Upcoming decision: Concealed weapons on Bishop campuses?

Deb Murphy

The Bishop Unified School District Board of Trustees will make a decision at its March 17 meeting on whether to allow a waiver for those with a concealed weapon permit to come on campus packing heat.

Bishop Union High School

Bishop Union High School

The discussion started in January and continued at last night’s trustees’ meeting. Two of the trustees, Tina Orrill and Taylor Ludwick weren’t ready to commit.

Those who attended the meeting to comment on the agenda item, Supervisor Barry Simpson, trustees Eric Richman and Kathy Zack and staff want a total no-guns policy.

Since 1995 California’s Gun-Free School Zone Act has banned weapons on school grounds, unless the armed person has a concealed weapons permit. Senate Bill 707, signed in October 2015 and in effect as of January 1, amended the Act banning concealed weapons unless the district allowed for waivers and set the requirements for those waivers. That was the question before the board.

Orrill was concerned about the inconvenience for parents with concealed weapon permits having to leave their weapons home when they dropped their kids off at school. “I’m not ready to make an informed decision,” she said, noting she had an appointment to discuss the issue with someone in law enforcement.

Ludwick wanted to look at the research. “My concern is safety,” he said, agreeing with former teacher Steve Elia that the six hours children spend in school should be their safest hours.

Trustee Josh Nicholson’s position was that school staff should not carry weapons on campus but the properly permitted public could. “Someone with a permit shouldn’t have to put his weapon in the unsecured trunk of his car to go to a football game or attend (the play) “Chicago,” he said.

The final public comment came from Athletic Director Stacy Van Nest. “I’d much rather have that weapon in the trunk than in the stands at football games,” she said.

Richman came armed with research. His cousin, Jeremy Richman, lost his daughter at Sandy Hook in December 2012. “He’s the guy standing behind the President when he addresses another school shooting,” Richman said. “The reason we’re here having this discussion is the failure of government.”

He went on to read an article dispelling the “good guy with a gun” theory that maintains mass shootings can be stopped by that good guy. The writer, a former Special Ops officer, concluded that the good guy with a gun myth is “perpetrated by people who’ve never been shot at.”

No one spoke in favor of a waiver allowing concealed weapons on campuses during the public comment period. Superintendent Barry Simpson polled his staff; more than half responded and 75% did not approve of a waiver.

Former trustee Carl Lind noted the issue of controversial officer-involved shootings “despite their training.”

Eric Leitch paraphrased Anton Chekhov, “if a gun appears in chapter one (of a novel), it has to be shot. I’ve never encountered a situation where a gun would make that situation better.”

“Guns make a situation worse,” Elia agreed. “We need to maintain the sanctity of the school zone. (Concealed weapons) are not in the service of learning.”

A parent had a problem “having a discussion with children and guns in the same sentence. School is a place of hope.”

A teacher argued that having a permit was not enough of a qualification to carry on campus.

“This (the concept of guns on school grounds) is totally foreign to me,” said Simpson. “There is more risk with guns on campus.”


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50 Responses to Upcoming decision: Concealed weapons on Bishop campuses?

  1. Low-Inyo February 14, 2016 at 4:53 pm #

    Ridiculous to even think it would be O.K. to carry a weapon on campus…..just another way for the right-wingers trying to say,if not allowed,it’s President Obama trying to “TAKE” everyones guns away before he leaves office come January 2017….just like the Special Ops Officer says…. the “good guy with the gun” is a myth ….and for those that think differently,they have never been shot at…or for some of us,robbed at gun-point…lotta big talk about what they would do….untill it happens…..would be utter chaos going on by both the shooter and the “good guy with the gun “….don’t know the solution,but that sure isn’t it.

    • Cris February 16, 2016 at 3:16 am #

      I’m a right-winger and I think guns on Bishop campuses are preposterous. We don’t have a homicide rate here. This whole idea that we need guns on our school campuses should not even be an issue.

      • Nationalist February 16, 2016 at 4:11 pm #

        Not an issue until it happens here and The faculty and staff and whoever happens to be there have to cower like rabbits while innocent lives are snuffed out all because you are Terrified of a Peace Officer on Campus in Plain Cloths with a Concealed Firearm .

    • turbo2 February 20, 2016 at 11:54 am #

      So back when kids used to go to high school with a .22 in the pickup rack behind their heads,
      and we used to cruise around town with a shotgun AND a rifle in the rack, loaded of course,
      how many high schools got shot up back then?

      And I doubt that is what the survivors of the concert in France are thinking is best:
      Cower and wait…for your executioner to walk up and choose you next.

