Gun rights advocate weighs in on school walkouts - FOX Carolina 21

Gun rights advocate weighs in on school walkouts

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In the wake of the student walk outs around the nation, some gun rights groups are speaking out, including the NRA. They posted a message on Twitter on Wednesday, that said, in part, that new gun control laws won't protect kids, but better school security will.

We also spoke to a local NRA member, who is also a member of South Carolina Carry, a non- profit pro gun rights group in the state. Stephen Shaw is a lawyer in the Upstate who also wrote a book about gun laws in South Carolina.

He told us he is a supporter of the Second Amendment and that he is also in support of the students using their voices to be heard.  He says he understands their call for safer schools, but he says taking away guns is not the answer. 

"We don't want to punish good law abiding people for things that bad people do and we don't want the Constitution turned upside down in the process of trying to protect everyone from guns. We're trying to protect them from the bad people who use the guns."

Shaw says he sees a need for better school security. "There are schools, courthouses in some outlying areas that are just way too easy to get into. I question the level of security, and have schools kind of been burying their heads in the sand with this?"

We asked him if he believes there will be changes to gun laws in the future, given the strong reaction to what happened in Parkland, Florida. Shaw says we've already seen a shift.

"It worked in Florida, they changed the law there quickly, with a Republican House, Republican Senate and Republican Governor and they got some gun laws changed there that are now being challenged in the courts by the NRA."

As for whether these protests will help change the stance of pro-gun rights groups, Shaw doesn't think so.

"In the past, when there's been forces looking for additional gun law restrictions and removal of what the NRA would consider fundamental rights, the NRA has redoubled it's effort and increased in membership so what I'm thinking is they're just going to get more of a fight."

We also heard from SC Carry. They released this statement about the protests:


The men and women of South Carolina Carry mourn the loss of lives in the recent school shooting in Florida. We support students’ exercise of their Constitutional rights to assemble and petition the government for increased security for schools. A government that mandates parents send their children to government schools has a moral duty to protect these children. South Carolina’s children deserve at least as much security as provided for the Statehouse and other governmental facilities. 

We regret that certain groups are trying to hijack the students’ effort to increase school security and use it to further their obsession with disarming law abiding citizens. The same Constitution that acknowledges the right of the people to assemble and petition our government for reform also recognizes the natural and God given right of self-defense through the keeping and bearing of arms, and prohibits government form infringing on these rights. 

We call on our Legislature and School Districts in South Carolina to secure our schools by converting them from soft targets to hard targets through: 

1. Ensuring every school has a sufficient number of armed personnel, including law enforcement as well as willing and trained teachers and volunteers. 

2. Requiring a complete security review of every school in the state and providing for the implementation of corrective measures identified in the review. 

3. Training for all local law enforcement and school personnel not only in active shooter response but in preventing access to the property through a layered security approach including surveillance, detection, communication, and other means. 

We urge our leaders to recognize that attempting to make schools safe by labeling them with signs as gun free zones and placing a single law enforcement officer on a large campus is an illusion that too often results in victims. Bans have not and will not prevent these horrendous events. Our children should be protected.

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