Like the rest of the America, I have been heartbroken over the tragedy that occurred in a Florida School last week. We have seen mass school shootings before and we have also seen the rhetoric from our politicians before. The two political extremes are doing much damage to actually solving this issue and if we are not careful we will continue down the destructive path of misinformation, finger pointing and blame.
One extreme side of the political spectrum is the mocking of people for praying for victims and demanding gun control. The other side defiantly says that guns don’t kill people but these people fail to offer any real solutions.
Democrats are demanding “common sense” gun control without telling us what that means and they certainly don’t really believe in it considering they controlled everything the first two years of President Barack Obama’s tenure and they did nothing.
Some critics are calling for the return of the Clinton era “assault weapon” ban that was in place for a decade, which according to multiple studies including the National Research Council and the Department of Justice, did nothing to stop gun violence in the United States. The ban also had nothing to do with “assault” weapons because these weapons — only available to the military and law enforcement — remain banned to the general public. The ban then and the renewed attempt simply attacked AR-15 style rifles, which may look scary but aer simply a rifle with similar capabilities of typical hunting rifles you can purchase at your local Wal-Mart.
Politicians who are touting gun control measures no doubt know that just like the assault weapon ban, such measures will do nothing in regards to violence. If you question that claim, just consider that Chicago has some of the tougher gun control measures in the United States yet suffers from a high level of violence while Honduras is the deadliest country in the world despite its repeated attempts to restrict firearms.
I suspect that the demands will continue, not because they will help, but because calling for bans is easier than doing what has to be done to protect our children.
Following the Avivim school bus massacre in 1970, Israel had to take a different approach to security within their schools and on their buses. Today, every school and bus is protected by armed security. In the United States, we treat our airports, government buildings, and even our financial institutions just like this.
America has accepted that true protection involves armed personnel but we have yet to really accept that the same is true with our schools.
The time for the political rhetoric is over. It is time to place the same importance on protecting our children as we do the very politicians that keep pointing fingers at others.
I homeschooled my children when they were in elementary school and while I had several reasons to do so, the fact that anyone could walk into the hallway of a typical public school was a big one. The “gun free” zone that is our public schools is a welcoming party for evil to enter and kill our children. When the time came to put my kids in middle school and high school, I had to choose a private school to ensure that there was an importance placed on the safety of my children. “We have a well-trained person with a gun in every hallway” was the recruiting pitch I was given prior to enrollment. Despite my attempts, I have never been able to get into the private school (with the exception of an administrative office away from the students). Twenty-four hours a day, off-duty police officers patrol the grounds and it is clear that protecting my kids is a high priority.
The politicians scream gun control and many Americans refuse to acknowledge that there is a real “common sense” to way to protect our kids. We aren’t doing it now because just like the appearance of the AR-15, it is scary.
We say we want to protect our kids but we don’t want to see what that takes to do it.
Guns will never go away in America. The Founding Fathers ensured that 228 years ago so can we please stop talking about a fantasy and start doing what some schools are already doing…..protecting our kids.
Travis Yates is a commander with a large municipal police department. He is the founder of the Courageous Leadership Institute and director of training for SAFETAC, which teaches active shooter training. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.