Once again we have seen an individual become a mass murderer in a school building. And once again, the immediate outcry for gun control can be heard.
I will try and address this issue without emotional involvement. However it is important to state that my lack of emotion is only related to the issue, not to those whom lost loved ones in Wednesday’s tragedy. Any loss of life is tragic, particularly when it involves young people.
Let us start with the call for more gun laws. Will that alleviate the problem? Of course not. Look at Chicago. It has some of the toughest gun laws in the country, and the highest gun murder rate in the country. Laws, by themselves, don’t work. Those intent on violence have no regard for the law.
The one area I believe needs to be revamped are the laws regarding background checks. I believe gun sellers should have access to mental health records at the time of sale. We need to change HIPPA laws to allow that information to be distributed through some type of registry available in the same way criminal records are available. This is not the cure-all, but it is certainly a step in the right direction.
Then there are the calls to restrict AR-15 type weapons as well as the size of clips. The reality, yes I said reality is that there are millions of these guns on the market as-well-as millions more clips of various sizes. The horse is out of the barn. Anyone intent on doing great harm can easily get their hands on this gun. In addition, there would need to be a definitive court ruling saying that such a ban would be constitutional. This is not a pro or anti gun statement. It is just reality and common sense.
I also want to mention school safety. An editorial in today’s Detroit Free Press ask the question “why aren’t classrooms as safe as courtrooms?”. They suggested that if the government could pass a huge tax cut, they surely could find 50-billion dollars to protect students. Are we at a point where armed guards and metal detectors will be place at a single access door to every school? It sounds good, but the reality, there’s that word again, the reality is there are not enough metal detectors to go around, leave alone the trained professionals to operate them
In conclusion, let us take emotion out of the debate, sit down, together to find reasonable solutions to a complex issue. And yes, before you say it, I know that too is not reality. It is such a shame that word, reality, gets in the way great ideas.