Oh, look. Another school shooting. Dismaying, but not surprising. If you’re a regular reader, you may have already read a bit about my feelings and theories on Newtown and similar senseless and sensational crimes. People are tempted to bring all sorts of political opinions to issue, even if they have little (or nothing) to do with the crimes in question. Many people spout rhetoric as an almost knee-jerk reaction, but a lot of people are just plain scared and are looking for an answer- any answer- to the problems plaguing our country and the world.
I don’t know what to do about guns. I do believe access to guns is too easy. People that don’t have guns of their own seem to be able to still procure them with relative ease, sometimes simply by stealing or “borrowing” one from someone they know.
Kern County sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference Thursday night that the 16-year-old used a shotgun that belonged to his brother and went to bed Wednesday night with a plan to shoot two fellow students. (source)
I don’t think Mental Health Care reform is the problem, and at any rate, that seems to take the focus off the victims and hand the perpetrator an excuse.
Letting “God back in the schools” won’t do it either.
But one thing I think we can focus on is making our schools safer. I don’t want to hear that it’s expensive. The money that goes to inflated Congressional salaries and frivolous expenditures can and should be re-routed to make our children safer.
One thing that would help is to “treat schools like we treat courthouses,” as my hubby says. I think metal detectors would be a great investment. Every unsecured, public entrance to the school should have one. (Really, ALL entrances should have one, but let’s not give the guys that write the budget simultaneous coronaries just yet.) And a security guard posted at each entrance, especially during the hours of the day when there is high volume traffic. If a metal detector is triggered, the guards can be on hand to handle the situation, and if a metal detector goes off at any given time during the day and is not immediately shut down, there should be a school-wide protocol that directs all teachers to lock down their classrooms. Any students in the halls during a lock down would be directed to hide or make their way to a predetermined safe location. Security officers should be specially trained to handle crisis situations. We’re not talking a supermarket cop collaring people for trying to smuggle candied hams out in their drawls, we’re security personnel with the training and the will to take down a kids with a gun. These little punks aren’t playin’ around and they need to know that the schools and the cops aren’t either.
Speaking of which, I know I can’t be alone in calling for stricter laws on media reporting, especially in the first few hours after a crisis. One of the reasons that these freaks end up doing things on such a massive scale, shooting up schools and killing their whole families and whatnot, is because they think they can make a mark on the world, hurt people with their rage, wrong others the way they’ve been wronged (in their pathetic little minds.) I realize that people want to understand why these people do the horrible things they do, but the answers are usually more complicated than blaming guns, video games, music, or bullying. Aside from whatever deranged, disturbed thoughts might pop out of the killers’ mouths if we were to ask them why, we usually don’t get that opportunity, because they often end up dead. And it doesn’t really matter anyway. What matters are the victims, and the media needs to take steps to keep the focus on them instead of glorifying the killer by validating his actions and intentions with exhaustive media coverage.
Well, the media will always cry “1st amendment ” and “the public has the right to know! so I’m sure I might as well just wish in one hand as far as media accountability, so back to the metal detector thing…it may not be a perfect solution, but it is one concrete step we as a community can take to try and make our schools safer for our children.
*see some of the stupid things the government could cut from their budget to make our schools safer!