      I bet someone in the conference room in San Bernardino wished they had
      a CCW, and didn’t have to “cower and wait” for death.

      Maybe that should be California’s new motto for the justice department:
      “Cower and Wait… maybe we’ll arrive in time” sounds about right.

      I had a whole list of shootings that were stopped because a citizen had
      a weapon, and the ‘moderator’ deleted it I guess. too informative??

      • Low-Inyo February 21, 2016 at 8:24 am #

        turbo2……I think we agree to dis-agree about some of it…..but the fact is….there are going to be crazy-shooters,and deaths, and especially in this day and age when the majority of people wait and expect others to bail them out of a bad situation…school shootings,hurricanes (Katrina),and any other bad situation that might happen….what I do know is,if for some reason I had to go to to a high school or collage,in a dangerous area,or even with some type of predicted violence,I wouldn’t feel safer if I knew some 18 year old students or untrained teachers possibly had CCW’s to come save the day and protect me….or for that matter,knowing Law Enforcement was only 2 blocks away…your right saying times have changed,no longer seeing rifles and shotguns on gun-racks in trucks.Maybe good examples,again Katrina….olden days,you’d take care of yourself…decide yourself to stay or evacuate…family and friends getting through it,not sitting on a bridge starving to death and waiting on someone to bring you food and water…earthquakes….if there was a big one,getting up,accessing damage,checking on family and friends…this day and age,sitting on a chair with a cell-phone waiting on a 9-1-1 reverse phone call telling you what to do….maybe the best answer is to do what you got to do to feel safer….and not tell too many people what your doing to do that…

  2. Trouble February 15, 2016 at 5:37 am #

    I think people should ask themselves why and who is shoving this issue down our throats right now?
    I’m all for everyone to have a right to bare arms if they so choose. But I really think it stinks that people are trying to suck are kids and school district into the center of this debate.
    Shouldn’t the teachers in the gang infested neighbors be the ones fighting this issue?

    • Scott February 16, 2016 at 2:50 pm #

      ^^^ – “I’m all for everyone to have a right to bare arms if they so choose.”

      No sleeves for Trouble!

  3. sugarmagnolia February 15, 2016 at 9:08 am #

    If concealed weapons are allowed on campus, then 18 year old students with concealed weapons permits would be allowed to carry loaded guns to school. You can’t have it both ways….students 18 and over are adults and just being a student can’t deny them their rights as adults.

    • Cris February 16, 2016 at 3:20 am #

      Actually, there could be a stipulation that students wouldn’t be allowed to carry.

    • Trouble February 16, 2016 at 6:16 am #

      Sugar, I had the same thoughts on the eighteen year old issues. I was also thinking about who would protect the youth against some nut ball teacher. Eighteen year olds have the right to be drafted and sent off to war to protect us.

      • Low-Inyo February 16, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

        Trouble….Come on,man !!!!…..are you suggesting 18 year old students should have the “right” to protect themselves,with a CCW on campus of a high school just in case one of their teachers go postal ?….have you ever been around most 18 year olds if they happen to be shooting a firearm ..in the desert or a field….even a shooting range ?….usually one hand on the firearm….the other either on a cell-phone talking to someone,or a smart-phone taking a “selfie” of them shooting….

        • Trouble February 17, 2016 at 8:58 am #

          Lower, our Constitution says we have the right to bare arms. If people want to add mumbo jumbo stuff to it , their fools in my opinion.
          Our Constitution doesn’t have a age limit in it either.

          • dpblue February 25, 2016 at 6:21 pm #

            Jeez Trouble why do you dislike long sleeved shirts so much?

          • Trouble February 26, 2016 at 9:11 am #

            I’m sorry if I offended any long sleeve shirts!

        • Trouble February 26, 2016 at 1:49 pm #

          Yes, lower inyo. I think every body has the right to bare arms, and it shall not be infringed upon. No age limit. No limits at all. That includes Jack the Ripper in my opinion.

          • Charles O. Jones February 27, 2016 at 9:31 am #

            So in Trouble’s perfect world, a paroled murderer with severe mental illness could walk down to the corner store and buy a nuclear weapon with no questions asked. Good to know. Or were you just referring to sleeveless shirts???

            Either way, please be sure to give us your real name in the event you ever choose to run for a political office.

          • Trouble February 27, 2016 at 3:53 pm #

            Charles, I’m just streching the truth just like you. You didn’t say whether or not you would vote for me?

