No doubt, I'll take a beating over this letter, but so be it.
Another horrible school shooting — more dead children — another round of political viewpoints obliterating the "how" and "why" it happened. Like the mob in the original "Frankenstein" movie back in the 1930s, the anti-gun crowd with their torches, "Death to the NRA" and "Ban All Guns" signs are on the march. And, yet, none of this really addresses how this happened.
It's been almost 20 years since the Columbine massacre. What has changed?
I work on backup electrical power systems. I work at some schools. Very few have any kind of security that would prevent someone from just walking in and going wherever they wanted. After 20 years, we still protect our children with a sign that reads "Guns Prohibited On These Premises." Doesn't that bother anyone?
We make kids wear helmets, knee and elbow pads while riding bicycles. God forbid, they skin their knee (a rite of passage, when I grew up). In cars, we put them into child restraint seats until they are 8 years old. They must wear life jackets while boating. But, they go to school, and are protected by a plastic sign.
I'm not talking about making schools into a daytime prison. But, how about some security. Take some notes from some of the area hospitals. They've beefed up security substantially since 9/11.
If some voluntary teachers are interested, and willing to take some training courses, let them arm themselves. Nobody knows what they will do at the moment of truth, but it is better than nothing. Maybe look at fencing around the campuses with security guard access through a main entrance. To say that banning the AR-15 will solve the issue is ignorant. We also need to look at the "why."
Before I continue, let me just say in no way do I condone or excuse what this kid did! To say he fell through the cracks is akin to calling the Grand Canyon a ditch. The warning signs could fill a book. Social media posts. We're now allowed to yell "fire" in a crowded public venue when there is no fire, but posting that he wanted to be a school shooter wasn't of much interest to the FBI. Should I believe the FBI can determine, almost immediately, that political computers were hacked by Russians, but can't find a teenage boy, posting on YouTube, that he wanted to become a "school shooter?" He was visited by law enforcement more than a dozen times. He reportedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend. Why wasn't he charged? If he had, his AR-15 purchase would have been denied — provided law enforcement entered the data into the system.
There are demands that we need to keep guns from the mentally ill. I agree. But, there again, he was reportedly taken by social workers to be mentally evaluated. They "couldn't quite determine" if he had mental issues. No determination, nothing on the record, passes the background check.
Maybe law enforcement tried giving him a break. Being a teenager is tough enough. Add to the fact that both his parents were dead. Bullied in school. The best break he could have gotten is that arrest for assault, or further mental evaluation.
Until we all sit down and honestly evaluate the "how" and "why" of what is going on, we'll end up right back here. Columbine occurred right in the middle of the assault weapon ban.
How about a ban on political rhetoric. Let's solve this.