I t’s time we quit talking and actually take action to make certain that there is never again a school shooting in our country. It’s important that we do this despite the fact that gun deaths are by no means the most dangerous form of death in America today.
In 2017, with 300,000,000-plus guns legally owned by Americans, there were 15,549 gun deaths (mostly due to crime). This is a little more than one-third the number of automobile deaths even though there are fewer cars in existence than guns. In 2017, there were 253,000,000 cars in existence and 41,000 auto deaths.
Nonetheless, a way forward needs to begin. Here are six simple steps that can and should be implemented overnight across the country. This list is not complete but it is a starting point where moms, dads and other people can begin to protect our kids.
1. Metal detectors in every school: This maintains such common sense it’s hard to believe that it isn’t already happening. Our courts, government buildings, airports, sports stadiums, conventions, and plenty of other public gatherings demand them. Are they more important than our kids?
2. Enforce the law: Simple enforcement of existing laws would cut down on uncounted numbers of people owning guns, possessing guns, and utilizing guns. This is particularly critical with regard to those with mental health issues. Begin doing what laws already say must be done.
3. Perform active shooter drills: In many school districts in the nation earthquake drills are still performed. No children have died in earthquakes at an American school in 50 years. Young people should be aware of action they can take to protect themselves, such as how easily they can move a teacher’s desk to provide an entry barrier into a room.
4. Reinforce doors, windows, buses, locks: 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.
5. Recruit Retired Military & Law Enforcement from the community: These friends and neighbors have already received certification and weapons training. Most of them already own, possess, and carry firearms and would welcome the opportunity to retrain to learn the skills required. Have them man 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.
6. Publicize what you are doing: Have your local newspaper publish a story of your security measures. Talk about it openly. The mere knowledge of these obstacles will likely discourage any attacker from ever attempting to enter a school.
None of these steps infringe upon law-abiding people’s second amendment rights. All of these measures are instilled to stop and engage mentally ill or combative individuals from entering our schools. Without these measures, our kids are sitting ducks.
What in the hell are we waiting for?
Opinions offered in If I Were King are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of the Tri-County Times or its staff. Email the King at email@example.com. Some content adapted from the internet.