letters to the editor

No guns in Farragut Town Hall

I am a citizen who frequently uses Farragut Town Hall’s facilities. I vote there. I attend my kids’ school art shows there. I bring my kids to the Farragut Museum, housed inside Town Hall.

When I learned that the Town of Farragut’s elected officials are considering allowing guns to be carried inside these public facilities, even though it is not required by law, I immediately became concerned.

If there is a proven safety risk to Town employees or visitors in the building, I would hope the Town’s elected officials would first consider hiring a law enforcement officer, a person who is trained to respond quickly in dangerous situations. Law enforcement officers agree that citizens shouldn’t have to act as sharpshooters in the event of an emergency.

“Guns everywhere” does not make all citizens feel more safe. In fact, many of us feel LESS safe with citizens carrying guns, given the limited amount of training required to receive a concealed carry permit.

Unlike other public spaces, like grocery stores and restaurants, the Town Hall is a government building where certain transactions must be done. Citizens have a right to vote and apply for business licenses free from fear of a shooting occurring because of an escalated situation.

There is no data to support the myth that more guns lead to less crime. In fact, research proves the exact opposite: when more people are allowed to carry guns in public, violent crime rates increase. According to a Stanford [University] study, violent crimes increased 13-15 percent in states with Right to Carry laws.

I fight to keep guns out of sensitive places; places where we take our families and children.

While I support the Second Amendment, I also support strong gun laws. The Town is not required by law to allow guns in its building. If public safety is a concern, more effective security options should be considered first.

Lisa Plawchan