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School Shooting Solutions

Well hello there again! I know, it’s been far too long since I’ve subjected y’all to my random ramblings. In my defense, I have been rather preoccupied with a couple of other projects, most of which I can’t really tell you about just yet. I can say that they’re VERY exciting and that I’m really looking forward to sharing them with you just as soon as I can. But, as exciting as they are, that’s not what brings me to my keyboard this evening. Tonight, it’s in response to some recent events, namely the school shootings in Florida.

Since that tragic event, there’s been a lot of talk about what we can do to prevent such things from happening in the future and there seems to be some very different opinions on this matter. Some people are calling for stricter gun laws and an outright ban on Assault Rifles, namely the AR-15. Others point out that changing the laws will be unlikely to act as much of a deterrent to those who are intentionally breaking the existing laws anyway.

I’ve gotta pause here for a moment and just point something out for the sake of being clear and accurate in my message. First off, AR in AR-15 does not stand for Assault Rifle as many seem to think. It stands for Armalite Rifle, a reference to the company responsible for its original design. Secondly, an AR-15 is not an Assault Rifle anyway, it does not fire on full automatic or three round bursts. It is a semi-automatic rifle, plain and simple. Yes, it can be modified with a “Bump-stock” to function just like a fully automatic weapon but that’s a separate issue.

But anyway, I’m not really here to argue for one side or the other regarding the laws or the classification of the AR-15. I just couldn’t resist clarifying that little common misconception. What I want to talk about is an idea that I had regarding a possible solution to the problem of school shootings. I’m sure I’m not the first person to think of this, and I haven’t looked to see if I can find it suggested elsewhere, but I haven’t heard anything about it being recommended anywhere yet.

Rather than arming our teachers, an idea that I’m not entirely opposed to but feel would be impractical given the amount of instruction involved and constant training to keep those skills honed, I am thinking more about having armed guards outside the entrances of schools. Specifically, armed Veterans. We have this huge group of people that are highly trained to recognize threats and neutralize them before they can cause harm and yet, a substantial number of them come back and wind up unemployed.

I say we keep them on government payroll and use them to protect our most precious resource, our children. I’m sure some people will take issue with the idea of armed guards outside schools but this kind of baffles me. NO ONE bats an eye about the armed guards at banks or driving armored vehicles that guard someone’s money. How is it that we value money more than our own damn kids? Our kids go to school in big bright yellow slow moving, and easy to identify, targets. They don’t even have seat belts and the bus driver certainly isn’t going to stop anyone from hijacking a busload of kids. But green pieces of paper, THOSE get armored transport and armed guardians. There’s something seriously fucky about this if you ask me.

Another reason I think employing veterans to guard our schools would be a good idea, is that I think it would be emotionally beneficial to all involved. The vets would get to continue to contribute to society and help keep us safe and have a definite purpose and mission to undertake but here at home in the civilian world. I think it would be helpful for them to come back and be around such a positive environment to help them feel better about WHY they have made some of the sacrifices they have.

I also think it would be good for the kids involved. When schools have a police officer assigned to them, the kids get to know the officer more personally and get to see some of the lighter side of law enforcement. They look up to these cops and view them as heroes. Not to take anything away from our law enforcement officers, but our veterans are true real life super heroes too and I think it would be great for our kids to see that and learn to respect these men and women and be grateful for the sacrifices they’ve made so that they can go to school and learn in a free country.

This idea of employing our veterans to provide security for schools seems to me to be just a logical and obvious arrangement. They have the skills necessary, and we have a need for the security they can provide. The deterrent factor alone I think would be more than enough to significantly reduce the frequency of such tragedies. If a kid is pissed off and thinks about bringing a large high capacity rifle into school, right now in most cases the biggest challenge is getting it into the building. If doing so involves walking past a pair of sentries holding those same AR-15’s some want to ban, I suspect fewer people would even consider attempting it.

There is, of course, the idealistic point that no one wants their kids to go to a school that needs to have armed guards. It’s a nice thought, to wish everyone was an unarmed pacifist and free of mental conditions or, at the very least, was receiving sufficient health services. But if it were the truth, that our schools are truly safe places for our kids, then this entire debate would be irrelevant, we wouldn’t have school shootings. But, the reality is that we do, and we can either keep letting it happen, or we can do something.

Gun laws are great…. For law abiding citizens who choose to follow them. The people that legally own and carry firearms are NOT the problem. It’s the wingnuts that shouldn’t have guns in the first place. It’s great to say “Well, we’ll make it harder for them to get the guns to begin with”, but that doesn’t solve the problem. There’s no way to prevent it from happening 100% of the time, criminals are determined individuals willing to go to lengths normal people wouldn’t to ensure their goal is accomplished.

And besides, if they can’t get their hands on a gun, and they’re determined to hurt people, they’re gonna find another way to do it. We can’t ban all the ingredients that could be potentially used to make an IED (Improvised Explosive Device). The way I see it, this solves two problems, and takes care of two VERY important parts of our population, our children and our veterans. It would keep the kids safe at school, and it would provide gainful employment to a group with a high unemployment and homelessness rate. Sure, there will be people opposed to this idea, but it’s just a thought. It’s a more productive discussion than talking about changing gun laws, a debate with people unwilling to compromise on both sides of the issue.

But I’d love to hear your thoughts on it too. If you’ve got an idea on how to fix this problem, feel free to send me a message or leave a comment below so we can start a dialogue about it. If you feel one of the already proposed solutions is best, I’d be interested in hearing why you feel that way and why you feel it would be a better idea than my proposition. I’m always open to changing my opinion based on new information, and this is just an initial thought that I think needs further evaluation. So on that note, I’ll call it a night and say thanks for reading!