School safety is extremely important

Published 7:00 am Friday, March 16, 2018

By James Valentino


am upset over the recent attention to restrictions on firearms as a cure for school violence. Trying to curb illegal shootings by restricting firearms makes as much sense as banning alcohol to prevent intoxicated driving. Whoops, we tried that. It was called “prohibition” and it did not work. But it did develop a wealthy and powerful underworld. We could not stop illegal sales of alcohol and we can’t stop illegal sales of drugs now. Illegal sales of firearms would not be any different.

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The underworld is ready to supply any product that people want and cannot buy legally. Chicago bans firearms but they are sold illegally in taverns, public restrooms, and all over the city.

President Trump, Florida’s governor and law enforcement officials have a better idea. Armed personnel in schools may not prevent the entry of a terrorist but certainly could neutralize him or her when danger is apparent. Metal detectors at school entrances can help but some firearms can be made undetectable.

Police officials want every qualified officer to carry rifles in schools. I think qualified private citizens could also volunteer at least some of their time to protect school children, especially if they have family members attending that school.

Years ago, Israel faced similar threats from Arab terrorists shooting school buses and classrooms. They developed the UZI machine pistol and armed every bus driver, school principal, teacher, and private citizens who wanted to help. Terrorism quickly stopped. It takes an armed person to stop an armed attacker.

The common denominator in all these mass shootings is that only the criminal had a gun.

Criminals and terrorists seek targets that are likely to be unarmed.  No terrorist ever tried to kill people at a shooting range. Come to think of it, a shooting range may be the safest place.