Protecting against gun violence

School shootings cause multiple deaths each year. Lock-downs and drills are ineffective. Children have demonstrated that they can access the guns carried by improperly trained staff. One student commented that in trying to protect students, the school system seems to be treating them as little criminals.

A mother found her daughter standing on a toilet seat. When asked why, the child responded that she was practicing hiding from shooters. The child realized she was in danger at school and that the school was not protecting her. What kind of society are we building when children live with such anxiety and distrust?

The public is unwilling to enact reasonable Second Amendment limitations. Governments have been expanding who can carry guns and where guns can be carried. Thus positive steps must be taken to protect children. The State should budget funds to outfit all students and school employees with body armor and helmets. The students would feel secure knowing that they had positive protection.

In addition a new major industry would create jobs. Already manufacturers recognize the need and are creating bullet proof backpacks and hoodies to protect students. Other merchandise will follow.

There is another proactive route. Just as the huge numbers of motor vehicles have required vehicle licensing, safety standards, and driver licensing, we can recognize that the multitude of armaments available today must be regulated for public safety. These provisions could include:

Requiring universal back-ground checks including a pre-approval program.

Banning military-grade assault weapons and initiating buy-backs.

Limiting the size of ammunition magazines and outlawing dum-dums.

Requiring that all newly manufactured guns be smart guns which restrict who can use them.

Requiring a skill test and gun safety course for all hunting and concealed carry licenses. Even the18th century militias required training.

Requiring medical personnel to notify authorities if they consider a person unfit to carry a gun as they do with drivers.

Allowing businesses and private property owners and lessees to forbid guns on their properties. Most medical buildings and government buildings, including legislatures and courts prohibit guns–everyone should have that right.

We have choices. We can protect our children by reducing the number of guns in incompetent hands or we can provide our children with protective armor in an increasingly hostile world. If we won’t do the first, must we keep students safe in turtle-shell backpacks?

Judith Peascoe