Their View: Actions are needed to curtail violent acts
The scenes playing out on the nightly news these past few weeks are happening with disturbing regularity.
Teenagers quickly being evacuated from public schools by police officers. SWAT teams taking position around the facility, waiting for the order to go in. Frightened parents tearfully embracing their equally frightened children. Ambulances driving away with the bodies of the deceased.
A recent rash of school shootings in this country has left lawmakers, teachers and parents struggling to form a plan of action to protect children. In all, seven people, six students and one principal, have died as a result of these acts of violence.
The White House organized a conference on school safety. President Bush referred to the shootings as “incredibly sad.”
Lawmakers spoke at the conference about opening up better lines of communication between all concerned parties in efforts to squash these incidents.
While we applaud their efforts, one thing that seems to have been missed is the ease with which the perpetrators got their hands on the guns. Two of them were underage youth, while the others were adult males, one with a criminal background and the other who claimed to suffer from emotional problems.
A lot can be done to stop these acts if more attention is paid at home. If there are weapons in the house, parents must be more responsible in ensuring they are kept out of their children's hands.
Furthermore, action should be taken at a state level through the enforcement of stricter gun laws. Both Pennsylvania and Colorado, where the two adult perpetrators struck, have no restrictions on carrying concealed weapons. In fact, both states received D's on a 2005 state report card for laws shielding families from gun violence.
Clearly, actions are needed on multiple levels to curtail these violent acts. Gun laws and access to firearms need to be addressed on the state, local and home levels.
The only worry our students should have when entering the classroom is whether they did enough studying for the day's exam.
- Glasgow (Kentucky) Daily Times