All politics aside, the recent shooting in Florida, and every other shooting in a public place, is a senseless and, possibly, preventable tragedy. It is absurd that we can’t gather in a free society without the fear of some nut job or terrorist using us as targets.
And then the cries of “do something!” from every quarter. But, other than the obvious attempt by agenda-pushers to use a tragedy to get their way, I read nothing useful. No one has an idea? Really? Ban “assault rifles” is all you got? With less than 10 percent of gun murders committed using a rifle that is pitiful. Confiscate all weapons? Ain’t gonna happen folks – our founders knew better.
So, since no one else will propose solutions I will. Here are six actions we could take that could lessen the number of these tragedies. Or not – who knows? But at least we “did something.”
1) Harden the targets – you cannot randomly walk into a sports event, concert, Federal building or even large work places. Controlled access is the norm, wherever public safety matters. Except in schools. I’m not talking metal detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs, but it should not be that easy to walk in a school with a rifle!
And while we are on the subject why can’t there be a couple of armed and armored defenders on campus at all times? Please notice that shooters avoid hard targets – they don’t show up at an NRA convention looking for victims. And before you cry “we can’t afford that” let me remind you how bloated our school budgets are with failed experiments in learning. One more thing – every celebrity, sports star, CEO and, of course, politician is protected by armed guards. I thought we cared about the children?
2) Crowd Training – remember when schools had nuclear drills? We as a country were convinced that getting nuked was a real possibility, so we trained for it. We heightened awareness of a potential threat and told the kids what to do and what to expect. This is more important than fire drills. Routine training reinforced with drills could go a long way in minimizing casualties. Even the simple mantra Run-Hide Fight would save lives. It is inconceivable that a lone shooter can wreak this much havoc – the kids are sitting ducks because they do not have the tools to overcome the situation.
3) Nationwide Background Checks – okay, I’m throwing a bone to the left here because I’m pretty sure this already exists. Every gun I’ve bought required a form and a fee to walk out with my purchase. I do not find this unreasonable. And yes, I realize my gun permit is also called the U.S. Constitution. But let’s try to get along.
4) Nationwide Mental Health Database – here’s where it gets sticky, but surely we can have a clearinghouse of information for unhinged people that should not be able to legally purchase guns. I would think with the NSA collecting all of our personal data anyway that they could show us how to do it and maintain privacy in the process. Because honestly folks – this is the heart of the problem.
5) No News Coverage – I know, I know First Amendment and all that. But sensationalizing these tragedies with 24/7 coverage for literally weeks only escalates their importance. A shooter has many problems going on for sure but one of them is they want to be known. Factor in the copycat scenarios and let’s just dial it back, okay?
6) Tone Down Hollywood – the folks that make the most noise are the ones that glorify wholesale violence to make big bucks at the box office. And I’m guilty too – I just watched a movie where it was impossible to count how many people were killed in the course of the action scenes. Throw in the absolute gratuitous violence and mayhem in video games and I would say we have desensitized a whole generation to mass death.
And a big fat bonus solution – shake up the FBI and other agencies. We are missing something when a crazy can be reported, have multiple incidences on record, be expelled from school and everyone thought he was capable of trouble and not so much as an interview. Yet after a shooting every official gun in town is on scene with body armor and blue lights.
This does not solve the real problem. There are people that are messed up beyond understanding. They are going to do bad things. But we do not have to stand by and shake our heads. We can take a stand for order, for public safety and for our freedom. Do something? I just gave us a list. Now we need to take action.
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"Less than 10 percent of gun murders committed using a rifle", you say? I'm hearing "a handful of dangerous people with one type of gun made specifically to kill people are responsible for almost 10 percent of all gun murders".
Why should so few people be responsible for so many deaths? It's not time to sit back and wait for all this to happen again. I agree that it's time to take action. And that action is not to turn our children's schools into maximum security prisons or "tone down the gosh dang violence in Hollywood". It's to get this class of weapons out of the hands of anyone but the soldiers they were designed for.
Your hobby isn't worth the lives and peace of mind of our kids. Go find a security blanket to clutch that doesn't come with a weekly body count on the news.
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Snarky comments like the security blanket thing never contribute to discussions, especially one such as school massacres. It only reveals a level of cynicism by someone only interested in echoing the usual liberal mantra of more gun laws.
Mr. Fleshman identified important points that need to be in place across the nation to make our schools secure. I would add vastly improving mental health services with whatever resources needed to address the most overlooked pandemic facing us today.
I grew up in Chattanooga at a time when it was not uncommon for adults and teens to carry loaded guns in the rack of their truck. Schools did not need security or to be locked. I learned to shoot a .22 rifle before I was 12-years-old at of all places McCallie Summer Camp. Many of my friends, their parents and neighbors owned guns and did not keep them locked up in gun safes. Some were semi-automatic with clips. I knew what a .45 automatic was and how a clip worked before I was 12-years-old.
Guns were everywhere and there were no school shootings, no massacres in churches or public buildings here. In fact it was so easy to acquire a gun, Lee Oswald was alleged to have ordered the gun that killed President Kennedy from a magazine he bought off the shelf.
So what is different now? Obviously there are more guns and people, but we have more gun laws and more restrictions about guns than any other time in my lifetime. And we hear daily about how we need more restrictions. But laws and restrictions are never going to be followed by criminals. Banning all guns tomorrow as our leftist experts decry would only create a black market similar to the prohibition of alcohol in the early 1900s. And that ushered in a level of criminality unseen in the nation before.
So why are the liberals demanding more gun laws when Chicago is proof they don’t work and what is needed? Removing restrictions to allow school personnel and mental health professionals freedom to report potential threats and creating a national data base of people identified as unstable to own weapons is needed. But years of social engineering has compromised our mental health services. And years of litigation has frightened anyone into revealing something they may be later sued for having revealed.
In an article in The Atlantic, Jan. 27, 2015, Hanna Kozlowska reported that today long-term care for the mentally ill is practically non-existent compared to the 1950s. Unless people can receive the treatment they need nothing will get better. And they won’t need guns to live out their murderous fantasies. Ted Bundy, Timothy McVeigh and the Unabomber, to name a few proved that.
After 9/11 airport security changed drastically. When local banks started placing armed guards in front of their banks, robberies stopped where the guard is visible. The same can be true with schools that do the same and that was what Mr. Fleshman was pointing out. But we will never have a useful dialogue as long as some try to inject politics into what needs to be a revamping of school security in many schools and a vast improvement in mental health treatment for our citizens in desperate need.
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Mr. Ingraham, our airports have armed security, our courthouses have armed security, our financial institutions have armed security, and our politicians have armed security at their offices. And, you don’t believe our children who are being murdered in masses deserve to have armed security? Instead you tow the liberal gun grabbing line of taking guns away from the 98 percent of Americans who are law abiding citizens.
The fact is that of all the gun deaths in America, rifles, all rifles, make up 3 percent of those deaths. I’m not hearing from you or the Left what is your proposal to address the other 97 percent of gun deaths. Why is that? Let me help, because the real agenda is to decimate our 2nd Amendment. Another question for you. What’s going to your proposal when the next wacko drives their truck over 50 students leaving a school?