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Letter to the Editor: School Shooting

December 28, 2012

Every time there is a school shooting or a shooting in a mall there is a lot of activity on the social media sites and the news about what to do about all of this "gun violence". As a former Marine who spent many years participating in and training in physical security of DOD assets and anti-terrorism, I can assure you that this is a multifaceted issue one of which are NOT new gun laws.

One of the solutions has been a call for arming of school staff which sounds like a great idea on the surface but we need to remember that a teacher’s job is to teach. Even in Israel where they face daily terrorism threats, the teachers are NOT armed regardless of what you read on the Internet.

Their and many schools in the US's solution is to establish positive entry control to our school buildings/grounds and provide trained/armed security. A 4 ft fence and signs directing visitors to the office do NOTHING to protect our kids. Imagine a hollow core door and a sign to only take what money is yours on the vault at FirstBank. "Only take what is yours!" Never happen right?

While the arming of some trained and qualified teachers is a good final line of defense, the first line of PREVENTION needs to be a perimeter fence and controlled entry points with armed security/metal detectors that will keep violent people OUT, not just kids in. While the initial impulse might be to pull back and say that will make our school look like a concentration camp let me say this... We WANT them to look tough!

Psychopaths/criminals will pass up hard targets and go onto soft ones. This is a basic tenant of anti-terrorism. We can mitigate the image so that our kids don’t think they are going to prison in the morning but the idea is to keep the wolves out and the sheep safe. We need shepherds like King David not little Bo-peep guarding the flock. We already have a K9 deputy at sporting events and I think its time that we vote for money to seriously beef up security at our schools.

We would hope that it would never happen here but Sandy Hook was a lot like our school. It is PAST time to take this serious. Increased security would not only reduce the likelihood of a violent incident but would cut down on drug traffic and other safety issues. Yes it will cost money but what’s more important than our school staff and children’s safety? Are new football uniforms, new band instruments, more Promethian/smart boards more important? I hope not,. If they are then we need some serious soul searching and get our priorities right. If it’s done correctly we can significantly increase the security/safety of our school without turning it into a "camp".

Kent G. of Antlers

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