How to Keep Students Safe

With the tragic shooting at the school in Parkland, Florida the talk of the day, and month, surrounds school safety and how to protect our children. Many of a left-of-center persuasion jump straight to calls for gun control. They want to place all the blame for horrific events like this on guns. But doing so fails to comprehend that gun control laws only keep guns out of the hands of good people who, if armed, could stop bad people with guns. The solution to violence is not that simple. Heritage Foundation President Kay Cole James said, “The knee-jerk answer by many liberals is ‘ban guns.’ But I think the questions we face are just too complex to be resolved by two little words.” We couldn’t agree more.

Did you know that 90% of al shootings happen inl mass “gun-free zones”? With that in mind, Liberty for All-supported Congressman Rep. Thomas Massie of Kentucky has an actual solution to the problem. His proposed legislation, HR 34 entitled the “Safe Students Act,” would repeal the 1990 “Gun Free School Zones Act.” Three out of the four deadliest school shootings in U.S. history have happened since gun-free school zones were implemented. Clearly just banning guns from public school property is not a working solution.

The problems that we face go back to a basic truth about freedom. Benjamin Franklin said, “Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” History has proven this is true. The right to have guns to protect oneself and loved ones is protected by the Second Amendment of our U.S. Constitution. Communities gave up their constitutionally protected freedom of self-defense, on public school property, in hopes of keeping their children safe. Clearly their actions have not had the desired consequences.

Communities and school officials must step up, and once again do their part, in order to bring safety back to public schools. They have to stop depending solely on government and the police (who are, unfortunately, not able to be in all places at all times) to stop these tragic acts of terror and begin to provide proactive protection for the students in their care. A good place to start would be ending gun-free zones, at least for licensed carriers, as well as allowing teachers who would like to carry to do so. School shootings start without warning and generally are over, within just a few minutes. It can take precious minutes more for law enforcement to respond to calls and arrive on the scene, sometimes after the shooter has already finished and left. And that’s assuming that they actually engage the active shooter—which was not immediately the case, in the inexplicable and utterly inexcusable case of Parkland. Another solution schools should focus on is to train and equip more armed guards to stop active shooters much faster.

The bottom line that needs to be remembered in any discussion surrounding school safety or gun laws is to always ask: Would a proposed legislative change actually have made a difference in stopping the mass shootings of the past? If not, then why should it be enacted? We must ask this questions especially when it takes away likely constitutionally protected freedoms of Americans.