The most recent school massacre here in Florida was an inflection point for me. Although I am opposed to more gun control laws, I am in favor of banning so-called assault rifles. However, if they were banned today, there would still be millions out there for the foreseeable future. I am also in favor of better identification and treatment of the mentally ill. However, improvements in this regards would take years. So for a moment let's get real and perhaps all agree upon something that would really stop the carnage now. The solution is obvious and not complicated.
I suggest that all public schools, in all states, immediately install security checkpoints at every door to their facility. This would include metal detectors and armed guards. Not enough people around to do this you say? I am willing to bet a lot of retired veterans of the police force and armed services would be more than willing to volunteer. The bigger question is how and who gets this done. I would like to think a Presidential Executive Order could be issued or an act of Congress. However it is my understanding, and I could be wrong, that this task would fall onto the shoulders of local school boards. Hell with a budget of $68,000,000,000, the Department of Education could underwrite this. Block grants from the federal government could be given for this purpose. Forget the wall on our southern border. I think our parents and children are more worried now about being murdered during class by a local lunatic than someone entering the country illegally via Mexico.
At the risk of entering the gun rights and gun control debate, it is obvious that shooters do pick gun free zones. I think that teachers who want to carry handguns should be allowed to do so as long as it can be assured they have been trained in their use and the weapons are locked up during class times. I do not feel teachers should be forced to be armed as many have suggested. Any deterrent to a potential shooter would be effective, and nothing says this better than locked doors, metal detectors, and armed guards. But the shooter could just shoot them outside you say? Maybe. But students would not be contained by walls and the ability to kill so many so quickly would therefore be mitigated. And a armed guard would be standing just a few feet and seconds away to help.
I think that banning assault rifles might help in the long run as would better screening and care of the mentally ill. I think as a society we have to come to grips with trading off some of our freedoms for security. I think that there is no more important or pressing imperative right now than protecting the lives of our innocent children.