By Rick Fromm
By Rick Fromm

    I’m sick of it. You’re sick of it. We’re all sick of it. But the question remains: What can we do to stop it?

The recent mass shooting at Parkland High School in Florida took the lives of 17 people – the majority of them young teens who were just starting their lives. Like most kids that age, they were bright-eyed, hopeful and bursting with enthusiasm as they evolved from childhood to the beginning stages of man and womanhood. They had no reason to believe attending school that day would cost them their lives, but, in retrospect, the St. Valentine’s Day massacre was not all that surprising.

Since the beginning of 2018, there have been somewhere in the neighborhood of 17 or 18 mass shootings at schools across the country. Ever since the students of Columbine High School in Colorado were gunned down by two mentally deranged students in 1999, wanton shootings have been occurring with alarming frequency in America.

From Virginia Tech University to Newtown, Connecticut, innocent young people have been slaughtered, and despite all our hopes and prayers the trend appears to be getting worse. Is there a definitive way to stop this carnage? No one has come up with an answer yet, and everyone is all-too aware the same thing could happen tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, and so on and so on.

  Will establishing new gun laws that make it more difficult for these monsters to obtain weapons that are basically designed to kill people – not elk – stop this horrific trend? Perhaps, but I have my doubts, and so do a lot of other people. While I agree purchasing guns like the AR-15 should be prohibited or made extremely difficult, there’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that if someone is intent on slaughtering innocent men, women and children, they’ll find a way to obtain the weapon they need. No doubt about it.

So then what is the answer to stopping all this murderous mayhem? You’ve got to fight fire with fire. Period. But it would be best to do that the right way.

Allowing teachers to have guns in school is a popular approach to the problem, but that seems to be folly rather than a reliable solution. Teachers have enough things to deal with without requiring them to go through extensive firearm training and then asking them to confront a would-be assassin who can kill dozens with just one pull of the trigger.

And besides, by the time a murderer enters a classroom, it’s too late. Game over. A teacher holding a gun can be easily eliminated and then the students will be gunned down in short order. Giving teachers guns is not the answer.

   It’s time we faced the indisputable fact that violence and mass murder are just a way of life nowadays. As sick as that sounds, it’s true nonetheless. One person described it this way: “Our society glorifies violence. From gangs, to movies to video games that award extra points for rape and murder, violence is just something we all have to deal with, and it doesn’t appear to be going away any time soon. We need to glorify the sanctity of life, not violence.”

Well said. However, until that mindset is eliminated, what do we do in the meantime? Hard times call for hard measures is my suggestion.

Instead of hoping and praying for it to end, why not have school districts budget enough money to hire military veterans returning from the Middle Eastern wars to serve as school security guards on a permanent basis? They already have the required training; it would give them a viable means of employment and help them transition to a valuable career back at home.

When I talk to friends about this idea, every single one of them agrees they would gladly pay a bit more in taxes to help assure our kids will be safe when they’re at school. They all agree the investment would be more than worth it. Maybe federal, state and local governments could help defray the cost.

Hiring school security guards could be done immediately and have a profound effect. Trying to draft gun legislation that is strong enough to resolve the issue is a good thought, but it remains doubtful it would help keep our children safe.

If making sure our kids aren’t killed in their classrooms is the end goal, then it’s time to serve notice we aren’t going to take it any more, and hell is waiting for anyone who walks through a school door with a loaded weapon.

The time to act is now.