Gun control advocates have found a new way to thwart the safety of school children and teachers. EMC Insurance Companies, the primary insurer of the state of Kansas’ schools, has vowed to drop the schools if teachers take advantage of the recently passed concealed carry law. The Kansas Association of School Boards is now urging districts not to allow teachers to take guns to school when the new law goes into effect on July 1.
One would think that insurance companies would fully support a law which would make their customers safer, but apparently common sense does not reign in Kansas. The unwillingness to insure school districts with armed employees by EMC Insurance means those inside the classroom will remain potential targets.
EMC Insurance Companies Vice President Bernie Zalaznik had this to say about refusing to insure schools with armed teachers:
“We understand that school districts have every right to decide which way they want to go. But we have to make the decision based on what we perceive to be our best financial interest. We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial security of our company.”
Perhaps Kansas gun owners will opt to take a long hard look at what is in their best interest and drop the insurance company which does not support the Second Amendment. Unless EMC Insurance refuses to insure homes and businesses which contain guns, the concealed carry teacher’s policy announcement seems to boast a politically motivated slant.
Kansas Association of School Boards Insurance Program Director David Shriver stated that approximately 12 districts have called to express interest in allowing guns in schools. Until the new law takes effect, only police officers are permitted to carry guns in Kansas schools.
EMC Insurances covers approximately 90 percent of the state’s 286 school districts. According to Shrivner, Continental Western Group and Wright Specialty Insurance also represent Kansas school districts and have opted not to cover concealed firearms related liabilities or to drop districts which arm teachers as well.
The Kansas concealed carry in schools law allows the district board to designate specific employees who can take guns inside the facility. The chosen employees must also possess a valid concealed carry permit. According to the school board association insurance program director, the districts which have called to ask questions about putting the law into practice has all been smaller districts. Large Kansas school districts like the one in Topeka may have less need to arm teachers—they reportedly have 20 police officers inside buildings on any given day.
Kansas Governor Sam Brownback signed the guns in schools legislation into law in April. State Senator Forrest Knox was a vocal supporter of the law and stated that it sent the message that Kansas trusts concealed guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens. According to the Kansas City Star, the new gun rights law also says that local governments, state agencies, state colleges, and state universities cannot prevent concealed carry permit holders from taking firearms into buildings after 2017.
The Kansas guns in schools law passed the State House of Representatives by a 104-16 margin. The legislation eased through the State Senate with a 32-7 vote – both branches have Republican majorities. Democratic Senator Tom Hawk does not support the bill and had this to say when recalling the tragic death of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and imposing those reflections upon pending firearms laws:
“My personal hope in my life- both here and I hope with all of us – is that we might promote a safer and less violent world. And for me, having an expansion of weapons, even for good reasons, does not get to the kind of world that I want to live in.”
While Senator Hawk’s dreams for a violence-free world paint a beautiful picture, they are just incredibly unrealistic. Dr. King’s non-violent approach to the civil rights movement was incredibly brave and his eloquent words inspired millions of people to become their best selves. Unfortunately evil still exists in the hearts of men (and women), and school children and teachers deserve every protection afforded under the law.
The EMC Insurance company’s refusal to cover school districts where staffers exercise their Second Amendment rights is inexcusable. Not allowing school staffers to carry a gun will not make the classroom safer. A deranged shooter will not be thwarted by Senator Hawk’s peaceful dreams for the world, but could be stopped quickly by a teacher armed with a Smith & Wesson .38.
The Kansas concealed carry law would also make it easier for people with security access cards to take guns into workplaces even if such places have a “no guns allowed” type sign posted after July of next year. A related proposal would allow licensed gun owners to take firearms into the Capitol if state lawmakers decided that new security standards are not adequate. Both Democrat and Republican elected officials have stated that security at the Kansas Statehouse will be greatly improved once ongoing renovations are completed at the end of this year.
Another law also recently passed will permit alcohol in the Capitol building for approved events. Some supporters of the “beer at the statehouse” rule believe the glass tipping would be limited to the building re-opening festivities.
Senator Hawk had this to say when weighing in on the booze and guns at the Kansas Statehouse issue:
“It’s not that I don’t trust you guys. But if we happen to have too good of a celebration and have spirited debates, I don’t want to be intimidated. As Sen. [David] Haley once said, ‘An armed society is a polite society.’ I don’t want to see an armed Senate that is overly polite and not able to have the right kinds of debate.”
Kansas lawmakers also made headlines after passing the Second Amendment Protection Act SB 102 earlier this year. The law stated that guns and ammo made, bought, sold, and possessed in Kansas are immune from federal regulations. The controversial law focused upon the sovereign rights of the state when federal law conflicts with the protections and dictates of the Constitution.
How do you feel about concealed carry teachers policies and guns in schools?