Its an old cliche’ I know, but I can’t really find a better way to put the reason that I am doing this better than the “straw that broke the camels back”. I’m not talking about the election which was the bulk of the reason. I’m talking about the Sandy Hook shooting. I heard about it in the car listening to the radio on my way in to work. I seriously, after hearing about it a couple times, kept turning the radio off and then back on. I could not handle what I was hearing. My son is only one, and in 3 years unless I homeschool I will have to deal with the fact that I will be putting him in the hands of people that are strangers in a school setting.

School settings ooze a feeling of safety. Sure, there have been mass killings in schools, but its very rare moment that always catches people off guard. Outside of the inner city and other undesirable locations where no place feels safe to anyone it almost seems like a sanctuary that even evil people will stay away from. Every few years we have had an incident that proves that safety is simply a mirage. A false sense of security. No situation exposes it more then this shooting in an elementary school.

As tough; as hard as this reality is to deal with I was confronted with yet another reality that led me to my conclusion. The standard gut reaction to this type of event has changed in my lifetime. When I was thirteen I went to a summer camp. The summer camp’s name was Triple R Ranch. Its a rather high profile Christian camp in the Pungo a+rea of Virginia Beach. I almost hesitate to give the name of the camp because of the current political climate, but more people stumble onto their website and go to their camps every year then this will likely be seen by. They had a class that you could take that taught you how to handle a Rifle. They still have that class. I’m somewhat surprised, but knowing the leadership of the camp (which I fully recommend personally based on my experience and the leadership consistency in the camp leading to consistent performance and handling of a camp) maybe I am not all that surprised.

Some may be shocked. “They are letting 12 year olds handle a gun?” Why is that shocking? Why is that looked at as negative? You don’t have to look very hard to find out that schools even actively taught gun handling and safety. It teaches respect. It shows what it does in a real setting. Many people are blaming video games. I won’t go that far. There is a problem when the child is not able to separate fantasy from reality, and that is why I would not ever let my child play a game like that until he could talk intelligently enough and be able to learn about the purpose of guns in reality and what happens. I see five year olds playing Call of Duty. I have no problem with Call of Duty. Its not an evil thing to simulate war, and I would even consider it instructive on reality as long as the child realizes the differences between reality and the fantasy world it makes up.

So my question for you is what is the answer? Is more gun control the answer? Is regulating private sales the answer? Is making it a crime to allow a child to play a game that is rated a higher age then they are? Should we increase gun control just on those who have mental illnesses? I do not believe any of those are the answer. I believe that there is no easy answer. Human knowledge always tries to explain things and break things down to where it can be comprehended and regulated. They want an easy answer. Its just not there.

Are there things we can do? Sure. One minor thing we can do is to re-evaluate the direction of architecture in building new schools when they are built. I understand the reasoning for the open floor plan with very few choke points. I mean, kids are stressed out at school enough to be dealing with the sort of congestion that the old schools caused. I believe that we should have choke points, and the ability to be able to close off 2/3 of the school with exits on both sides of each section of the school. It is notable that this would likely have not changed the results of the previous tragedy but if someone wanted to go through an entire school or seek out a specific section of the school it could be useful.

I also believe that we can institute a state by state program to protect the kids. Armed guards do not always work, but if my kid is in the school I would much rather be that then anything. The thing that I am for though, is a state by state program that is similar in form to the U.S. Marshall service on airplanes. An extensive background check and mental health check would be necessary as well as it being a purely voluntary program. See, I believe that this creates a mystery about who and where the person having a gun has. If you don’t know where the gun is you do not know what area to avoid. An Armed Guard can be avoided.

Let me know how crazy I am if you wish 🙂

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