Another day and another mass school shooting tragedy. It seems like as these events become even more predictable and frequent, the time for action is indeed long past due. Thoughts and prayers while always welcome and appropriate, have not been enough to stop the senseless shootings from military style weapons from continuing to kill our school children.
Policies beyond prayers must be taken if we as a nation, can ever begin to address the incidence and frequency of not only school shootings but mass shootings across our country. Generally, everyone supports the second amendment right to own and use weapons. This right should also carry some responsibilities for us as a nation to develop reasonable gun ownership policies to ensure the safety of our citizens (i.e. the right to life and liberty). Weapons of war like the military style AR-15 used in the recent Parkland School Florida shooting, simple do not appear to fit in a reasonable and responsible gun ownership policy particularly when equipped with a 30 to 100 round drum of ammunition beyond killing large numbers of people quickly, Case in point, in the Parkland School shooting, over 150 bullets were fired in six minutes killing 17 students and teachers, and wounding 14 other students. Bans also need to be enacted on bump fire stocks which allow semi-automatic weapons to be converted to fire as if they are fully automatic weapons. We must also act quickly to address background checks to determine if a person should even be allowed to purchase a weapon for not only the individual but for everyone’s safety. The previous ban on permitting mentally ill individuals to purchase guns was lifted by executive order in January 2017. An order to re-issue this ban should be immediately done not only for school safety reasons but because it just makes good sense. These are but a few of the questions that need to be addressed by legislators advocating policies which bring even more guns into our classrooms. What we can’t do is nothing and wait for the next horrific tragedy to occur.