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LETTER: School sentinel bill needs work

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To the Editor:

A couple of articles recently require additional thoughts. I agree with our commissioner that people need to pay attention regarding their safety in courthouses, but implications from the article seem to demand security systems, not self-defense.

Guns are already outlawed in courthouses via 22-14-23. What more could they need? If that will not work, what will cameras do? Allow us to see who kills someone and gets away, or kills themselves after?

Our Legislature also passed, thankfully, the school sentinel bill. What the "delayed rule vote" article missed was that the onerous rules applying to sentinels are effectively making them moot. Seven hundred dollars for an 80-hour legality and training class? LEO training commission approval?

We're supposedly doing this so someone who doesn't want to kill kids has a gun, when someone without such a moral impediment decides to initiate that act. That requires no class. It's enshrined in common sense and implied in 22-16-31 as excusable "upon sudden combat," and arguably among other items in the South Dakota Codified Laws, like 22-16-33, -34 and -35.

Sentinels don't do police reports or block traffic; they're supposed to see someone murdering kids and be closer than the nearest cop to stop it faster. I hope our Legislature fixes these issues so that the law can work as obviously intended. Everything else in life we protect with guns, but for our kids: Signs that read "No Guns."

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