I had a few minutes this morning to catch " The View." One of their topics for discussion was the Amish school shooting which occurred yesterday. Rosie O'Donnell gave a shocking statistic: that there have been 17 school shootings in America since the beginning of this year. Three of those shootings occurred this past week. Rosie led the discussion towards gun control and was met head to head with Elisabeth Hasselbeck.
Rosie's perspective was that there should be more controls on the purchase of guns and that all guns should be registered. Conversely, Elisabeth's perspective was that we have a constitutional right to have guns and raised the issue of the need to possess weapons for self defense.
What Rosie fails to see, as well as many others who are proponents of gun control is that "Bad Guys" aren't necessarily getting their guns through legitimate means and that more restrictive gun laws would not necessarily prevent someone from doing something as horrible as killing innocent children in a school. While I do agree that there should be stricter control over guns (I don't see the need for anyone to legally possess machine guns), I don't think that gun control is a cure-all for the problem that we are faced with in our schools. And frankly, we don't have time to wait for legislation to be passed on this controversial issue. Security of our children in schools needs to be a priority.
How many school shootings do we need to hear about before our state and federal government take action to protect our kids while in their care? The three cases this past week involved a non-student, coming onto school grounds with the intent to terrorize and harm the children and staff. For example, in the case of the Amish school shooter, Charles Carl Roberts IV, it appears he had no specific connection with the children of that school. His actions were completely random. He came prepared to do harm to whomever and in whatever way he could, bringing with him not only three guns and 600 rounds of ammunition, but also a stun gun, and two knives.
While I don't like the idea of creating a lock down environment for our children, something needs to be done immediately. One simple way to improve our system is to have the teachers keep the doors locked to their classrooms so that people inside can get out, but someone wandering around in the hallway can't get in. Another possible deterrent would be to have parents volunteer to stand watch around the school where their children are in attendance. I don't know what the right answer is, but gun control alone is not going to remedy the situation.
The President has called a conference next week to discuss this ongoing problem. According to White House spokeswoman, Dana Perino, the goal would be to discuss the nature of the problem and federal action that can help communities prevent violence and deal with its aftermath. At this point, I believe that three school shootings is less than 1 week calls for immediate action, not discussion. It seems that elected officials need to take affirmative steps now to protect our children in our schools. The discussion can come later.
Written by Maria Schweitzer