Rush to fix

The Covington News - - OPINION -

Gun con­trol talk is all the rage th­ese days in the af­ter­math of the tragic shoot­ing at Sandy Hook Ele­men­tary School in New­ton, Conn., but we feel much of the angst is mis­placed.

Ya­hoo re­cently tried to stir the pot with an ar­ti­cle ask­ing who was re­spon­si­ble for the shoot­ing. The an­swer is ob­vi­ously the men­tally- dis­turbed young man who took it upon him­self to com­mit a sick, il­le­gal act. Guns by them­selves did not kill the pre­cious lit­tle chil­dren in Con­necti­cut.

Ya­hoo’s ar­ti­cle was a bla­tant at­tempt to stir up angst against peo­ple who own guns and those that plan to buy them in the fu­ture. In our opin­ion, ar­ti­cles like this are, at best, ex­am­ples of gut re­ac­tions to a tragedy that has stunned us all.

We stand by the right of ev­ery adult per­son in this coun­try to own a gun pro­vided that they reg­is­ter their weapon and are prop­erly trained be­fore the gun is pur­chased.

Lo­cally, there’s been a push to put a sher­iff’s deputy in ev­ery school in the county. In our opin­ion, this is an­other gut re­ac­tion.

In or­der to pay for ad­di­tional of­fi­cers, we’d have to fur­ther cut from a bud­get that’s al­ready bare bones. The school sys­tem has al­ready maxed out its prop­erty tax rate, so even if ci­ti­zens were will­ing to pay more in taxes, they can’t – at least not sim­ply. In ad­di­tion, we doubt one of­fi­cer would have been able to stop the car­nage that oc­curred in Con­necti­cut.

New safety equip­ment could be more prac­ti­cal, given that SPLOST funds would likely be el­i­gi­ble for such ad­di­tions.

How­ever, what we need to do is cre­ate a broad base of ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing for par­ents, led by our school of­fi­cials and sup­ported by ev­ery civic and church group in this county. One of the first topics we’d like to see ad­dressed is ex­plic­itly vi­o­lent videos and video games.

For far too long, we’ve al­lowed our chil­dren to buy, watch and in­ter­act with this trash with­out any con­trols.

You may even have some trou­ble­some videos and video games un­der your tree right now.

We sug­gest that you re­view any ques­tion­able con­tent your­self be­fore al­low­ing your child to watch or play them. Once you see what you’re deal­ing with, you might think twice be­fore let­ting this trash be seen and ab­sorbed by your chil­dren.

We will al­ways have sick and men­tally- de­ranged peo­ple in our world threat­en­ing our chil­dren and our very lives. How­ever, it’s im­por­tant for par­ents to spend time with their chil­dren, not only teach­ing them mo­rals but paying at­ten­tion to any trou­bling symp­toms they see crop up.

As a trained and con­certed group, we can all be­come more aware of con­cerns in our com­mu­nity and work to get peo­ple help.

As a com­mu­nity, we can take a stand. Such a stand will take courage, heart and per­se­ver­ance, but it can be done.

Let the change be­gin with us.

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