A call for a moment of silence
Normally I try to interject some humor into my stories. My humor was destroyed this week with the events in Newtown, Connecticut.
I have seen a lot of despicable acts throughout my years, but this is just unfathomable. To even have a thought that another human being could do something of this magnitude is literally impossible to imagine. If one has ever wondered if the devil actually exist, this is your answer.
When the victims were first identified, I cried. When the media displayed their pictures, I cried harder. When the media interviewed a surviving teacher, I kept crying. I’m still trying to process the horrific senseless tragedy that took 27 lives, 20 of who were beautiful innocent children. I will continue to cry and process knowing I will never fully understand the reason for this tragedy.
Today, the anger is setting in. I’m angry because this continues to happen way too often and has become an epidemic. Like the airline hijackings in the ’70s, school shootings are a monster we must deal with immediately.
I watched the news all weekend. I heard experts give their opinions on what needs to be done to stop this. There were many discussions centered on identifying and treating people with mental health issues. Certainly that has to be considered as the shooter definitely had a history of mental problems.
Studies have concluded that mental health issues often manifest into acts of violence. By identifying those afflicted, we can hope to help stem the tide of such violence not only in schools but in movie theaters, malls and generally anywhere there is a public gathering. This process certainly is not new to our society. It’s obvious we need to step it up.
Treating mental illness is very important, however, the Columbine pair had no history of mental issues treated, nor untreated. Yes, they were considered odd but do we single out all children that appear different from the so called “normal?”
The same day as the massacre in Newtown, a young man was arrested for plotting to do the same thing at the high school he attended in Oklahoma. Also last week, a man was arrested in Cedar Lake, Ind., after allegedly threatening to “kill as many people as he could” at a school during a heated argument with his wife. They live 1,000 feet from the school she worked at and the police found 47 guns located in his house.
That’s possibly three school shootings in one weekend. Do we take time to study and opinionate the issue before taking corrective action?
The answer is an emphatic no! After 9-11, the government took immediate action to secure the nation’s airports. Why isn’t this being done at our schools? We have armed guards at our banks to protect our money. Why don’t we do the same thing at our schools? Certainly, we don’t value our money more than our children?
There is the argument that we don’t want to turn our schools into a prison like atmosphere. When we were experiencing hijackings, the FBI initiated “Sky Marshals.” FBI agents dressed like passengers but armed in case of a problem. Passengers didn’t know they were there. Why can’t we do the same at our schools? We could call upon the National Guard, state and local law enforcement to secure the schools tomorrow while we prepare the “School Marshals.” The airlines are allowing weapons trained pilots to carry guns on the planes. Why not train willing and qualified teachers and administrative staff to do the same? People then say, what about the malls and theaters. Yes, we need to act on those as well but let’s get started today by keeping our schools safe.
Then there is the argument for gun control. I read nearly every day about a convicted felon taken into custody while in the possession of fire arms. Convicted felons are prohibited by law to be in possession of guns. If so, how did they get the weapons? Can you say black market? There is a black market for everything in this country. Drugs are illegal but drug abuse is rampant and a very serious problem in our society. If they are against the law, how do people get their hands on them?
My point is, taking guns away from citizens that have the constitutional right to self-protection is not the answer. We issue hunting licenses to control the animal population. What if hunting became against the law because hunting rifles are? We would be overrun by deer in less than a year. The bad guys will always have access to black market firearms.
The Australians instilled complete gun control 15 years ago and home invasions are at an all-time high there because the crooks know they won’t be challenged by the home owners.
Whatever we do, we must act today! Another day of senseless killing cannot be tolerated.
Please take a moment and pray for the victims and for our country to find a way to end this.