy Boy) with a clause that says "because this relates to the regulation of interstate commerce... ." Has not been ruled on since, but newer SCOTUS law (Raich) says "it's interstate commerce if Congress says so." :fire:

But the original SCOTUS decision specifically stated that the connection is so tenuous that it more or less wipes away the Commerce Clause. If Congress only has to deem something interstate Commerce to make it so, it is no longer a limit on Congressional power.

From the court decision:http://straylight.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/93-1260.ZO.html

The possession of a gun in a local school zone is in no sense an economic activity that might, through repetition elsewhere, substantially affect any sort of interstate commerce. Respondent was a local student at a local school; there is no indication that he had recently moved in interstate commerce, and there is no requirement that his possession of the firearm have any concrete tie to interstate commerce.

To uphold the Government's contentions here, we would have to pile inference upon inference in a manner that would bid fair to convert congressional authority under the Commerce Clause to a general police power of the sort retained by the States. Admittedly, some of our prior cases have taken long steps down that road, giving great deference to congressional action. See supra, at 8. The broad language in these opinions has suggested the possibility of additional expansion, but we decline here to proceed any further. To do so would require us to conclude that the Constitution's enumeration of powers does not presuppose something not enumerated, cf. Gibbons v. Ogden, supra, at 195, and that there never will be a distinction between what is truly national and what is truly local, cf. Jones & Laughlin Steel, supra, at 30. This we are unwilling to do.

I suspect that if it comes up again, it'll be over-turned.

Henry Bowman
October 14, 2005, 03:52 PM
If Congress only has to deem something interstate Commerce to make it so, it is no longer a limit on Congressional power.
That's what Justice Thomas pointed out in his dissent in the Raich case. But he was in the minority. :mad:

Car Knocker
October 14, 2005, 04:12 PM
Since we are now discussing Raich in connection with this topic, here's an excerpt from today's paper:

The opinion by the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturns the dismissal last year by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart in Salt Lake City of a count of sexual exploitation of children against Virgilio Jeronimo-Bautista.
The court said Stewart mistakenly decided that using a camera manufactured outside Utah and transported across state lines was too weak a factor to establish federal authority over the case through the Commerce Clause, which regulates economic activity among states.
In overturning Stewart, the 10th Circuit relied on a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision that said Congress can regulate the purely local production and use of marijuana for personal medical purposes.
Locally produced images of child pornography can have a substantial impact on the market for that material when it is distributed and traded - sometimes ending up in other states - just as locally grown marijuana often can when it is used by the growers' friends and family members, the appeals court said.
"Congress' decision to deem illegal Mr. Jeronimo-Bautista's local production of child pornography represents a rational determination that such local activities constitute an essential part of the interstate market for child pornography that is well within Congress' power to regulate," the court said in its opinion, handed down Wednesday.

http://www.sltrib.com/utah/ci_3115622

Following this logic, a traffic offense now becomes a federal offense because the vehicle was manufactured out of state as was the fuel.

MachIVshooter
October 15, 2005, 08:06 PM
This is exactly the reason I obtained a CCW. It is perfectly legal to open carry anywhere in CO (except Denver), but I prefer to avoid the controversy.

Here in CO, you cannot legally have a firearm on school grounds unless you have a CCW. If you have a CCW, the weapon must still be locked in your car and out of site. Only LEO's or school security gaurds can carry into the school. Cilvilians may not, under any circumstances, carry on school property.

But that's OK, because we all know that this law means that no one can possibly be armed at a public school, right? :)rolleyes

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