Yesterday’s early afternoon shooting at a community college in Texas marks the most recent in a series of its kind on a campus.
A nation still coping with the death of twenty-six innocent victims at an elementary school in Newtown, CT is forced to revisit the issue of gun violence. An important question that looms in the near distance is ‘how do schools protect students from the threat of violent attacks on campus’?
Addressing the issue of ‘why’ when it comes to the assailants doing what they do might be one that public officials can never accurately tackle. However, what must be examined is proper protocol that guarantees students and staff are safe when they are at school.
Campus safety must become a national priority. President Barack Obama’s recent updates to gun laws are a step in the right direction. However, such legislation will not prevent attackers from purchasing guns illegally. There’s also the issue that in some of the most recent cases, the weapons used were obtained by legal means. Hence, gun laws might not be the issue so much as how to protect and defend people from violence in public settings.
Administrators can take precautions at the local level. Proactivity is the name of the game; we cannot afford to wait until something bad happens to take action. Stepping up security measures in schools and other public places is key. As mass shootings and incidents of violence in public places increase, we are faced with the concern that we might only be dodging bullets because no one has yet decided to pull the trigger. It can no longer be so easy for attackers to take other people’s live into their own hands.
Our First Amendment ‘right to life’ is no matter to be taken lightly. It is time that our public officials act to preserve what has been granted to us as citizens. Time will reveal whether or not strengthening gun laws makes a difference. When a person reaches the point of wanting to kill, they will take all necessary measures to do so, whether legal or illegal. It’s time that public places across the country be protected and ready to respond when that happens.
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