by James J. Devine
Placing armed police officers in public schools would be a costly mistake in lieu of intelligence, sound judgment, and wisdom.
I have kids in school, so I am not immune to the notion that protecting them is paramount but common sense demands reasonable action instead of knee-jerk stupidity.
Without an inordinate budget and tax hike to expand current manpower levels, increasing police presence at schools would mean reducing patrols at more likely crime locations.
A more responsible way to prevent school shootings would involve decreasing youth exposure to gun violence on television, in movies, and video games; or increasing government spending on mental health screening and treatment.
Disarming criminals and crazy people would also have a better impact than pretending to be safe.
A well regulated militia should have background checks, firearms training, liability insurance plus explosive and ammunition tracers to make killers easy to detect.
Firearms manufacturers have invested heavily to influence policies that make society more dangerous and they should be required to accept liability for their products just like car and drug makers.
The most effective ways to prevent mass shootings at schools — like those that occurred in Newtown, Connecticut and Columbine, Colorado — would be to keep guns out of the hands of deranged people, to promote both mental health in ways that minimize the number of potential killers, and expand the adherence to simple American values that seem to have gotten lost.
Americans could resolve these problems as well as the associated maladies of hyper-partisanship and institutionalized political corruption if we would only remember to love one another. We are all in this together and, together, Americans can do anything we set our minds to getting done.
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