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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Mike Reno: Why Sandy Hook?

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  • The Sandy Hook tragedy and the ongoing argument about the possible causes once again demonstrates that we seem unwilling to do what is necessary. That necessity, is to be willing to do what would actually reduce the chance of another similar tragedy. Let us look into the past for a moment to see the costly policy blunders we have made, and to seek answers that are practical, and possible to implement as our new solutions.
     
    Colorado Springs: Two gun-toting students walked the halls of Aurora High School with ease. They toyed with the students for twelve long minutes. They wore an evil grin upon their faces as they looked each victim in the eyes and pulled the trigger.
     
    The police? Upon their arrival after ten minutes; eternity to the children inside, the responders would still not enter the building for another twenty minutes. Many children who were alive but dying, were left to die alone.
     
    Virginia Tech. This killer had enough time to send messages to the press that he was actively murdering students before he calmly returned to his lengthy, ruthless massacre. He also toyed with the students, having his leisure to walk in and out of classrooms many times as he killed the thirty more.
     
    The only way to prevent these torturous, slowly enacted massacres from happening again is evident. It is to have a voluntarily armed and trained team of selected teachers and administrators inside the building. These men and women would be able to react immediately by having some situational awareness. It will not stop all possibility of killing, but it will indeed stop it short of becoming an extended massacre.
     
    No one should be required to be on a team like this, but a few faculty members in each school would be glad to serve for the others' security. Veterans who have now become teachers is a resource example. There are others who would serve as willingly. However, schools currently do not allow this more effective form of security for our children. Why?
     
    Instead we have built electronic and mechanical security systems that have always failed. We have passed gun control laws that were always ignored. We practiced intruder-scenarios that offered nothing more than superstitious security, and we have put our faith in our ignorance towards reality. We have done this at our children's expense.
     
    The police, who will always arrive too late, are still not going to enter a building until adequate information is available. Locking the school doors has, evidentially, not worked so far. Hiding in the classrooms has only made any room chosen by the killer to be one filled with sitting victims. The only thing a killer cannot ignore is prepared armed resistance.
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    When will we finally overcome our political hard-headedness and make the rational decisions necessary to protect our children with programs that provide a real difference? After the first tragedy in Aurora, we did little that was truly effective in increasing security for our children. Virginia Tech had implemented every new program suggested from that first tragedy, except the one that might have worked. Did we learn from that second lesson that passing more laws to keep guns out of schools is a fully failed experiment? Sandy Hook is our third, repeated answer. It is no, we haven't -- as yet.
     

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