Today I sit here watching the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting and at this point we’re not sure how many are dead.  Somewhere between 26-30 individuals with as many as 22 children.  Our President just spoke and the talking head on the news shows are reporting, and there’s this awful feeling that we’re all looking around asking ourselves when will it be soon enough to discuss the obvious politics of gun control, gun ownership, and gun carry laws.  Each side wanting the jump on the other.  It’s disgusting.

 

Today I sit here watching the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting and at this point we’re not sure how many are dead.  Somewhere between 26-30 individuals with as many as 22 children.  Our President just spoke and the talking head on the news shows are reporting, and there’s this awful feeling that we’re all looking around asking ourselves when will it be soon enough to discuss the obvious politics of gun control, gun ownership, and gun carry laws.  Each side wanting the jump on the other.  It’s disgusting.

 

EVERYONE wishes this hadn’t happened and I’m sure most parents would have done anything to stop this from happening.  Would you give up your life?  Your guns?  Your politics?  A month from now when this becomes old news what will you still be willing to give up to ensure this will never happen again?  As President Obama said and I agree, this has become all too frequent, it seems like every month we have some sort of mass shooting.

Sit back, and let someone who is retired military with four years as a police office in a big California city, a lifetime gun owner, and ‘gasp’ even an NRA member tell you some things that really will work.  You’re going to be angry, surprised, you might throw things against the wall.  But if you’re honest with yourself you’ll see I’m at least mostly right.

Gun control:  Yes, we need more “control” over guns.  Really, “control” is both a precautionary and reactionary vehicle.  Let me put this up front.  The type of weapon matters very little.  As a professional shooter I can promise you the rate of fire from the so called “assault weapons” and the approved “hunting weapons” is just about nil.  Really.  Where we need more gun ‘control’ is in the access to guns, the storage of guns, and the use and carry of guns.  Allow me to expand on this:

We need strict laws that require guns be stored in an approved theft proof safe.  Of course no safe is impervious to cutting torches and heavy equipment, so let’s be reasonable.  We’re not trying to keep construction crews away from guns, but we are trying to keep unauthorized family members, guests, casual thieves and others not authorized.  These safe’s are reasonably priced, many cost less than the gun itself.  Some states already have laws that hold the gun owner criminally and civilly liable for guns stolen which weren’t stored in a safe.  We need these laws to be nation wide.  There will always be guns available, but far too many like todays are taken from family homes without permission.

We need more gun ‘control’ in who’s allowed to purchase and own guns.  We’ve already got state and nation wide systems in place with waiting periods and these work as well as the information we give them allows.  But far too often we’re not giving mental reports, medication reports, and other physical and mental factors would could make someone dangerous.  If someone is involved with domestic violence, taking medications where a known side effect psychosis, suicide, or hallucinating, or other severe loss of control.. then they should be restricted from purchasing and owning guns until such time they receive medical clearance.  There are many politics tied to this single point, but it is by far the most important preventative measure we have available.  I promise you, in the weeks and months to come we’ll learn todays shooter had such issues and they weren’t reported.  This has been the case in most every mass shooting we’ve endured together as a country.

Next, we need more gun ‘control’ with who’s allowed to carry and use guns in public places.  In almost all states where CCW (concealed carry weapon) laws have been enacted violent crime rates have dropped.  It’s a fact and we should take advantage of it.  But we need more.

Is it any accident that every “school” shooting, “mall” shooting, “temple/church shooting” has taken place where holders of CCW permit holders are restricted from carrying weapons?  No, it’s no accident.  People who commit these shootings are one thing much stronger than being mentally disturbed.  They’re cowards.  They will look for the most easy sure place to make sure their violence is accomplished.

As long as schools are exempted for CCW holders then these mentally disturbed individuals will be drawn to them.  But let’s take a more unconventional look at this:   Once our ‘control’ of the physical storage of guns has failed, once our ‘control’ with who we allow to purchase and own guns has failed, and once we give these disturbed individuals a safe haven where they can be assured citizens won’t be carrying their own weapons and police response is a known 5-15 minutes away (enough time to kill hundreds if they’re organized), then what can stop these damaged people from killing our kids as they sit in their school seats?

The teachers.  No, I don’t expect teachers to throw their lives away.  And I especially don’t want untrained teachers having guns around my kids no more than I want the guy sitting next to me on my international flight to have a gun.  But guess what?  The guy sitting next to me on the plane just might be a highly trained and armed air marshal.  We’ve recognized the need for these air marshals and we’ve put them in place.  Why not make voluntary training of our most qualified teachers available free of charge and even pay them extra for keeping their qualifications current and carrying weapons concealed while on duty?  We already pay them more for knowing a second or third language.  Why not pay them extra for going through the training and being prepared to protect our children in what should be their safe havens of education?

Radical right?  But I challenge you to tell me any other line of defense our children have once the school has been breeched by someone who has gotten through all our other checks and safeguards.  I have a son and a cousin who work as public school teachers and it scares me to think they step into that classroom full of chalkboards, pictures, learning aids, assignments pinned to the walls, and all those young innocent children with virtually zero protection from such people as Adam Lanza aged 20, who made sure to kill his father before walking into his mothers classroom and killing her and all her students.

Even if Teacher Lanza had chosen to not be armed herself, the teacher in the next classroom might have.  And he might be seconds away and not the 5-15 minutes police response takes.  Not to mention even then they’re not on the scene immediately, they collect information as they wait outside and this usually takes hours.  By then the damage is always done.  The kids are dead.  But the armed teacher rushing from a classroom or two away might have saved 75%, or 50%, or even ONE student.. and that would make us better off than we are now.  Or just think, the coward shooter who now knows teachers might be armed, will go somewhere else to do their evil.

Does anyone really think traditional gun control will work?  It’s never worked.  These shootings have always happened.  But more guns in the right highly trained hands has worked.  It shows in the statistics of most every CCW state.  Let’s make sure our guns are stored properly and their owners held responsible, and let’s make sure those who aren’t mentally fit don’t have access to guns even if it 'gasp’ infringes on their precious privacy, but for sure let’s train and arm qualified teachers just like we do air marshals and then pay them extra for keeping their qualifications current and being the last line of defense for our children.  That’s a tax increase I’d vote for!

Until next time..