PHOTO: Getty Images
Thoughts and prayers. In some circles that is a repulsive phrase synonymous with doing nothing and putting up roadblocks to actual action to correct a perceived wrong. To others is a sincere sentiment that doesn’t exclude doing something that might have a positive impact that may help right a wrong. In fact, a prayer might be the opening salvo in doing just that. For the purposes of this blog, thoughts and prayers should be taken at face value. It will be a series of thoughts on current news and issues facing us. I’m not going to try and back it up with irrefutable facts because we can’t even agree on what those are these days. I’m simply going to call it like I see it. I may get it wrong at times, and at those times, I will admit it. Prayers will be the action steps that I think might make a difference… and yes, that include actual prayer. Who am I to call out these issues and propose a solution? I’m just a guy with a blog.
So, today let’s talk about gun violence and school safety. Although they intersect at times, my question is simply this – what does restricting my right to own a firearm have to do with keeping schools safer? It seems to me that there is a giant chasm between those two things. My guns are locked up in a safe with trigger locks, etc. just in case someone where to get into them. Last I checked those guns are inanimate objects unable to free themselves from their individual locks and the safe. Okay, so knowing that, how do those guns create a danger to anyone? When I actually take them out and use them at the range, I follow every guideline imaginable. Yes, there is still danger involved, but that goes with almost every daily activity. Driving to work is statistically more dangerous. If you follow my simple logic, then let’s move on to somethings that can actually tackle the school safety issue.
PHOTO: Getty Images
First, we have to increase security at schools. More armed guards. I’m not sure how I feel about arming teachers. I see some positives, but I also see where it could be more of a distraction and potential danger. That’s a lot of responsibility to put on a teacher. Sure, there are a few that could handle it, but by and large, I think we would be chasing unicorns by making that policy. The answer may be in hiring former military or retired police. Everybody should go through an extensive background and psychological check if they are going to be tasked with protecting children. Secondly, we should do what we can structurally in schools to make access tougher and, in the case of entry, lockdown specific areas. Those two things will go a long way in creating a much safer environment. To those who say that they don’t want schools to become prisons, you are wrong. My prayer is that your synapses start firing correctly.
Finally, there are absolutely steps we can take to tighten access to guns. We need to make sure that those who can’t handle the responsibility don’t try to undertake it. That includes beefing up the background check system and making sure that all data is entered properly, and systems talk to each other. I’m not against a waiting period as long as that waiting period is for a comprehensive background check. A waiting period for the sake of waiting does nothing… and that waiting period should be steadily reduced as background check systems become smarter and faster. We also need to include mental health in the background check. That’s tricky due to privacy laws. Maybe the solution is the temporary restraining order that family can initiate in court. Additionally, mental health professionals can recommend restriction in a patient’s chart without revealing what the patient is being treated for… Just an idea. The last thing we should do is eliminate straw man buying of firearms. If I want to sell my gun to a friend or family member, I should be required to make the transfer at a licensed dealer. That dealer can be the third party in the agreement and run the background check on the buyer… plus make a couple bucks in the process.
Yes, there is more we can do, and some of these ideas may have unforeseen consequences, but it is a starting point. We can protect schools and protect 2A rights at the same time. It is NOT an either/or proposition. Ideologues won’t see it that way. The left wants to use kids as human shields in the debate. (yes, I stole that line, but it seems apropos)To that I have one final prayer; that those people would be cured from a disease known as Rectal Cranial Inversion.
Please feel free to send feedback: ThoughtsandPrayers@iheartmedia.com