Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

December 27, 2012

Gun-carrying guards not the answer to making schools safe

Let me begin by saying I am not against owning a gun. My father was an avid hunter and he used and stored his rifles in a safe, locked place.

But I do have several issues with the kinds of guns and ease in which people are able to obtain them today. The background check really must include any issue with one’s mental health.

The Second Amendment was written 250 years ago and stated that “a well-regulated Militia, was necessary to the security of the free state.”

Times have changed and so have the kinds of weapons being produced and sold. In 1791, the gun was the musket, not a rapid firing, military grade weapon. I am not sure many hunters use those for hunting.

I also know that in 2008 and 2010 the Supreme Court changed the definition to include a gun in the home to protect one’s self and property. I am not really sure if a gun in your home, unless you are carrying it on your belt, will guarantee your protection. After all, most people keep them locked up or hidden somewhere in their house.

The response by the NRA, which stands for National Rifle Association, not National Rifle, Handgun, and Rapid Firing Gun Association, was callous, careless, and unrealistic, to say the least. I am a teacher and I will tell you that one armed guard at every school would not stop an intruder.

After all, there was one or two at Columbine, in Colorado, and there were still 15 deaths. School campuses and sporting venues are very large and impossible for one individual to oversee.

We were able to put a TSA (transportation Safety Administration) law in place that makes you take off your shoes before boarding an airplane, based on one foiled attempt to carry a bomb on to a plane.

But we cannot put in to law a ban on assault grade weapons which were used in many recent mass shootings at a theatre, a mall, several schools, and countless street corners.

If the law allows for a person to keep a hand gun in their “home,” then laws need to be very strict when they are taken and used outside the home.

We need to ban assault weapons and include very strict mental health checks on anyone who wishes to buy a gun.

Gun shows need to be addressed. They do not always use the required checks. There will always be crazy people and acts of violence, but it is time to take a sensible approach to this very disturbing problem.

The power of the NRA and its lobbying strength needs to take a more responsible stand. Guns at schools are not the answer and they should be ashamed of themselves for suggesting such a ridiculous idea.

Ray Short

36-year veteran teacher

LaVale

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