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Some Thoughts on Guns and School Shootings

Monday, March 26, 2018

There is not one person who is FOR school shootings.

Everybody is horrified by them and would like to see them end.

The major difference between most folks is on HOW to prevent them.

For those of us who live and work in safe environments, and who do not have an interest in hunting or shooting for a hobby, the answer seems simple: just get rid of the guns. Regulate the guns, limit those who can own guns.

My primary residence is in Connecticut, where Adam Lanza massacred 20 innocent elementary school children in Sandy Hook. Adam had severe emotional problems that were left untreated. His mother bought the guns for him - legally.
She was the first person he killed on that December day in 2012.

Wintertime finds me living in the southwest -- Arizona. This is the land of the rattlesnake, the puma, the coyote, and historically, the bandit. Guns are a staple in this state. In Arizona, it is legal to openly carry a gun.

Arizonans have a different relationship with guns than, say, most New Yorkers do.

The folks here who have owned and used guns all their lives believe that just owning the gun is not the problem.

The problem is how some ‘bad’ people use those guns.
And the solution seems obvious: let the ‘good’ people with guns protect us from those bad guys.
They’ve been doing just that in the West for a very long time.

Just yesterday, I saw an article that quoted a rapper who stated that he needed his guns for protection.
In some inner cities, where gun violence is a fact of daily life, it is understandable that ‘good’ residents would feel the need to carry a gun for their own safety against the ‘bad’ guys.

Having the ‘good guys’ with guns take care of the ‘bad guys’ with guns is the reasoning behind the idea of putting armed guards in schools or of supplying school personnel (teachers, in some cases) with guns and gun training.
Perhaps these practices will be more popular in those areas where guns are a more accepted part of life. Armed guards - or armed teachers - in the schools might be a more palatable solution for Arizona and other western states than for residents of some eastern states.

In other areas, there is more emphasis on gun control.

California, which has suffered from past mass shootings, is working to remove guns from the ‘bad’ people.
Officials are going out into the community to remove guns from those residents who do not qualify to own them.

“The gun seizure squads are part of California's strict gun control laws that were further tightened in January after voters backed a proposition for the banning of large-capacity magazines, an end to ammunition being sold online and shipped directly to homes, and new procedures to make sure those who shouldn't have guns don't have guns.

The Armed Prohibited Persons System (APPS) includes people who are not allowed to own a weapon because of a conviction in a felony or violent misdemeanor. But it also includes people who have not been convicted but have restraining orders against them, or who have mental health problems. The latter most often includes people who have been placed on a three-day mental health hold by law enforcement or a physician.”

Recently, California also introduced Gun Violence Restraining Orders, which allows a close family member or police to request guns be removed from someone who it is feared will hurt themselves or others with firearms.

It will be interesting to see what kind of results these California laws bring about.

I personally believe that there will be no one solution to this problem for everyone across the nation. The USA embodies different gun cultures in different regions of the country. The residents of each community will have to decide what works best for them – and what they find most comfortable. Overall, there will probably be both gun control and armed personnel in schools to solve the problem nationwide.

The important thing to remember is that we all have the same goal:
keeping our schools as safe spaces for our beloved children.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • PHOENIX1949
    360 days ago
    361 days ago
    no simple solution i do not believe that you should own a gun unless you hunt but that is just my belief.
    361 days ago
    I agree that there isn't just one solution that will work everywhere for this serious problem. I appreciate your well thought-out and well-written blog on this subject.

    About a week or so after the Parkland, Florida, shooting where 17 students and adults died, a senior in high school in South Texas where my grandchildren attend was arrested for threatening to kill "at least 18" people at the school there. This boy was in my oldest granddaughter's class, and my daughter had taught him in 4th grade. It's sickening to hear about these shootings anywhere, and when you get word that your grandchildrens' school is on lockdown for an active threat, the stress levels are unbearable. Thankfully, no one was injured in their small town, but it drives home the point that it can happen anywhere.
    361 days ago
    I have a FOID card, like my husband, and I own 2 pistols that I inherited from my mother. They were always her guns. One is a semi-automatic. My mom, her aunt, her husband, my grandpa, and my dad used to practice with guns in a safe place. So I grew up respecting them. They are dangerous in the wrong hands. My husband also has guns - so many that I don't know how many. They are all locked up in a gun cabinet. Rifles, shot guns, pistols, black powder pistols. No assault rifles. We neither one have a conceal and carry permit. My hubby is a good enough shot that he was offered a job at Silver Dollar City as a black powder marksman. He doesn't hunt. He has taught me how to use a gun safely. We are not members of the NRA, never have been, nor would we want to be. We are for common sense gun control. I am not for arming teachers with guns. It's too great a risk where collateral damage could be a huge problem. While shooting it out at the O.K, Corral sounds like a great idea it's scary enough for police officers. I know a lot of them and most of them have never killed anyone. They dread if this situation ever arises. A teacher with a handgun has little chance against an automatic weapon. I am for gun control - waiting periods to buy a gun, keeping guns out of the hands of felons/the mentally ill/ violent people/people with restraining orders/people with mental health orders/ people whose family or the police request it. I am also for banning assault rifles and large capacity magazines. I'm mostly for preventing the kind of carnage that is happening all to often.
    361 days ago
    Thanks for stating this so well. No, no one solution.
    361 days ago
    Have to agree with you that there will be no one solution to this problem for everyone across the nation. I see similar things regarding alcohol consumption. In Montana, for instance, one can drink and drive; although, there are some isolated areas of Montana that ban it. In California, one would be arrested for drinking while driving.
    361 days ago
    Your reasoned blog resonates with how I feel. It's all about protecting the innocents. That has to be the major focus, regardless of how it's done.
    361 days ago
    This is a very well-written and balanced perspective. Thank you.

    One thing is clear, and you stated it in your very first sentence, and repeated it in conclusion: we are all seeking the same ultimate outcome - the safety of the innocents.

    The world is never as simple as we might like, is it? Not all parts of it are the same. And not every problem can be solved the same way. That is no reason not to TRY, to take SOME action, that hopefully we can compromise on, rather than to throw up our hands and not even attempt an improvement.
    361 days ago
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