Clo­vis shoot­ing: Guns in li­braries aren’t is­sue

Santa Fe New Mexican - - OPINIONS -

The al­leged Clo­vis li­brary shooter, Nathaniel Jou­ett, who is ac­cused of killing two people and in­jur­ing four oth­ers, was 16 years old, years shy of the min­i­mum for car­ry­ing hand­guns at all, much less for con­cealed li­cens­ing.

Just pos­sess­ing the guns was both a federal and a state crime. He also is charged with first­de­gree mur­der, assault, ag­gra­vated bat­tery and child abuse — mul­ti­ple felonies much more se­ri­ous than vi­o­lat­ing a gun-free zone. Ob­vi­ously, whether guns were al­lowed in the li­brary was never an is­sue for him.

So why re­act by ban­ning guns from li­braries (“No con­cealed weapons in pub­lic li­braries,” My View, Sept. 3)? As a re­sponse to one dis­turbed, out-of-con­trol teenager? Where he was didn’t mat­ter. Con­cealed carry is safely al­lowed in most pub­lic venues where chil­dren are present (gro­cery stores, sport­ing events, re­li­gious ser­vices).

More than 40,800 New Mex­i­cans have earned con­cealed carry li­censes, based on 15 hours of train­ing in safety, gun laws, back­ground checks and live-fire qual­i­fi­ca­tion. Li­censees aren’t crim­i­nals. In fact, armed cit­i­zens have saved lives (crimere­search.org/2016/09/uber-driver).

Nancy T. Bennett has been a Santa Fe res­i­dent since 1978.

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