The shrill voices on opposite sides of an emotional, tension-filled debate echo across the landscape like the shriek of a train whistle.
“Guns kill! We must do away with guns.”
“From my cold, dead hands!”
In Parkland, Florida, 17 students and faculty members are dead. Another 14 are wounded. How do we end this nightmare?
I think a little give from both sides of this debate goes a long way toward protecting our children. That is the pertinent issue here, not the definition of constitutional rights, a debate that can be carried on while we protect our children.
We ban guns from banks but place people with guns in banks to protect out money. We ban guns from the courthouse but place people with guns in our courthouses to protect our legal system. We ban guns from college sporting events but place people with guns around the event to protect the public. We ban guns from schools … but offer little to no additional protection.
Aren’t our children more valuable than our money, our legal system and our sporting events?
I am in favor of school marshal programs, where certain school teachers and administrators are given intense training and then licensed to conceal-carry on campus. The license has to be renewed every two or three years with updated training.
Hire retired military and police as armed guards on each and every campus. Place signs around the campus warning that there are armed personnel present.
A little-known fact from the Newtown school shooting is that evidence existed that Adam Lanza first drove to Newtown High School. However, there were two police cars in the parking lot. Someone was there with a gun, so he drove to Newtown Elementary, where he knew there would not be another person with a gun.
Someone with a gun and trained to handle that gun is a deterrent to those who would use a gun to harm innocent people. The left can give a little here.
From the right, enact legislation that severely limits who can own an assault-type weapon. Outright ban anything that would make any weapon approximate an automatic weapon. Then severely limit enlarged gun clips. I am sorry if that makes the gun enthusiast have to change clips more often on the range. Protecting children is worth that bit of inconvenience.
Finally, and this perhaps will do more to prevent future school shootings than anything else, remove the legal barriers that restrict mental health workers from talking to school officials and law enforcement. Provide intensive training to all three about what can be shared, how it is shared, and what can be done with this information. Provide a means of appeal for someone who feels that they have been harmed by this sharing of information. Yes, that might infringe on someone’s privacy, but again, that bit of inconvenience is worth the protection of our schools.
As Antonin Scalia noted in the 2008 landmark Columbia v. Heller decision, none of our constitutional rights are unlimited. Freedom of speech does not mean I can yell “fire” in a crowded theater. Freedom of religion does not mean I can practice human sacrifice. And the right to bear arms does not mean I can have any type of weapon with any level of capability and carry it anywhere I want. A little from the left, a little from the right, and our children are better protected, as are our rights.