MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

January 24, 2013

Ban guns from youth sports

Oklahoma legislators should ban possession of firearms at youth sporting events.

Jerry McPeak, D-Warner, wants legislation that would amend the state’s open-carry gun law.

Current open-carry law prohibits carrying weapons at professional sporting events and other athletic events.

Current law prohibits carrying weapons at parks, recreation areas and fairgrounds.

McPeak has said leaving youth sporting events out of the mix of prohibited places must have been “an oversight in drafting the bill.”

We agree.

While it is legal to carry weapons in Oklahoma, there are many places where it does not make sense to allow open carry.

Banks, bars, and courts are just three examples where guns should not be permitted.

There are just too many children around at youth sporting events to allow open carry.

Sporting events — even at the youth league level — are volatile places.

Emotional responses are an ingrained part of sporting events.

Yelling at game officials is common at all levels of sports.

Adding weapons to that scene is not a good idea.

You hear about parents yelling at other parents and confronting game officials far too often to allow open carry.

It is better to be safe than tragically sorry.

Guns and children are not a good mix when you add the emotion of a sporting event.

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