EDITOR: According to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, in 1995 there were 223,000,000 guns in civilian hands. There are considerably more now.
According to Dr. James Alan Fox (Lipman Prof. of Criminology Law and Public Policy of Northeastern University in Boston and co-author of Extreme Killing Understanding Serial and Mass Murder), the number of mass murders has been consistent since the 1970s until the present at about two dozen a year.
He further indicated that gun control laws do nothing to reduce the number of murders, but do have a very small impact on overall crime. This would appear to be confirmed by the FBI statistics in that California and New York have some of the most stringent gun control laws and are fourth and 25th in gun violence per capita. Dr. Fox described mass killers as “determined, deliberate and dead set on murder.” Reportedly no laws will stop them from carrying out their violence. While Dr. Fox reportedly does not take a stand on gun control but indicated that those advocating for gun control and those against it are equally wrong in their assumptions.
The National Rifle Association reportedly stated that there have been no armed officers present at any of the school shootings. This is incorrect because there was one officer present at Columbine. Depending on what report you read, either the officer was told not to shoot or the ammunition the officer used was ineffective against the shooter’s body armor. Others have suggested that arming school personnel will deter these murderers from attacking our children. Law enforcement officers go through several weeks of training to become armed and go through several hours of updated training every year to maintain their arming status. It is highly unlikely that arming a minimally trained school administrator will be effective.
Several political figures have used the recent shooting to promote their long-held feelings about gun control. A senator from California and New York’s mayor did not even let the families of the victims bury their children before they were flooding the public with their political diatribe. You have to wonder if they are really concerned about protecting our children or more interested in their own political
If we believe the experts in these areas, it does not appear passing more ineffective gun control laws will make our children safer. It is apparent that there is not a “quick fix” to solve this problem. We should not be lured into a false sense of security that we will be safer by passing more gun control legislation. There are simply no facts to support this.
At this point, no one seems to have an answer. So far our legislators (with their 4 percent approval rating) have not consulted law enforcement, mental health and school professionals to get their input. Until there is an answer it would appear appropriate to put trained, armed security staff (private security or law enforcement) at our schools until a real solution is found.