After reading Bobby Burch’s news story, “Legislator: Gun control a ‘complex’ issue,” in the Dec. 22-23 Herald, I’d like to ask a couple of questions and make my own statement.
First, if you arm our teachers, are they really ready to take on the responsibility and liability of using such weapons against one of their own students? I think in most case the answer probably is no.
Yes, there is a problem with our mental health system, but just what can our government really do in this respect?
Here are my thoughts about what can be done to help protect our schools: I think one of the real answers is providing an armed law enforcement officer or officers and marked police cars in and around our schools. I think, if nothing else, this would be a huge deterrent to individuals coming into the school to kill students, teachers and others. A certified law enforcement officer has numerous weeks of initial training, plus he or she must have ongoing training throughout his or her career (which, of course, includes shooting range training, training on when to shoot and when not to shoot, and “in-school active shooter” training). The “marked” police car out in front of a school also is an important deterrent.
Of course, there always will be those who say that if a person is mentally challenged, none of this will make a difference. Maybe that’s true, but that’s why a trained officer is so important in such a situation. School resource officers are trained to go directly to the threat and eliminate that threat — no delays; they respond and eliminate. SROs are trained in how to function in a crowded area when it comes to using a weapon.
I hope our government looks into providing funding for SROs in all our schools.
Would an SRO have prevented the Dec. 14 shooting in Newtown, Conn.? Maybe. If not, maybe there would have been less loss of life, if nothing else.
— Fred E. Schnoke, Wellsville