Monday, December 17, 2012
This Has To Stop
Something must be done to minimize the chances of this happening again. The simplistic answer for many is to call for increased gun control. No doubt a better job could be done screening gun buyers. But in the case of the shootings at Sandy Hook the guns were purchased legally by the shooter's mother. He didn't buy the weapons himself. No amount of screening is going to prevent a mentally ill person from stealing guns from someone else and committing a crime. Maybe mental health screening will reduce the chances of guns being purchased by some incompetent people, but as seen in this case, it will never reduce the possibility to zero.
I am not against gun ownership. The vast majority of gun owners are responsible people who use their guns for hunting, target practice or keep a gun at home for self defense. They are not people who are going to go on a shooting rampage or ever fire a gun in anger. They are not the problem, though many of them like to portray themselves as persecuted and are paranoid that the government is going to take their guns. If you think about it, gun owners should be the first to be calling for stricter screening; incidents like those at Sandy Hook Elementary give all gun owners a bad name.
I don't have any answers. Armed, off duty cops at every school in America? Hardened entrances at every school, making fortresses out of what is supposed to be a welcome environment? Weapons training and carry permits for at least one staffer in every school? Our own contributor, The Big Guy, has been a member of his local school board for many years. Today, he and his colleagues must be asking themselves some of these same questions.
When you send your child to school in the morning you shouldn't have to worry about them being safe and coming home. On Friday last, 20 happy children in Connecticut left for school like every other day. Only this wouldn't be like any other day. We must find a way to not have any more like it.