School Shootings, Steps to Take Immediate Actions
One week ago I posted an article taking aim at our government officials’ failure to take immediate proactive actions to help curtail mass and school shootings within the United States. Over the past two weeks, we have viewed funeral-after-funeral of several of the seventeen school shooting victims and heard story-after-story about their wounded classmates, and have grieved along with their families and friends.
School Shootings: Steps We Can Take
As I said last week, It’s time for our U.S. Congress and President to stop the talk and take action against deadly mass and school shootings. It’s also time for our local governments and district/individual school administrators to recognize that they also must jointly play an important role in working up realistic preventative strategies with their local law enforcement agency.
Naturally, most of the rhetoric of the politicians and media have focused on school safety. Unfortunately, in reading between the lines there are strong indicators that political bias has also become a prominent player by many within the three major parties along with their media supporters. It amazes me as to the type of advice now being offered by a few of those self-proclaimed “experts” as to school shootings, steps to take.
As I said in my February 16th post, let me again be clear, what I have to say here is in no way a political position. In fact, I am a proponent of the Second Amendment and former member of the NRA. With that said, as result of my law enforcement background in Washington, D.C combined with over four decades as an international management consultant advising all types of organizations in ways to protect themselves and their personnel from a variety of situations including workplace violence and terrorism, I believe that I am qualified to address the topics of mass and school shootings.
Effective security safeguards demand a proactive approach that is comprised of a series of “hurdles” — the more hurdles in place the more difficult it becomes for the shooter to succeed. For this post, I shall only discuss my Phase I considerations. My Phase II actions shall be contained in an upcoming post. So, here’s my input regarding school shootings and things that NEED to be start happening now!
Immediate Actions For School Shootings
Local Municipalities/Schools need to start implementing the following:
1. Do away with those politically correct “gun free zones” and signage. They are no deterrent to the shooter who is hell-bent on leaving a number of innocent victims behind. If anything, a message has been sent to the shooter that there is minimal risk of return fire.
2. School entry/access must be tightly controlled. Remember, tight security is not convenient. It has now been proven SEVERAL times over to be a necessity. Special attention must be given to ensuring that police and emergency responders have quick and easy access inside in event of an attack or another emergency.
3. Work with your local law enforcement agency, identify and arm a few highly qualified school teachers and staff personnel who are willing to accept this important responsibility. Each should be intensively trained and certified once the training period is over. Those taking on this critically important assignment should also be incentivized with a higher rate of pay or other acknowledgment. Learn from others; talk with administrators already arming select teachers and other personnel in schools such as Clarksville School District in Arkansas, two school districts in South Dakota, Highland, Utah, and the administrator of those 100 public school districts in Texas.
School Shooting Security
I foresee two important issues with placing total reliance on law enforcement. First, response time is most critical. There is a high probability a shooter could have done their deadly deed within a matter of two or three minutes; few police officers will arrive at a shooting scene in less than five or ten minutes. Next, placing armed police officers in public schools will prove to be prohibitively costly. Schools are now operating on a “shoe-string” budget and I predict that after one or two budget reviews, much of this costly protection will silently disappear. Once that takes place the students are again at great risk. Unfortunately, the Parkland, Florida situation teaches us that the possibility of a police officer failing to intervene is also a real negative factor. The best solution at this time appears to be to arm well-trained and skillful school teachers and other personnel.
Federal and State Governments
Here are some things that our governments should be doing immediately:
1. Immediately ban those bump-stocks that are designed to convert a semi-automatic firearm into a fully automatic weapon. This ban should have happened immediately after the Las Vegas massacre.
2. Background Checks: Our Congress, Senate, and President have been discussing this topic for months, if not years. Get off of your butts and pass necessary laws. Since this has been on the “table” for a very long time there is no excuse for more talks. Take action and prohibit ownership by individuals deemed a risk because of (a.) mental illness, (b.) domestic violence and (c.) violent threats.
3. Gun ownership. I am not an advocate of prohibiting individuals eighteen years or older from owning a shotgun or a rifle that does not fall into the semi-automatic or automatic category. These guns are highly popular with hunters and do not provide anywhere near the threat of semi-automatic weapons.
My position is clear: Ban all semi-automatic weapons. (At the very least raise the age limit to 21 years.) This likely means the National Firearms Act should be revisited. Those semi-automatic weapons such as the AR-15 should be the first to go. Such a weapons’ ban in no way infringes on our Second Amendment.
Next post, I shall give you my input as to what type of short-term actions should be taken.
What are your thoughts on this post? Let me hear from you.