Yesterday, there was another school shooting, this one in Oregon that killed at least 10 innocent people. Ten people with their lives mostly ahead of them, trying to learn things to make their futures better. Now sadly, those 10 do not have futures at all, and they can’t get them back now that their lives have been so needlessly extinguished.
I saw President Obama a bit furious on TV later on in the day, and I can’t say I blame him for being angry. Political rhetoric aside, I think he’s a decent man, trapped in a political process where both sides want to score political points, sadly over the bodies of victims of these ridiculous shootings.
I was born in 1971. In that time frame, there were a great deal of airplane hijackings, so the authorities had the idea of putting metal detectors in the airports to deter that sort of thing. As we learned on September 11, 2001, that doesn’t always work. If someone wants to harm a whole bunch of people on an aircraft badly enough, they will find other ways of doing so.
One of the first school shootings took place in the high school of the city I currently live: Pinellas Park. On February 11, 1988, one kid opened fire, fatally wounding an assistant principal, wounding two others. Since then, there have been numerous tragedies, most notably including the Columbine attack in 1999 and Sandy Hook just before Christmas three years ago.
Maybe it’s time that schools get better protection. When I went to middle school and high school in neighboring Largo, there were always police officers assigned to the schools to head off trouble before it occurred. In early 1989, there was a drug bust at my school, with drug usage not exactly being this big secret of any kind. It always seemed a way of life, one I never took part in by my own choosing.
Personally, I think it’s time we put metal detectors in schools and colleges nationwide just as we have them in airports. It will be a culture shock for the kids, and it won’t prevent bad things from happening entirely. But those who want to learn deserve to be protected. With the GOP seemingly joined at the hip with the NRA rightly or wrongly, changes needed won’t come anytime soon, and change is needed right now.
I would love to hear from ANY politician who would object to putting metal detectors in the schools. Do you not want your kids to be safe while they learn? Do you not want the children of your votes to have a safe learning environment? Let them object to that, as I would love to hear their reasoning.