Recently, on February 14, Americans witnessed something that has become too familiar – a school shooting that took at least 17 lives. The shooter, who has not yet been called a terrorist, went into the school and unloaded an AR-15 rifle on the population. Both students and staff lost their lives in what was an absolutely terrifying situation.
On that fateful day, Nikolas Cruz, the shooter, went into the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and proceeded to perpetrate a second “Valentine’s Day” massacre. Incredibly, according to reports from the Florida Sun Sentinel and CNN, there were several Broward County sheriff’s deputies waiting outside the school building in Parkland, Florida, while the shooting was underway. Scot Peterson, the deputy assigned to protect the school, waited outside the building instead of going in. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said this week that Peterson waited for four to six minutes even though he could “clearly” hear gunfire. Peterson resigned and subsequently retired after being suspended without pay.
The Valentine’s Day shooting in Florida was the 17th school shooting since the beginning of the year! In spite of this, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is strongly against legislation that would control guns, especially assault rifles that have been used in school shootings. The Florida state legislature actually refused to vote on legislation that would put some controls on guns. This happened during calls by students, who had come to encourage that something be done. They were sorely disappointed, in that they were basically ignored by lawmakers who refused to even entertain the matter. Since that time, those students, as well as others around the country, have vowed to demonstrate in order to convey their feelings about the fact that students deserve to go to school without having to worry about losing their lives to people brandishing assault weapons.
Irrationally, President Donald Trump is advocating for teachers to carry guns rather than face the NRA, his backers, with some strong directives regarding taking assault weapons off the streets. It is easier to purchase one of them, according to those who supposedly know about these things, than it is to get a driver’s license in some places. The bottom line is that assault weapons have one use only, and that is to kill people. Those weapons are not used for hunting.
Teachers have long been the scapegoats for everything that is wrong with education in America. They are underpaid when compared to many other professions, and even though this is the case, it is being proposed that, in addition to being mother, father, social worker, counselor, and almost everything else that young people need in schools, many of which are underfunded, that they take on the additional burden of armed security guards! This suggestion flies so strongly in the face of logic that deeper thinking must be necessary when considering the reasons that the NRA is reluctant to support legislation that would take assault weapons away from people. Could it be that they know something that the rest of us don’t know? Could it be that they are expecting armed revolution? Are any of them in cahoots with militias preparing for a new Civil War? Whatever the case, arming teachers is a bad idea no matter how you look at it. Suppose, for example, there are teachers with hidden racist sentiments who are faced with unruly minority students. Would one minor altercation push them over the hump, resulting in shooting a student? Moreover, what kind of atmosphere for learning would result from knowing that teachers are armed?
A better, and more cost effective solution, would be to put pressure on the powers that be to remove assault weapons from the hands of those who should not have them! Back when the Second Amendment was written, assault weapons did not exist. It is time that more realistic thinking is given to this issue. Ban assault weapons. This might help reduce the incidence of school shootings on the one hand, and start sensible dialogue about violence in America on the other. A Luta Continua.