Let’s Not Turn Our Schools into Prisons

During this sensitive time our hearts go out to those affected by the Connecticut school tragedy. We need to have a national conversation about preventing violence like this in the future – that conversation is going on now. This issue should not be exploited for political gain or to infringe on innocent citizens’ rights. We don’t need knee-jerk, emotion-only solutions that might make us feel better but don’t work. There were laws and regulations in place at the time of the shooting – of course they were ignored, as is always the case with crazies and criminals.

It has been proposed to have more gun control and that debate will go on. We must keep in mind that really crazy people are easier to spot and deal with than evil people – who are cold, calculating and plan their evil. Like Mayor Giuliani has suggested, if it’s not a gun, it will be a knife, Sarin gas or something else. Also said is that the perpetrator of the Colorado shootings targeted the movie theater he did because it was a Gun-Free Zone, going past numerous, closer theaters that allowed guns. We might want to rethink Gun-Free Zones.

The NRA has called for armed officers in schools. People have voiced concern about how this would affect the kids. I agree. The first time I saw decked out military officers wielding AK-47’s at a European airport, I too was a bit nervous. Applying this image to schools and young kids, together with the knowledge of a possible threat against them (however rare) may inflict emotional harm.

However, I view what the NRA said differently. To offer a metaphor, I think of it this way:

When I used to play beach volleyball I once blocked an off target, hard-driven serve coming from another court that was inches from hitting a young boy in the head, who was sitting playing in the sand. Happening behind him, he didn’t even realize how close to harm he was, nor that all the while he remained safe. He just went on playing innocently, uninterrupted.

I don’t believe protecting our most innocent has to take away their innocence. We don’t have to put our kids in what has been suggested, a prison. We can protect them without them even knowing, yet those that would do them harm will be on notice – with a rightly-placed target on their head.

We have sky marshals on planes and I challenge you to find where they are or which flights they are on. The cockpit doors have been fortified and we have armed the pilots. Some might argue that guns in the hands of pilots put people at risk. What if a pilot misused their weapon? How silly is that? We already entrust the pilots with our lives.

Let’s have a thoughtful, sane discussion about the real issues of gun violence. Let’s especially not ignore the gun violence in our inner cities where kids are killed almost daily, with maybe only a brief mention on the local news. No child should be affected by violence of any kind and no child should live in fear regardless of where they live and this we can all agree.

Shortlink to Article: http://bit.ly/Ue4ksL

Published in: on December 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , ,