There is no easy answer to school safety


The anti-gun crowd cannot absorb the absolute truth that deranged people and plain old criminals don’t pay any attention to the laws. Instead, they believe that passing another law will somehow stop deranged people from getting a gun, or multiple guns, to kill or injure innocent civilians.  They see gun limitation and/or confiscation as the primary means of controlling violence in a society.  Unfortunately, this simplistic view will lead only to more carnage. 

The same anti-gun crowd would have you believe that making the purchase age of semi-automatic firearms 21 instead of 18 will modify behavior.  Does anyone really think that if Florida shooter Nikolas Cruz had two more years to build his resentment, the result would have been any different?  Does anyone really think that if the age limit was 21 to legally purchase a firearm (semi-automatic or otherwise) that he wouldn’t come up with an illegal way to obtain a gun and commit his unspeakable mayhem? 

There are other, more effective ways to deal with deadly psychotic behavior; they involve some inconvenient truths.  For instance, society must bear responsibility for the unintentional consequences of its policies and attitudes towards its youth.  For far too long, we as a society have been trying to protect our children from life’s vicissitudes.  The primary means of this protection has been to either try to remove all dangers from their path or to push the maturation of our children well past the age of reason, or both.  The results of these attempts are ageless children who are not allowed to mature gradually during their teen years, but are then expected to miraculously understand the complexities of adulthood (the real world) at an arbitrary age.  

While there is no perfect solution to guarantee that psychotic behavior will be eliminated, this does not mean that policies cannot be enacted to reduce this behavior. 

The easy, but ineffective way, for the authorities and society to deal with aberrations is to establish zero tolerance rules and declare victory. This is simple and allows authorities to quickly dispatch “justice” with a minimum of effort.  Sadly, society gains no ground against the aberrations it is trying to deal with, and this method does significant damage to individual rights.

The more difficult, but more effective approach is to stay within the limits of the Constitution and look at the underlying causes within the cultures that have been fundamentally transforming our society.

The Feds should take care of external matters and protect America and the American people from foreign threats and interference with our unalienable rights to life, liberty and property. 

The States should adopt policies and laws that allow localities maximum authority and responsibility for the protection, maturation and liberty of their children.

The localities, where the parent’s voice is strongest, must deal with the decisions that affect their children’s education, culture, development, values and safety. 

In the case of school violence, the parents, as primary providers of guidance, development, education, and example, need to work with educators and community officials to answer questions of how best to protect children and school personnel.  Authority and responsibility for these crucial decisions can only be determined at a local level because it is the parents, educators, and community officials that will live with the consequences, intended or unintended of their decisions.

About John MacGregor

John "Jock" MacGregor is a student of history and politics, a pursuit he has enjoyed for most of his 77 years. Jock attended Villanova University’s School of Education; served in the U.S. Marine Corps; and is an entrepreneur with enterprises in restaurants, construction and boatbuilding. Mr. MacGregor was managing editor of an online news site in Hot Springs Arkansas. Currently, Jock is a member of SAD 61 Board of Education and candidate for the newly liberated Sebago Board of Education. Jock believes in a constitutionally limited government instituted by the people to protect their right to life, liberty and property.

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