          • Low-Inyo February 27, 2016 at 4:41 pm #

            Charles O. Jones…In the coming election,with his thinking,he’d probably be giving trump a run for his money…

          • Trouble February 27, 2016 at 11:03 pm #

            Lower Inyo, actually I’ve almost always voted for the “liberal” side . I’m not a gun nut, but I do believe we all have a right to bare arms. I vote mostly for people that seem to care about the working class folks.

    • Seriously? February 16, 2016 at 9:56 am #

      18 year-old’s are not allowed to buy or own a pistol in the state of CA; therefore cannot have a CCW. You must be 21. So this is a non-issue.

    • Lorijellybean February 16, 2016 at 10:49 am #

      @ sugarmagnolia, Chris, and Trouble
      You have to be 21 to purchase a handgun in this state. 18 year olds can only buy rifles.

      • Trouble February 16, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

        Balony ive been hunting since I was seven years old with a license.Are you telling me that was illegal?

        • Lorijellybean February 16, 2016 at 7:22 pm #

          @ Trouble, to have a CCW you have to legally own a handgun. To legally own a handgun, you have to be 21.
          Hope that helps.

          • Trouble February 17, 2016 at 5:56 am #

            Jelly, I believe it is legal for a parent and or grandparents to legally transfer ownership of a fire arm to their family members.

          • Lorijellybean February 18, 2016 at 9:30 am #

            @ Trouble, they still have to be 21, and go through a background check, a firearms safety cert and transfer it LEGALLY through a FFL.
            There’s no handing it over without those protocols.
            Here’s a link to the DOJ’s paperwork for just such a transfer:

          • Trouble February 19, 2016 at 6:08 am #

            OK Jelly Bean, you correct. It’s pretty clear that our government has made a circus out of our gun rights also. Just like most of our other personal rights and freedoms. Whats next?

      • sugar magnolia February 16, 2016 at 2:32 pm #

        Good to know….now we need to change the legal age of enlistment. I thought we ended the two tiered system of adulthood. Your either an adult or not. If you can go to war for the US, you should have full rights as an adult.

        I know, they aren’t a powerful enough voting block.

        • Lorijellybean February 16, 2016 at 7:23 pm #

          @ sugar magnolia, agreed.

        • Low-Inyo February 16, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

          sugar…..I don’t know…I’ve never known….and doubt I ever will know an 18 year old that should possess a CCW permit…and legally able to carry a concealed weapon,especially if it’s when he’s still in high school and on campus….in fact,maybe what you say is correct….maybe they should make enlistment age 21 instead of 18…..especially in this day and age…..not a bad idea.

  4. Lorijellybean February 15, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    I’m gonna get my popcorn ready for this one.
    Hashtag: I came here for the comments.

    • Eastern Sierra Local February 17, 2016 at 7:49 am #



  5. Cris February 15, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    I love the 2nd Amendment and love that we live in a country where everyone has the freedom to own a gun for protection. In some areas of the country, protection is needed on campus.

    That said, does Bishop campuses really need this with police two blocks away? Are people that paranoid that our campuses are under threat? In BISHOP?

    This should be up to the parents, not the board. Expect the number of homeschooled kids to go up in Bishop unified if this passes. Accidents happen. And a CCW permit does not qualify a person to carry it around children in a classroom.

    • Rick OB February 16, 2016 at 8:27 pm #

      Chris, I’m sure that’s what they thought in Columbine. And they had a school resource police officer who was ARMED, stationed at the school ! He even traded shots with the 2 killers. Didn’t do much good, did it ? Bad s#*t can happen ANYWHERE !

    • turbo2 February 17, 2016 at 9:42 am #

      Ah the old saying: “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.”

  6. Paco February 16, 2016 at 9:26 am #

    The gun nuts’ paranoia has no end.

    • Taco February 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

      And Gun Free Zone have not protected anyone.

    • turbo2 February 17, 2016 at 9:51 am #

      Actually the anti-gun nuts lack of facts has no end.
      Harvard: a very academic but very liberal university actually set out to do a comprehensive
      and very detailed study. They essentially set out to prove the anti-gun case.
      Their finding were actually the opposite, when FACTS, and crime records are examined.
      Here is a very short summary: crime, and gun crime go DOWN when citizens are armed.
      and the ‘number of guns’ in the hands of legal citizens HELPS inhibit crime.

      The study, which just appeared in Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694), set out to answer the question in its title: “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence.” Contrary to conventional wisdom, and the sniffs of our more sophisticated and generally anti-gun counterparts across the pond, the answer is “no.” And not just no, as in there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, but an emphatic no, showing a negative correlation: as gun ownership increases, murder and suicide decreases.

