Guns & Schools – Part 2
Why am I writing a “part 2” on gun control and school shootings? After 17 students were gunned down in Florida’s Parkland High School, you would think that more would have been done so that nothing like that could or would happen again. Considering that, since the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, more than 400 people have been shot in over 200 school shootings, how could we not see significant change? Unfortunately, and sadly enough, we haven’t.
Many people in the position to make a change. – including senators and members of Congress – send prayers and condolences while spewing empty rhetoric, and blame mental illness, parenting styles and even the drug Ritalin as the only causes of such shootings. All the while, they state that gun ownership is not the cause. They do this because the truth is too expensive a price for them to pay, since they are concerned with losing campaign donations and support, and because of that, they refuse to face the truth of the issue.
To make matters worse, proponents of guns rally behind the Second Amendment as their constitutional right and state that, “No law will ever stop this.”
Too many of our elected officials use this reasoning as justification to do nothing. That’s what happened only months ago and I assure you that it will continue to happen. However, there are laws that can help, and at the very least point us in the right direction for genuine gun control, the kind that will save lives as well as limiting access to guns for those who shouldn’t have any.
My position on guns:
All guns must be registered in a national registry just like a car or a boat. All people who own a gun must have a license, in a national registry, which needs to be renewed every four years. People who have no license cannot buy a gun. Guns cannot be transferred from one person to another, even to a close relative, without having the proper transfer paperwork, much like a car. Guns that you own must be locked at all times, especially when there are others living with you. The gun owner must be responsible for his or her guns at all times. Licenses and purchasing automatic assault weapons should be scrutinized to the highest degree. Many of these laws already exist, but none nationally and universally between the states. . As for school safety; a friend of mine who is an educator, wrote that school screenings would have prevented this most recent incident in Texas.
She went on to state, “They should have picked up on his Nazi attire, a heavy military coat worn even in the hottest weather causing him to emit body odor. No one reported that as odd behavior? Also [the new technology known as] gaggle [a ‘safety tipline’] – would have intercepted his texts, emails and social media while in school. Every district should utilize this program. With it, the school could even know when there is a fight planned for after school because they would get a tip from gaggle and get right on it. Also, American Cyber security sucks. The stuff he was posting was enough of a warning for me. Everyone needs to step up their game!” She added, “……..We need metal detectors in every school just like courthouses have. We need armed officers from the local police force vs security firms. ……….. The only common denominator between this and other mass shootings was mental illness. Focus on that. Trump needs to reverse his Executive Order that allow people on psych meds to get guns. There needs to be a Tightening up on background checks too, all with due process and add gaggle as well as metal detectors with armed officers. If people focused on those things – reverse E.O. – but with due process rights, and have better background checks everywhere including gun shows, and if they make funding of mental health a priority at all levels, and improve school security we can prevent many of these kinds of situations from ever happening.”
What she wrote makes a lot of sense and is definitely something that we must be listening to. Obviously, our teachers know what to do, and if properly funded, they can make our education system better; and our children safer and better prepared for life.
If those in power would listen to the masses and the educators, and forget how much money they receive from the NRA or their misleading acknowledgment that gun control laws would be trampling on the Second Amendment, imagine the change that could happen. Imagine how many lives would be saved.
I can’t say it enough: We must make it a priority for all schools to have metal detectors installed at the main door and all other doors must be locked at all times, unless authorized otherwise. As for larger schools, they should have police or guards that are part of the police force stationed there throughout the school day.
Most importantly, schools need more money to pay higher wages to teachers, fund after-school programs, and help purchase good equipment and more updated books. There needs to be more classes that teach civics, comparative philosophy on religion, sensitivity classes, and yes, etiquette, and there should be funding for teachers trained to address mental health issues. And why not offer a program for senior citizens to teach various classes or lectures – what a valuable resource that is untapped!
Aside from all that, schools should cater to the needs and wants of students by offering classes that they want. For example, vocational classes and studies for those students who will not go to colleges, as well as specialty classes like law, creative arts, sciences and more. And these students must be part of the general student enrollment and participate in all extracurricular activities.
Schools need to be efficient and secure, and gun laws MUST be changed.
If we change gun laws and change our schools, we can begin to put an end to some of this unnecessary loss of life, and we can make our kids feel safe again and better prepared for life. But we can’t afford empty rhetoric.