Controlling The People, The Weapon, The Circumstance.
I am taking a holiday but wanted to provide previous posts that addressed tragic mass shootings, most recently taking place in El Paso and Dayton. As of last Sunday, which was the 216th day of the year, there have been 251 mass shootings in the U.S. In the past I have mentioned that we should focus on security at schools and other venues. Unfortunately, last week’s shootings, as well as many others, could not have been prevented with heightened security measures. These incidents were carried out randomly by unbalanced people, in possession of deadly weapons, with motivation to kill other human beings. The toll of 251 mass shootings include five high-profile rampages in the past 20 days, in which more than 100 people were shot:
- A shooting in a historic district of Dayton, Ohio, with 9 people killed and 27 injured.
- A shooting at Walmart in El Paso, Texas, with 20 people killed and 26 wounded. It was the deadliest shooting of the year.
- A shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in the San Francisco Bay Area, with three people killed and 15 injured.
- A shooting at a Brooklyn block party, with one person killed and 11 injured.
- A shooting at a Walmart in Southaven, Mississippi, with two people killed and two injured.
Here is what I previously posted on the subject of gun control and school security:
On December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) were ratified by three-fourths of the States. The second amendment is unfortunately top of mind these days with another school shooting, this time at a high school near Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.
The Second Amendment reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”. Little did Thomas Jefferson know that when he authenticated and ratified the Bill of Rights, the second amendment would indirectly lead to many school tragedies including Sandy Hook, Columbine, Parkland, and many other shooting incidents at schools around the U.S.A. Nor did he know how people of lesser minds would use the weapons allowed by the Second Amendment.
After the tragedy at the Parkland, Florida high school, I stated that school security, not gun control, should be our #1 initiative: “I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system. What I will comment on is school security. Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place. My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place. I only wish that the Washington, D.C. protest would have been more focused on school safety than gun control.” My point is unfortunately reinforced with yesterday’s massacre at the Santa Fe High School near Houston, Texas. The weapons, a shotgun and a .38 caliber handgun, were most likely purchased legally. Gun control would have not changed the outcome of a 17 year-old who took the weapons from his house and walked into the high school he attended with the intention of killing his fellow students. The guns he used were owned by his father so it is unlikely that gun control would have prevented this sick young man’s father from purchasing the weapons. I will never understand why there is little to no security within our school systems. I don’t know if the answer is employing retired police officers or our retired veterans, but Parkland, Santa Fe, Columbine, and other school tragedies all had one common denominator: the perpetrator simply walked into a school and carried out the massacres. I no longer have a school-age child but if I did I would help lead the charge to better protect all of our children when they are in school.
Let there be no misunderstanding. I am proud of all the people worldwide, especially the children, who gathered yesterday to make their voices heard regarding gun control. I just wonder if their efforts are misguided? As I stated in my February 18th post: “I will not comment on why a 19-year old possessed a AR-15 rifle, groups of gun activists or gun control, nor our divided political system. What I will comment on is school security. Don’t get me wrong, I put no blame on the high school administrators where last week’s massacre took place.” My bewilderment relates to the ability of someone, anyone, able to enter a school with little security in place. I only wish that the protest would have been more focused on school safety than gun control. With respect to the 2nd Amendment it is time for more controls to be put in place when purchasing a gun, but what would have been the difference if the sick 19 year-old had walked into Stoneman Douglas High School with a shotgun instead of an AR-15? The importance of security and locking down our schools is still way more important than gun control.
Originally designed to allow the disabled to fire weapons with little effort, the “bump-fire stock” became a weapon of mass destruction last Sunday night. We can talk about the Constitution and gun control from now until eternity but the reality of Sunday night dictates that some higher level of regulation is needed, and needed now. While I am in full support of our right to bear arms, the ability to acquire weapons or accessories to turn firearms into automatic weapons needs to be controlled by federal and state authorities. I realize that sick human beings cannot be stopped from doing deadly damage but why give them relatively easy ways to fire automatic weapons? I don’t have the answers but some type of regulation can only help to stop these sad events from happening. It just so happened that after taking a look at other concert venues Stephen Paddock selected the annual country music festival that sets up behind the MGM Grand hotel. His motive was to kill as many people as possible, using various high-powered rifles with the “bump-fire stock” accessory allowing him to spray the crowd with continuous and automatic rapid fire. Though he selected Las Vegas, this tragedy could have happened anywhere.
The discussion, debate and argument surrounding the 2nd Amendment may not solve the problem of mass shootings. Does anyone have a suggestion or solution to this systemic problem?
Adios, pay it forward, protect your loved ones, and have a Sunday Funday.