America is dealing with a school shooting problem and everyone thinks they know the answer to solve all the issues. The problem is that we all know one or two ways that might help, but most of our politicians won't act to do the right thing. Too many extreme measures are being noted while the compromise we need isn't happening.
There are way too many shooting deaths going on in America, but we also have to remind readers that the majority of the shooting deaths are suicide. Another point we need to remind people about is that America likes to talk about school shootings, but why do we ignore the apparent gun problem in rough cities like Baltimore and Chicago? Chicago alone has over 200 gun-related incidents and the date is only 2/8/2018 at the time this story was posted. No one wants to see 17 people murdered in a school shooting, but there are almost 17 people shot every week in Chicago, but no one cares to talk about that problem. Why are shootings in Chicago not important enough to talk about?
Let's dig into the article about solving the school shooting problem. Townhall columnist, Kevin McCullough, wrote an article about the 7 ways that we can eliminate school shootings overnight and he missed the target on most of his points. I'm a Republican and I support the TownHall site and the majority of their content, but I have to call him out because his article fired a few blanks in his attempt to cure the problem behind the traumatic school shootings.
I'll share Kevin's seven points and then explain what's wrong with them in a reply below. His 7 points will be in bold and my response and explanation will rest just below each one.
1. Metal Detectors In Every School: This maintains such common sense it's impossible to believe that it doesn’t already happen. This is a bigger failure in the era of post-Columbine than the popularity of the AR-15. How do the largest schools in our nation (Stoneman Douglas is one of the largest at over 3,000 students) not have access points controlled through a metal detector daily? Our courts, government buildings, airports, sports stadiums, conventions, and plenty of other public gatherings demand them.
Metal detectors are fine, but they would not stop a mass shooting. Here's why. If a person with a gun intends to shoot up a school and walks towards the metal detector, then what will happen? Is the metal detector going off and they're handing the gun to the guard and the school shooting is thwarted? No. The person will shoot the guards, walk through the metal detector, and proceed with their shooting. A metal detector is nice, but if the shooter wants to shoot, then they'll start right there at the front door while everyone is walking in. I still support metal detectors because there is no reason not to have them. They won't prevent a mass shooting, but they will prevent people from bringing weapons into the school, which could have lead to a targeted attack on an individual.
2. Enforce Everything: Oddly those calling for more laws to be added to the already overly tufted books of law regarding firearms may not realize just how many laws already exist. Simple enforcement of existing laws would cut down on uncounted numbers of people owning guns, possessing guns, and utilizing guns. This is particularly true in the area of those with mental health issues. Begin doing what laws already state must be done, and do so like our children’s lives depend on it.
There are tough gun laws in Chicago and no one follows them. Figure out how to reduce gun crimes in Chicago and then expand what works into the rest of the country. Or, perhaps the situation in Chicago doesn't work at all and they need a major change.
3. Perform Active Shooter Drills: In many school districts in the nation earthquake drills are performed. No children have died in earthquakes at an American school in years but the drills go forward. “Sequester and Hide” (and then get your cell phone out and begin "facebook-LIVE-ing”) should be replaced with “Barricade, Attack, & Survive.” Young people should be aware of how quickly they can move a teacher’s desk and their own to protect against a shooter. These should be practiced and drilled at minimum in comparison to earthquake drills.
Schools already do this. Teachers already do this. Students already do this. As a former public school teacher, myself and students were ready to attack anyone who tried to enter our classroom during a lockdown and active shooter situation. I taught in some of the toughest urban neighborhoods in North Philadelphia and any school shooter entering that situation would get busted up by the students and families in the area if they ever thought of making a move.
4. Reinforce Doors, Windows, Buses, Locks: Though these things left to themselves were installed and still did not stop the shooter at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, they are able to stop some of the carnage. At the Stoneman Douglas high school, the shooter attempted to shoot through the reinforced glass of the classrooms in an attempt to shoot victims outside the building, but was unable to because of the technology of the glass. That piece of hardened, thickened glass saved lives.
