Friday, December 28, 2012

A couple thoughts on school security

1. There shouldn't be a one-size-fits-all plans and procedures for every school. Criminals try to learn the routines of security personnel and try to predict an emergency response. Even schools with identical building plans need different protocols for this reason.

2. Some parents might believe their kids are safer with an armed guard or police officer around. Some parents think their kids should learn inside a gun-free zone. Both strategies have there merits and drawbacks, and maybe some communities can have both types of schools in the same town so that parents can have a choice. More than 99.99% of the time, it won't matter whether there are armed guards at a school because school shootings are rare.

3. If a school is going to call itself "gun-free", it should be prepared to enforce it. No matter how tough a law is, if it is not enforced then it is just a suggestion. There will likely be metal detectors at the entrances and security cameras in the hallways. If adults don't have a 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, kids don't have a 1st Amendment right to privacy.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

We don't need new federal laws to prevent shootings.

The only way Congress could have prevented the Newtown shootings is if some armed Representatives or Senators were physically present at the school during the incident. Evil is not stopped by legislation alone. The man who attacked Sandy Hook Elementary School did not even need a rifle to commit that atrocity. He could have used a baseball bat or a homemade bomb. He had 20 minutes to do whatever he liked because that is how long it was before police showed up. Instead of asking for new federal laws, the people of Connecticut should discuss how police response times can be improved. For all practical purposes, laws are just suggestions until someone shows up to enforce them.

 The man who shot firefighters on Christmas Eve had previously been convicted of killing his own grandmother with a hammer in 1980. As a result, he served a 17 year sentence for manslaughter. Instead of asking for new federal laws, the people of the state of New York should ask if 17 years is a long enough sentence for killing an elderly woman with a hammer.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Violence in America....

...has been in decline for quite some time, even as the population grows.
Note, the 9/11 attacks are excluded from the 2001 data because they are considered an act of war.
Source: http://www.ucrdatatool.gov

This is not to downplay the recent tragedy in Connecticut, but in emotionally difficult times, it's important to keep things in perspective before advocating new policies.