      The findings of two criminologists – Prof. Don Kates and Prof. Gary Mauser – in their exhaustive study of American and European gun laws and violence rates, are telling:

      Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population).

      For example, Norway has the highest rate of gun ownership in Western Europe, yet possesses the lowest murder rate. In contrast, Holland’s murder rate is nearly the worst, despite having the lowest gun ownership rate in Western Europe. Sweden and Denmark are two more examples of nations with high murder rates but few guns. As the study’s authors write in the report:

      If the mantra “more guns equal more death and fewer guns equal less death” were true, broad cross-national comparisons should show that nations with higher gun ownership per capita consistently have more death. Nations with higher gun ownership rates, however, do not have higher murder or suicide rates than those with lower gun ownership. Indeed many high gun ownership nations have much lower murder rates. (p. 661)

      Finally, and as if to prove the bumper sticker correct – that “gun don’t kill people, people do” – the study also shows that Russia’s murder rate is four times higher than the U.S. and more than 20 times higher than Norway. This, in a country that practically eradicated private gun ownership over the course of decades of totalitarian rule and police state methods of suppression.

      • Low-Inyo February 18, 2016 at 10:03 am #

        turbo2….I’m not against gun rights or the Second Amendment,but what you state here is obviously written by the “gun nuts”,in my mind a lot worse than the “anti-gun ” nuts…either one can try to spin it their own way to make their cause….case in point,Japan,with strict gun control laws, the whole Country had 6 (SIX) gun deaths the entire year,if I’m not mistaken,either last year or the year before….let’s face it….when the Second Amendment was written,it wasn’t intended to deal with the problems of 2016…back then,they didn’t have felons and 14 year old “gangstas” able to log on and buy rifles with a click of a button….or go on the “for sale” sites on facebook and purchase a pistol or two…and then go out and commit robberies and murders….back in 1791,I doubt there were a lot of unsupervised kids able to sneak around and take their parents guns when they’re not home….the answer isn’t what the right-wing nuts are trying to state as fact by saying the “Liberals” and President Obama are trying to take “everyones guns away”….ain’t never going to happen,and no one is trying to do that…..but it’s obvious tighter controls are needed…including the issueing of CCW’s…I know it’s a lot stricter here in California,but when I was living in Oregon,all it took was $60.00 fee,a 4 hour sit-down in a room with a Law Enforcement officer telling jokes most of the time,and a 10 question test to get one…hardly the “training” some claim you get in order to carry a loaded weapon…Let’s face it…there is no answer or resolve to the gun problem in 2016.Criminals are going to get them if they want them….stupid people and stupid parents are going to legally buy them…kids are going to find them and kill themselves and/or their siblings with them….crazy kids are going to use them in school “shoot-outs”..no answer to the problem it’s turned into since 1791….simple as that.The safest way would be like back in the 1850’s…IF things were still like they were back then,which they are not….where law-abiding people could carry and protect their families,their property,and defend themselves….and those that chose to be criminals and mis-use would be dealt with in a swift manner by other citizens and U.S. Marshals….now, this day and age,it’s like putting a band-aid on a deadly disease….too late to do much about it….simple as that.

        • turbo2 February 20, 2016 at 2:26 pm #

          Nope. wrong again.
          Harvard and these professors were out to prove the “anti-gun” case.
          Their own study and extensive data proved them, and their opinions
          were actually very wrong. I didn’t do the study. I didn’t make it up.
          Read it yourself.

          google: “crime vs guns” and examine the graphs of the last 30 yrs.
          guns up 100 million or so. crime falling since the 1970’s.
          guns don’t cause crime anymore than my keyboard causes misspellings
          or spoons make you fat.

          Japan never had a firearm or hunting culture. it’s military crimes and
          tortures were horrendous. there aren’t many firearms there, and haven’t
          been. and the culture is a ‘herd culture’ and ‘don’t embarrass yourself
          or your family’ creed.

          The police, interestingly enough, through multiple court decisions, have
          no duty to protect you, unless you are in custody, or they’ve placed you
          into a Worse circumstance than when they arrived. seach: Warren decision

          Kennesaw, Georgia mandated every house have a firearm and ammo (with a
          few exceptions) attacks and burglaries plummeted. research it.

          18 yr olds are handed automatic weapons and machine guns all the time
          in the army and marines and they shoot each other, their wives and
          neighbors, very rarely.

          I grew up with loaded guns in the rack behind my head in our pickup trucks
          and no one ever shot each other with all these loaded weapons around.
          maybe todays children are different.