This is fine, but it's costly and would take many years to reinforce every school window, bus, etc.
5. Recruit Retired Military & Law Enforcement: The number of qualified public safety professionals that live in our communities is surprising. These friends and neighbors have already received certification and weapons training. Most of them (unless they become criminals) are already allowed to own, possess, and carry firearms. Having them operate the access points at all schools, check every backpack and bag carried onto the premises, and engage every threat be it a firearm, a pocketknife or any other form of contraband — would not only ensure a safer school campus, but also a more rule following, law abiding one. Drugs, porn, and other forms of disruptive materials would be filtered out of the school campus environment on the threat of being discovered every day by the school security professional.
I would not want retired people hired to protect a school. I prefer to have people who are late 20's to early 40's and in top shape. If a young school shooter or major fight breaks out at a school, then I believe someone who is in shape and can handle themselves in a rough battle should be the best people to hire. Some people who are retired have let themselves go in regards to health and they couldn't stop a fist fight between first graders.
6. Arm All Appropriate Personnel: Giving teachers, coaches, and administrators (only the ones who wish to) the right to protect themselves on campus is a backstop to all other methods. But it is a genuine deterrent nonetheless. If only 5-10% of staff were also armed, certified, and properly trained, there would be no threat that first got through the detectors, security professionals, and the hallways that would still be allowed complete and utter access to the student body. Instead of a coach taking bullets, giving up his life to protect his students, numbers of teachers and coaches would be ready to confront any threat that made it to their area of the campus.
Absolutely not. This is the dumbest argument coming from Conservatives who are clearly not paying any attention to what they're saying. Most teachers are Democrats and some are very far left liberals. There are teachers who could not handle the Trump victory and had meltdowns. Some teachers are fat, out of shape, or not mentally strong enough to handle a gun. Some teachers cannot handle the students in their classroom. Some teachers get their items stolen, such as cell phones or other items. If students steal that, then they won't hesitate to steal a teacher's gun. The gun should not ever be inside of a classroom where anything could go wrong. Terrible idea and anyone who says this is clearly not thinking logically. The only people who should have a gun in a school are policemen. I would only support weapons in schools if they were held by trained professionals such as the local police. Think about the teachers you had as a child - do you really think any of them could handle a weapon? I think maybe 5 of my many teachers would be able to do this. The rest? Absolutely not.
7. Publicize Consequence: The mere knowledge of this list of obstacles to any attacker may not completely dissuade them. But since it was readily apparent that this list of steps would have actually saved some if not all of the lives in Florida this week, one thing can be easily understood. Any individual who decides to try something under these guidelines runs a much larger threat of being caught, captured, and killed if he tries it. So talk about it openly. Do the drills, teach the kids to fight for their own survival, tell the predators in advance that if they choose to attack a school it is open war on them, and before they ever have the chance to enter the facility the daunting challenge they will face will likely be a price too steep for them to be willing to pay.
I thought #6 on this list was stupid, but then I got to #7 and realized that Kevin was just talking out of his ass to get a cheap article posted. When we say publicize consequence, we mean remind them that there will be a major consequence if anyone tries to do a school shooting. That's funny because people who commit school shootings already know that they will suffer one of two consequences. The first consequence is that anyone committing a school shooting will be shot by the police. If that's not a well known publicized consequence, then what is? The second consequence, if you survive and get arrested, is that the shooter will face life in prison or the death penalty. That's also a publicized consequence because murder is illegal and everyone already knows that.
Knowing that you'll be shot by police if you're shooting up a school is often the result that some of these folks want. Some people want to be shot. It's suicide by police while doing something horrible right before. The people who commit school shootings don't care about the consequences. If they cared, then they wouldn't do it in the first place.
The bigger issue is much deeper. Compromise and well thought out plans to reduce shootings in general while improving the mental health of the country is what needs to happen. A little list of seven poorly thought generic ideas, some of which are already in place, is just wasting our time.
Town Hall posts a lot of great content, but this is a proverbial shithole.Posted on February 18, 2018 in Opinion