Rancho Cordova, California, students are up in arms—so to speak—about a gun range moving in next door to their high school. The range is indoor—no stray bullets will be pelting classroom windows—but students, teachers, and administrators all believe the mere presence of a gun club so close to a school is inherently dangerous.
Why? I have no earthly idea.
The community's explanation is an insistent it just is! From cbslocal.com:
Students from George Washington Carver High protested what is already on its way.
"Even though it's legal, it's still wrong. you shouldn't mix schools with guns," said student Damon Kalerkorinos.
He helped organized the protest of students against the new shooting range being developed just about 250 feet away from their campus.
"It's just not safe to have a gun club so close to a school," he said.
Principal Allegra Allesandri says a new gun club so close is wrong, citing weapon-free zones designed to keep schools safe.
But weapons-free zones don't make schools any safer than they already are; people who intend to commit violence in schools won't be deterred by felony weapons charges. Instead, Allesandri and Kalerkorinos must have some unfounded belief that mere proximity to a gun causes otherwise healthy people to lose their minds and resort to violence. There isn't any merit to that argument, either.
At least city authorities recognize that since the area is zoned as an industrial district, the gun range has every right to set up shop next to George Washington Carver High. Case closed? Not quite:
While the project goes forward, protesters' concerns haven't fallen on deaf ears as the city announced it will likely review its planning codes.
"We'll be looking at the gun-related uses as well as well as other uses and compatibilities related to schools," he said.
For the students and neighbors against the project, the hope is that planning codes change statewide.
It looks like the city will consider restricting future gun ranges, if not the one next to George Washington Carver High. The local news story spins this as a beneficial lesson in participatory democracy for the high schoolers. True enough, I suppose. If nothing else, they learned that when it comes to politics and governance, think-of-the-children paranoia trumps property rights every single time.