    • Trouble February 17, 2016 at 3:07 pm #

      Paco, our gun rights are as protected as your free speech rights. Maybe the ink is getting harder to read on our Constitution.

  7. Mountain Watchdog February 16, 2016 at 1:52 pm #

    More “3 Gs” mentality from extremists: God, Gays & Guns.

  8. Eastern Sierra Local February 17, 2016 at 7:48 am #

    Great news! …and unbeknownst to the general public, quietly, under cover of darkness, and usually during holiday weeks when school isn’t in session an inter-agency task force of law enforcement from Inyo and Mono Counties practice “Active shooter” situations at the high school.
    Guns on campus will make for a safer campus and there is a litany of information showing that a number of active shooter situations were diffused by “good guys” with guns; but because those situations don’t result in major deaths the media doesn’t report on it.
    Conduct an internet search for “mass shootings stopped by armed civilians” for proof.

  9. Sierramon February 17, 2016 at 5:37 pm #

    As I read the article the case being made for allowing concealed carry is based on: Orrill was concerned about the inconvenience for parents with concealed weapon permits having to leave their weapons home when they dropped their kids off at school. and Trustee Josh Nicholson’s position was that school staff should not carry weapons on campus but the properly permitted public could. “Someone with a permit shouldn’t have to put his weapon in the unsecured trunk of his car to go to a football game or attend (the play) “Chicago,” he said.

    What? Concealed carry training and certification does not teach and test on how to deal with leaving a gun secured in a gun safe and and other “inconvenient” situations? This brings up a question of if the training and certification needs to be raised to a higher standard for carry on campus.

  10. Wayne February 18, 2016 at 5:42 am #

    The article says the District can set the standards. Should the District evaluate concealed carry standards to determine if they are adequate? For example would a person traveling from Esmealda, Nye, Mineral. Douglas, Kern,San Bernardino counties meet local permitting standards and be able to carry here?

    • Low-Inyo February 18, 2016 at 7:51 pm #

      Wayne….don’t see a reason someone traveling from San Berdo should want to carry on BHS grounds…..down there,I can’t blame people for wanting a CCW when they travel… or go to work….or shopping…..or going to an ATM,or doing just about anything else….down there….but here ?….come on,man !!

  11. earl duran February 18, 2016 at 7:26 am #

    I guess my question is Why? it makes no good sense.

  12. Mountain Watchdog February 19, 2016 at 11:23 am #

    Nobody wants to take all of your guns away. That’s just more divisive political nonsense in an election year. What is wanted is more intensive background checks that would at least be an attempt to keep felons and crazy people from ownership. And when it comes to automatic weaponry …
    come on now, its time to put away the cowboys and Indians fantasy games and grow up.

  13. grace February 19, 2016 at 12:49 pm #

    In a school district, I think it comes down to what you want to teach your kids. Do you want them to be afraid and learn the best way to be secure is to carry a gun or is there another way? This is one of those teaching moments, where the school district can show guns and violence are external force, but the internal strength and power of each child can allay any fear, overcome any obstacle and realize any dream their peaceful thoughts can visualize. I’m all for keeping children safe and teaching them true security comes from inner strength and reliance on a higher power for guidance.

  14. Art Lawrence February 27, 2016 at 7:29 am #

    Where is the evidence that good guys carrying a concealed weapon have caused an incident on campus?

  15. Low-Inyo February 27, 2016 at 11:05 am #

    Art Lawrence……Those that have CCW’S aren’t all “good guys”…or within the law…I know,and knew it to be both ways,especially when I was living in Oregon,where it’s very easy to get a a carry permit.One guy,a known meth-user and dealer that just happened to never get caught had one….another guy used to regularly beat on his wife…..he had one…those Bundy-nuts in Eastern Oregon a few weeks back….I bet a few of them had one…George Zimmerman is a good case where someone had one and shouldn’t have….with him,it gave a good excuse to use it,and then spin his story to where he got away with murder (the other guy,Trevon Martin,couldn’t tell HIS story on what really happened that night in Florida )..many people that can legally purchase and own a firearm shouldn’t also be able to carry a weapon,some hoping that an incident happens to them or someone else nearby,and then be able to “legally” open-fire to “protect himself and others” with their phony,lying witnesses…the guy in Minnesota that hid in his basement waiting on his house to get broken into,then when it did,killing two unarmed teen-agers learned that lesson with a first-degree murder conviction…too many stupid people and “macho guys” out there looking for trouble to be giving away CCW’S like candy on halloween…..IMO….


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