Protect children from shootings

Published 12:00 pm Wednesday, January 6, 2016

By Preston Ray Garrett

President Obama has now made it clear his intention to take unilateral action to press forward the liberal democrats’ anti-gun agenda. 

However, his proposed actions are little more than grandstanding, playing to the base of the Democratic Party in an election year. Despite having repeatedly asserted that we must do something to protect our citizens, he and his fellow democrats continue to offer nothing of real substance in regard to the problem of mass shootings.

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The most horrific mass shootings are those which take place in schools.  Still in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary the democrats continue to only attack the constitutional right of law-abiding Americans to protect themselves and their families.

All Americans should now demand that our politicians address this issue in a realist manner.  The undeniable truth is that from 1950 through 2012 — a span of 62 years — all but one mass shooting in the United States occurred in a gun-free zone. While I do not have statistical data for the last three years, I am unaware of any mass shooting since 2012 that did not take place in a gun-free zone.

Faced with a continued lack of any real effort on the part of the president to protect our school children, our state and local leaders should immediately take measures to protect the children of our state. Given that mass shooters, terrorist or otherwise, avoid places where they are likely to encounter armed resistance, our state and local leaders should work together to place no less than two, but preferably at least three, armed law enforcement officers in each of our schools and require all school administrators to complete basic firearms training.

The securing of our schools would only be the immediate benefit of such action. The presence of officers in numbers sufficient to actually deter potential mass murders would result in several other positive changes. Their presence in each school would allow school children to interact with officers daily, thereby fostering a positive relationship between at-risk children and law enforcement.

A significant law enforcement presence in all schools would have further positive impacts. The officers could engage in effective efforts to make schools drug-free zones, which would do far more to create an environment conducive to learning than any actions relating to gun control. The officers would be able to combat bullying and gangs in our schools, again contributing to the creation of a positive learning environment.

Frankly, there is not a valid reason for opposing this suggestion and all citizens should call on their elected officials both state and local to immediately implement this common-sense approach to protecting our school children.

Preston Ray Garrett is an Oxford attorney. 
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