The first thing we must do is stop referring to these horrible events as "school shootings". These are mass murders. We must ask ourselves "Why are people targeting our children for murder and why in a school?" Then we must ask "What can we do to deter people from doing this?" Deterrence rather than "stop" because in the end, we cannot prevent people from committing murder.
Yesterday I listened to young Emma Gonzales speak in front of the crowd protesting for "common sense gun control" in Florida. It didn't strike me until 3:45AM this morning, but one of the statements this young lady said is a common statement on this topic. Gonzales blamed the firearm. Gonzales stated that if the perpetrator did not have a firearm this would not have happened. Gonzales then countered the argument from the other side of the aisle in regards to the fact that these mass murder tragedies are committed with instruments other than firearms. Gonzales countered it be stating: 1. But he did have a firearm and 2. If he used a knife there would not be as many victims (side note: the highest death count of a single school attack was over 300 dead. The instrument used was fire and explosives. The highest in US history is still the Bath Township Massacre of 1927. A time bomb made from material purchased at a hardware store was the instrument used).
It was item #2 that woke me. Gonzales continued by stating if we could reduce the number of victims of each of these tragedies it was worth banning firearms. That's the spark that lit the fire in me.
I have brought 2 children into this world and raised a third that I adopted. My biologic kids are still in school. I have a great deal of anger with the sentiment of Ms. Gonzales that she seemed to be parroting. My discontent is that the idea expressed actually sounds like this to me -
"Our children will still be targeted for murder in school and will continue to be murdered in school, but at least guns are banned from private citizen ownership, so at least your child's murder will be carried out by some other instrument."
Sorry, Ms. Gonzales. Sorry to all who parrot that belief. Not good enough.
Based on that idea if the death count was cut in half, from 17 to 8, Ms. Gonzales would feel good about herself because she could tell the parents of the 9 children who were saved - "See, we saved your children's lives!" Well, what about the parents of the other 8 children who were cut down in cold blood by a knife, a bomb, a fire, a truck, etc.? What do you tell them?
The other thing that angered me was Ms. Gonzales stating that the "good guy with a gun" theory is a fallacy, or, in her own words, "BS." This is intellectually dishonest and hypocritical. I promise you the moment the first gunshot rang out in that high school there were over a 1,000 students and teachers dialing 911. Why? To get law enforcement there as fast as possible. Yes, police officers or deputy sheriffs. You know, good guys. With guns.
Friday night CNN interviewed 3 young men. All 3 were 17 year old students of the high school and who were friends of one of the victims. The news anchor started out by saying these 3 young men already refused to answer questions about gun control. In spite of this, the news anchor tried his best to bait them into it. Finally they were asked how they thought it was best to prevent such tragedies. One spoke up. He stated that his school had one police officer in it and, even though he believed that the officer was capable of stopping the threat, that one was not enough due to the size of the school. He continued that if there had been more police officers regularly posted in the school that the event would not have happened.
People object to the idea of armed and trained first responders being posted inside our school. It makes them squeamish. However, they have no problem crying for help when their child's school is under attack to have the same first responders to get the school and stop the attack. Its common sense - stop the threat before there are any victims. If a disturbed 19 year old walks onto his old high school campus with a shouldered rifle (or a butcher knife, an axe, a bomb, 5 gallons of gasoline and a lighter, etc.) its pretty clear what his intent is. If that same 19 year is immediately greeted by 2 or 3 first responders with shouldered rifles of their own I promise you that there is only 1 person leaving the school in a body bag that day.
The bottom line is this - Do we want to do something about stopping mass murders in schools or do we just want to push our political party's agendas? Do we want to take steps to protect our children while they are in school or do we just want to protect them from being shot in school?