This one, yet another School Shooting, happened in a Denver suburb, Tuesday 7 May 2019. Yes, a Denver suburb, think Columbine April 1999.
What on earth is happening in our schools, and to our schools? Many will point directly at the involvement of “guns.” And in fact, that is not a difficult reach. Guns are a big part of so many, maybe all, of the swarm of deaths in our schools in recent years. I won’t debate the issue. There is definitely something there to look at. And what should follow is some type of action to manage the “possibility” of gun involvement in school deaths.
These events are happening with regularity. An exaggeration? I think not. It is real? Yes, and they should not happen at all. The risk of being shot at is not, and should not be a part of the education system. Imagine, selecting classes for your child,
“let’s see, Cover and Concealment Basics 101 ages K through 12, hum, or “Basic Gun Threats A to Z!” ” I can’t decide!”
It wasn’t when I was a schoolboy. And I certainly didn’t want it to be an issue for when my own daughter was attending school. But it was. I specifically selected a private school, over a public school in my big city, when deciding where she would attend. Are private schools immune from shootings? No! But less frequent or likely, probably!
Law Enforcement has gotten better at responding to these events. When I was a cop, prior to September 11, we were well trained at the many call responses we faced, but school shooting was not a big part of that. Such events, save the 1999 Columbine shooting, were rare. So the demand for specific training was not there. Yes, we trained for responding to shooting incident. But the new big deal “Active Shooters” and “Mass School Shootings” was not a big immediate concern.
Ok, so what on this beautiful earth do we need to do?
Gun control? What does that mean? There are so many opinions and declarations on this question. Some favor removing all guns, of all types. Some specify what they call Military Style Assault Weapons. Some say Rifles only, and others Semi Auto types.
One this issue, most people do not fully understand the deference between one type of weapon and another. And do not particularly care.
Many, usually people considered Right Wing, though this is not necessarily true, site the Constitution and the 2nd Amendment that talks about the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. They say that this 2nd Amendment protects their right to have any and all forms of guns.
And then others say the Amendment is misinterpreted and/or that those interpreting the right do so to an extreme. They suggest the Founding Fathers (sexist?) did not intend every person to have a gun, just a recognized “Militia.”
The earlier reference to Right Wing and guns should be clarified. There are many persons that you would not associate with what we call the Right Wind in social/political circles that favor their right to own firearms. Particularly I believe in the black community. Be that as it may, or may not.
The issue is guns, protecting our schools and school children and what is the best approach. Arming teachers? Some suggest this. More cops (law enforcement) in schools. Some like this, some hate this. Some favor better physical security at schools. Many believe this is tantamount to making our schools like prisons.
Those that favor the gun rights issue believe that if more citizens availed themselves with their right to keep and bear arms, as in, arming themselves, would make society overall, safer. The data on this is…let’s say debated. I have read data that says societies with “Open Carry” rights, and relaxed “Concealed Carry” right have fewer shootings. The stated of Texas has open carry and relaxed concealed carry standards, and have had their share of shootings. More or less than other states? I do not know!
The city of Chicago is said to have ultra-strict gun laws. They are also known to have the highest rate of gun crime and deaths in the entire United States. What does that mean? Join the pundits at interpreting the meaning.
There are cities in this country that are considering measures that would challenge the ability of their police departments ability to manage the myriad forms of tactical situations the encounter. All under the guise of “deescalating” violent encounters between citizens and the police. Needless to say, to the best of my understanding, the police, your police, are not happy with this issue.
Is it, the frequency of gun violence in our schools, a mental health issue. Well, it certainly cannot be a case of sane and normal people randomly using guns against other people. So, mental health? Yeah, it must at least contribute.
Is it social and the issue of good parenting or the lack thereof? We have a lot of single-parent homes out there. We have a lot of so-called latchkey kids growing up out there.
In 1969 we were able to put humans on the Moon. And yet we cannot figure out how to protect our schools, our children, heck, we cannot protect our people! Let’s get this mystery solved people!