Give Me A Minute – I Don’t Have An Answer

How do we stop these mass shootings? I don’t have an answer. I looked at several articles to get a better idea about the topic. I’m not going to cite them all. Instead, I’m just gonna share some of the highlights.

Let me start by saying a number of highly visible politicians have proposed defunding the police. I think anyone who thinks this makes good sense is an idiot. We need more police, not fewer. There have been hundreds of mass shootings over the past 8-10 years but the US government has done nothing to address the problem.

“Real-world experience shows that adding more gun control does not reduce violent crime. Washington, D.C. has some of the nation’s most restrictive gun control laws, and one of the worst violent crime rates in the country. The same can be said of Chicago. Britain, Australia, and Canada have all imposed sweeping gun laws in recent years, and violent crime rates have increased dramatically in each country.”

It is clearly in the interests of children and families to reduce gun violence in the United States. Each day, on average, 13 children under the age of 19 are killed by gunfire and more are injured. Homicide is now the leading cause of death for youths 10–19 years old. Most youth homicides are committed with firearms, especially handguns.

So, what do we do? Here are some of my ideas.

  • Raise the age for owning a gun to 21. I know, we’ve drafted 18-year-olds and sent them to die in the jungles of Vietnam, but this is different. We are at war with those who would kill our children.
  • No guns for teachers. Their job is difficult enough without expecting them to carry a sidearm and hope a kid doesn’t try to take it away from them.
  • Pay a lot of attention to stopping “bullying.” No kid deserves to be bullied. Some who are can act violently.
  • Since nothing has worked to date, as awful as this sounds, schools should be run like medium-security prisons.
    • There should be one door that all students enter the building through. All other doors must be locked and inaccessible from the outside. They must not be locked from the inside or our next conversation will be about safety in the event of a fire.
    • Local law enforcement must be on hand when students enter the building.
    • Metal detectors must be installed and every student is required to pass through the device. 
    • Bags and backpacks should be searched.
    • Once students are in the building the single entry door will be locked and late arrivers will be “buzzed” in.
    • An armed security guard will be present at the entry door whenever students are in the building.
    • Install classroom doors that cannot be breached and lock them from the inside. Classrooms need to become like “panic rooms.”
    • Teach kids what to do in an event like this.

Obviously, an approach like this needs more attention than the hour I spent thinking about it. And, yes, this is a very expensive undertaking. But our government needs to act and Congress must allocate funds to cover the costs. If they can pass a $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill, they need to do something similar to protect our students. Maybe an initiative called, “Protect Our Kids Better,” would be appropriate.

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