I was deeply saddened to hear the news out of Florida yesterday and my thoughts and prayers are with the entire community of Parkland. As with any horrific tragedy, it’s only human to try to examine the situation leading up to the event in an effort to prevent future atrocities.
Regardless of your position, your presence in your children’s lives is far more important than the presents your absence could afford them. Being involved in your children’s lives, remaining engaged in their interests, surveilling their internet searches and social media posts, providing the structure and love they crave and need are all paramount in curbing and/or identifying potential personality issues.
Our children are our greatest treasure – both personally and nationally – so why not protect them as such? We know the term “safer than Fort Knox”, but while surveillance equipment and armed guards watch over America’s gold stores in the fortified vault building on the military site in Kentucky, why isn’t the same attention being allocated to the scores of American children in schools?
I understand that not everyone is comfortable going full Magnum P.I. on their kids or able to physically be with their children every day and night, but as a mother, I can’t comprehend the mentality of anyone who balks at the suggestion to either allow faculty to carry or require armed security in public schools. It’s a government building. To be more specific, it is a government building that houses American children. Why shouldn’t it be protected like any other government building like a courthouse? Lockdowns and active shooter drills can only do so much, but metal detectors at the door with armed security manning them would deter individuals who would otherwise, and rightfully so, believe they are entering a building where their carnage can be carried out without resistance.
Another issue that arises following these tragedies is the gross negligence and, at times, calculated propaganda the media adds to the discussion. In an article titled “We’re Averaging One School Shooting Every 60 Hours In 2018”, the Huffington Post blithely uses instances of a drive-by shooting, an attempted robbery, a police officer’s handgun being discharged by a third grader and a suicide to push their narrative. These are not “school shootings” and I’d wager HuffPo knows it, too. It is not only grossly irresponsible to report them as such, but it’s also inflammatory and deceitful.
Additionally, lashing out at any organization or unaffiliated individuals other than the perpetrator themselves is callous and ignorant. Although driving is a privilege and not a Constitutional right, we don’t blame every car owner or auto manufacturer, auto industry lobbyists, the DOT, UAW or MADD when people are killed in drunk driving accidents on the millions of miles of roads and highways across this great nation.
There are several organizations both within and outside the firearms industry that are working very hard to do everything they can to ensure our children’s safety. Take, for example, the organization FASTER Saves Lives. Started in Ohio, they are making a huge difference in schools across America with just a few small steps.
FASTER stands for Faculty / Administrator Safety Training & Emergency Response.
Created by concerned parents, law enforcement, and nationally-recognized safety and medical experts, FASTER is a groundbreaking, nonprofit program that gives educators practical violence response training.
Funded by donations, classes are provided at NO COST to your school district!
The program offers a carefully-structured curriculum offering over 26 hours of hands-on training over a 3-day class that exceeds the requirements of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.
The purpose is not to replace police and EMT, but to allow teachers, administrators, and other personnel on-site to stop school violence rapidly and render medical aid immediately.
Supporting the efforts of organizations like FASTER, reaching out to fellow parents and citizens to begin a respectful dialogue, exploring common sense solutions to thwart future attacks, committing to being more involved in our children’s lives and community’s youth programs will all help tremendously, but we cannot and will not make any large strides to ensure our children’s safety until we meet on middle ground to work toward eliminating these threats for good.
Regardless of the tragedy, we have a responsibility as parents and citizens of a free country to take a step back from our emotions in order to come together in an effort to create a sensible solution that both protects our children as well as our individual rights to guarantee evil such as this never appears in headlines again.
I’m committed to doing my part. Are you?