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Never Again

How do we protect our most precious and vulnerable population against unthinkable violence?

I have a message for gun ban advocates and guns rights supporters...

Shut Up. Just shut up.

Seriously, enough! Stop yelling at each other. Stop posting on Facebook. It's not that your opinions are irrelevant; they aren't, but think about it for a moment... You are part of the huge, knee-jerk movement that has taken attention away from any real lessons that might be taken from the horrible tragedy in Connecticut. Just stop, for a moment, set your own agenda aside, and hear me out for a minute. Please.

There is no simple solution here... More guns is not the answer. Fewer guns is not the answer. No amount of weapon legislation would have an impact on Adam Lanza. If he didn't have an AR-15? He still had two pistols. Every teacher in that school could have owned an AR-15. None of them would have done any good, locked up in the safe at home. The argument about assault weapons is completely pointless in context of this situation.

The fact remains that there are now, and will always be vulnerable, unsuspecting, and unarmed populations targeted in enclosed public places like schools. Forget about your statistics on accidental discharges; spare me your lecture about your right to bear arms. That's not what this is about.

How do we protect the vulnerable, unsuspecting and unarmed? 

  • You make them less vulnerable. Secure all entry points to a school. Visitors must be directed to a single entrance, buzzed in and show ID before they are allowed access. Staff reserves the right to deny anyone access, even if it's just on a hunch. 
  • You make them less unsuspecting. Train staff, teachers to recognize characteristics that are "off." And how to act on them. Most people don't have to be trained to detect "wrongness" in behaviors; they just need to learn to trust their instincts enough to take action.
  • You arm them, to a point. Can we all agree that the bad guys shouldn't be the only ones on site with a weapon? A School Resource Officer's presence is an ideal and sufficient armed presence. But what about the schools that don't have an SRO on site at all times? An armed, well-intentioned but untrained staffer might cause as much harm as good. But what if the principal was also a trained, mandated peace officer? Why not offer that level training to willing staffers, who operate day to day as teachers or administrators but are cross-trained and active as reserve members of local law enforcement? That way, you've got more than just teachers with concealed carry permits... You've actually got a trained law enforcement presence embedded within your staff. I don't know... It's a thought.

Prevention doesn't always work. Everything I've read suggests that the staff at Sandy Hook Elementary did it right in terms of security. Still, the unthinkable happened. Some of them even gave their lives to protect those children. When Prevention fails... Then what? Forget the gun control debate... How do you survive when the shooter is already in and you don't have a weapon? 

Attached is a video and a PDF from the Department of Homeland Security that address just that. Please, regardless of your opinion on gun control, share this information with your friends and family. We all want to make the world safer, and knowledge is power.

Please pray for the victims of last week's shooting. Please remember their families during this difficult time. Then, and only then, go back to your Internet postings if you must.

Just try to remember that we are all on the same side here. God Bless.

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