Letter: BBA Trustees agree with student on gun laws

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To the Editor:Last week's edition of the Manchester Journal carried an excellent letter from a Burr and Burton Academy student about the need to do something about gun violence in schools. His thoughtful prodding of all of us to actually do something is well taken.With this letter, the Burr and Burton Academy Board of Trustees goes on record as being in full accord with his position. We call on both our legislature and the United States Congress to enact rational policy to keep our students safe from gun violence. We do so recognizing full-well that we live in a rural area with a long tradition of hunting and sportsmanlike use of guns. We respect that culture. But automatic rifles, armor piercing bullets and clips that hold more than a handful of shells have nothing to do with Vermont's hunting culture. These items should not be sold. We are in favor of background checks extending to gun shows and we are in favor of short waiting periods so that background checks can be thorough. Over time, these and other measures will save the lives of students when there are school shootings.Both students and their teachers have a right to go to school without the threat of somebody inflicting mass casualties with assault rifles and battlefield clips of ammunition. No policy can stop all violence, but rational policy can minimize both the risk and the actual outcome. We are proud of Tyler Jager and other young people from all over the country who are now leading the adults to, at long last, do the obvious.Finally, we feel the need to point out that the idea of arming teachers makes no sense. A gun in the hands of someone not trained for combat or a swat team is, at best, of no help and , at worst, an invitation to increased danger. If our faculty have "extra" time, we want them to spend it training to become even better teachers, not training for combat.Seth Bongartz Chair, Burr and Burton Academy Board of TrusteesManchester


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