Pass These Defensive Laws Now to Protect Kids, Then Argue Over Guns

Wise lawmakers must ignore the perpetual gun debate for now and move immediately to enact this defensive legislation.

The echoes of gunshots had barely fallen silent at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida yesterday when the gun control and NRA crowds had dutifully taken up their entrenched positions for yet another public relations battle in America’s unfolding civil war over firearms.

Even sports reporters chimed in, with Peter King tweeting,

Whoever says: "A gun didn't do this; a sick person did." "Thoughts and prayers to all the families." "Now is not the time to discuss gun control." Get lost. Get off my feed. You are not part of the America we need to strive for.

This is the same Peter King who took aim at “thoughts and prayers” after a different school shooting suggesting Americans don’t have the “guts” to take this problem on. That’s disingenuous and extraordinarily unhelpful right now.

There’s not a person I know on either side of this debate that doesn’t want to do something, anything, right now, to make sure this kind of mass murder doesn’t happen again. Or at least ensure that it starts happening with far less regularity.

The problem isn’t that either faction in this debate lacks guts.

On one side you have activists like King and lawmakers like Elizabeth Warren who have the guts to enact gun confiscation laws tomorrow if they thought they could get away with it. On the other side you have 2nd Amendment defenders like the NRA’s Dana Loesch who has the guts to ensure you will only confiscate her gun if you pry it from her cold, dead hand. The problem is that we have a fundamental disagreement over how to achieve an end that everyone wants.

Though I doubt the efficacy and effectiveness of their ideas, I believe that liberal progressives favor new gun control laws because they think their enactment will result in fewer innocent deaths. I don’t care if my fellow conservatives think I am being naïve or too generous to them. Liberal progressives I know are angry about the mass murders and want them stopped; that is why they do what they do.

Conversely, there exist the concerned voices I am inclined to agree with – those who suggest that more laws to “control” guns will be counterproductive. The lawless, who are intent on committing acts of mass murder, will not be undone or thwarted by a mandatory background check at a gun show, as much as we wish it were the case. They favor eliminating gun free zones and arming responsible citizens as the best way to ensure less dead innocents. Liberals who suggest these conservatives harbor some morbid desire to engender more violence are irresponsible and unreasonable.

So let’s be brutally honest. With such well-entrenched and convicted advocates on either side of this debate, it is unlikely we will see anything accomplished legislatively to truly protect people. And merely recognizing the good intentions of both sides won’t get us anywhere either.

That is why lawmakers must ignore the perpetual gun debate for now and move immediately to enact defensive legislation designed to protect our children in public schools and universities. As a high school teacher, I have a particular interest in the safety and security of school buildings – and this isn’t about gun control or the 2nd Amendment. It’s about common sense.

First, spend tax money to hire and pay more uniformed security personnel at every public school in the state. There are plenty of unemployed veterans and off-duty police officers who would be perfect candidates if the state made a serious investment in this regard.

Second, mandate and fund the training of a handful of willing staff members at every school, giving us access and authority to use deadly force to protect children and young adults in our charge.

Third, mandate and fund the installation of lockdown doors and entrances, limiting access to all school buildings to one main entrance, controlled by surveillance-equipped office personnel.

Do these steps turn our schools into armed forts? I don’t really care. If it means tragedies averted and lives saved, so be it. It’s money well spent while we haggle over safety locks and waiting periods.

When I walk into my local courthouse I am funneled through the one entrance accessible to the public, and immediately see uniformed, armed security present and visible. On any given day, there are plenty of defense-trained personnel walking through those halls. Why? Because we believe our civil servants are worthy of protection from violent threat.

Aren’t our children worthy of the same?

Armed guards and faculty have been the obvious approach for, well, forever. Can't take the left seriously when one side of their mouth says "It's worth anything if it saves even one life" or "It's for the children," but they only get behind gun confiscation and outlawing.

I don't disagree with any of your points, but some of them are less feasible at some schools, specifically the third point. Not every school is entirely contained within one building. The high school that I attended held classes in three different buildings. Most were in the main building but we also had agriculture/shop classes in a separate building and horticulture classes in a green house. We would also occasionally have classes outside, such as when we were doing timed miles for gym on the track and people in band class would be outside practicing for marching band during the fall.

This problem is even more exacerbated at colleges which almost always have classes spread across multiple buildings. The small college I work at has 7 publicly accessible buildings, 6 of which regularly host classes and students and staff regularly go between the buildings.

Why not just reduce taxes so both parents do not have to work, start a program that encourages people to live within their means and save for retirement (because social security is not forever), start a program and reward people for being 2 parent families with a stay at home parent who is active in raising their kids, encourage people to attend church (not a mosque where they preach hate) and learn and abide by the 10 commandments (the ONLY laws we need).

If one adds up all the taxes - Federal, State, Local, gas, ad valorem, real estate, sales,
gas, electric, fuel, phone, cable, internet, etc. You soon find out that we all pay a LOT of taxes - way too much and all the social programs we are paying for , we cannot afford. Also, all of these taxes that we and businesses pay, makes everything we buy cost more also. Our government and taxes are way out of hand - way more than what things were when the Boston Tea Party occurred.

I feel compelled to expound on what I meant. "Encourage people to attend church (not a mosque...." How about the government stay out of religion. As for the 10 commandments being the only laws we need. You do realize that only 2 of them are actually against the law? Killing and stealing. One one hand you lament the amount of taxes you pay but on the other advocate for a government program to reward 2-parent families with stay at home parents. Makes no sense.

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"Though I doubt the efficacy and effectiveness of their ideas, I believe that liberal progressives favor new gun control laws because they think their enactment will result in fewer innocent deaths." Liberal progressives may say they believe that, but there is no evidence to suggest that the ones who make these statements are true. Liberal progressives, or, rather, those who follow in the ideals of their political leaders have only one thing in mind: to ban firearms. And that can only be because of their desire to control everyone they can. These shootings always brings up the most callous of ideas that it is the gun that causes the problem, when it is always an evil person behind the gun that does the act. And just throwing in an idea about using mental fitness as a way to combat gun violence stops dead in it's tracks, also. Just how much more does anyone think another gun law would prevent all crime? Real crime is based on someone performing an evil act, and not on a government deciding what is evil and what is not by passing a law, without understanding what evil is, first. A government is only man's attempt to fix a problem by arbitrarily passing laws. Many times, those laws have lasting unintended, or intended consequences. There are too many examples to just shrug that off, also. By placing the gun ahead of the real problem, we just refuse to admit that evil is the problem, and let it find other ways to create more harm to society.

I usually disagree with you Peter, but you have the right idea here I think, in general. There are some things to do now. And you're correct, nobody (left or right) wants to see more of these massacres (except a few sickos maybe).

The GOP -- not fair to decent conservatives to blame them -- are complicit in their inaction and obstruction. They may not "want" more killing but their willingness to suck at NRA teat in lieu of actually doing something reasonable speaks volumes.

You can outlaw assault rifles and bumpstocks and automatic weapons as part of "gun control". That stops the mass part of the shootings but now you will have someone with a gun that only shoots what...6-9 rounds. Does that make the numerous others that he could have killed had he/she had a semi auto firing weapon any less valuable? The approach of placing lockdown doors in all schools with limited buzz in access and utilizing our veterans or off duty police sounds more feasible and easier to put in place. If we wait on our government to take care of us, the constipated system will continue to drag their feet as there is no agreeable solution on that level to this gun control. It sucks but this is the post 911 and lack of respect for life world we live in now.