Start by mak­ing our schools safer

The Republican Herald - - COMMENTARY -

To the Edi­tor: I am an avid hunter and shooter for many years. I have three chil­dren, seven grand­chil­dren and 11 great-grand­chil­dren. My chil­dren and grand­chil­dren ei­ther hunt or shoot for sport. I was shot in a hunt­ing ac­ci­dent more than 30 years ago through some­one else’s care­less­ness. I feel I can speak on the is­sue of gun con­trol.

There is no doubt that the re­cent school shoot­ings have been a tragedy. Any time in­no­cent chil­dren are shot, in­jured, killed or emo­tion­ally in­jured, it is a tragedy and should never oc­cur.

There seems to be a divi­sion be­tween the right to bear arms and the need to kill in­no­cent peo­ple. If the cur­rent laws con­cern­ing back­ground checks, and those weapon of­fenses laws not be­ing fol­lowed, were to be fol­lowed as writ­ten, it would be great. If men­tally ill per­sons, felons, those found dan­ger­ous to them­selves and oth­ers were not al­lowed to pur­chase weapons, we would not see this hap­pen­ing. Mak­ing more laws when the present laws are not be­ing en­forced will be of no help. This will not solve the prob­lem.

As you al­ready know, in the Florida school shoot­ing they had warn­ings that were not heeded. If they had been, pos­si­bly this tragedy would never have hap­pened. In my opin­ion, this is not a “gun” prob­lem but a “peo­ple” prob­lem. We have lost our re­spect for our laws and for other peo­ple, we are not be­ing taught right from wrong, fam­i­lies are split, vi­o­lent com­puter video games are com­mon and I could go on and on.

I re­al­ize peo­ple just want this fixed now. Stop the shoot­ings in our schools. I agree with this, but tak­ing away in­no­cent peo­ples’ guns will not stop this. In my day, I took my gun to school and propped it in the cor­ner to go hunt­ing af­ter school. No one both­ered it and it didn’t shoot any­one, but folks, those days are over. We need armed guards in our schools, we need only one en­trance to our schools, we need metal de­tec­tors to check back­packs, we need bul­let­proof doors on our class­rooms and, as some schools have done, a way to get chil­dren bar­ri­caded in a class­room out of sight of the shooter.

School shoot­ings are a re­al­ity, so the school must be made safe. We pro­tect our gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, our dig­ni­taries, our pres­i­dent, etc. And we do that with guns! Why not our chil­dren?

Things have changed. There are many dis­turbed peo­ple out there, and if they can’t get a le­gal weapon, they will get an il­le­gal one. We are see­ing folks who are up­set about the breakup of a girl­friend, bring­ing a gun to school and shoot­ing. Tell me that 50 years ago this is the way we would have han­dled this sit­u­a­tion. Things have changed, and peo­ple have changed.

Let’s be­gin by mak­ing our schools safe, teach­ing our chil­dren re­spect, bring God back, teach­ing re­spect for our flag and our na­tional an­them and en­forc­ing the laws we have on the books. Do­ing a bet­ter job of our back­ground checks, as they presently ex­ist, and be­ing vig­i­lant for things that just don’t seem the way they should, would be a help. Mak­ing new gun laws and tak­ing away guns from in­no­cent peo­ple will solve noth­ing. Herman W. Cle­mans

Pine Grove

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