Monday, March 5, 2018
School shootings have been far too common and cause untold grief. There have been several proposals made. Stricter background checks, I agree with. No long rifle purchases before the age of 21, I agree with. Identifying persons with mental issues to prevent purchasing a gun, I agree with. Forbidding the sale of bump stocks, I agree with. In the interest of full disclosure, I am a member of the NRA and a gun owner.
If all these proposals were implemented, would our schools be safer? I doubt it. The government has an abysmal record in enforcing gun laws as seen by the school shootings. The AR-15 rifle has been involved in several cases, and it is taking the blame. There are 12 million AR-15 rifles in this country. In addition, there are millions of AK-47 and AK-74, semi-automatic rifles, sporting rifles, shotguns and others. The bottom line is, if anyone wants a gun, he/she will obtain one. The government is too big, too complicated and ineffective at enforcing gun laws to monitor or prevent firearm transfers at the local level.
There are persons/organizations that advocate confiscation and banning firearms. The Second Amendment stands in the way. It is not going to happen. Our politicians have been haggling with each other over years about guns, but the tragedies continue. They will not solve the problem.
In view of this, what do we need to do in Canfield? We have to address the problem ourselves! No government or law is going to protect us. Active prevention seems to be our best alternative. There is an armed resource officer at the high school. However, he spends some of his time teaching instead of providing security. The grade schools and middle school are more vulnerable. That is not acceptable. “ALICE” training – “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Countermeasures, Evacuate” – prepares for emergencies. Is this training up to date?
There are many options on the table. Now is not the time to sit on our hands and do nothing. Our students and school staff must be safeguarded. It is an unfortunate situation, but in these times, it is reality. The ball is in your court. It is your responsibility to assure school safety. Now is the time for action.
Frank A. Micchia, Canfield