Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NOW IS THE TIME to listen to 'we the people'.

Pistol Toting Teachers.

News of the day––I quote in part:

A tiny Texas school district may be the first in the nation to pass a law specifically allowing teachers and staff to pack heat when classes begin later this month.

Trustees at the Harrold Independent School District approved a district policy change last October so employees can carry concealed firearms to deter and protect against school shootings, provided the gun-toting teachers follow certain requirements……….

…….In order for teachers and staff to carry a pistol, they must have a Texas license to carry a concealed handgun; must be authorized to carry by the district; must receive training in crisis management and hostile situations and must use ammunition that is designed to minimize the risk of ricochet in school halls.

Thweatt, (the superintendent) said the small community is a 30-minute drive from the sheriff's office, leaving students and teachers without protection. He said the district's lone campus sits 500 feet from heavily trafficked U.S. 287, which could make it a target. The kindergarten through 12th grade school district is home to 110 students.

I’m familiar with the area having worked at nearby Vernon before I married.  Harrold’s school may be close to U.S. 287 but it sure seems a long way from anywhere else. Lots of Texas plains out that way. I would never have considered it an “endangered” community, but who would’ve thought the safety conscious Sandy Hook school and its tranquil surroundings would become the scene of such violence.

Thweatt said officials researched the policy and considered other options for about a year before approving the policy change. He said the district also has various other security measures in place to prevent a school shooting. "The naysayers think [a shooting] won't happen here," Thweatt said. "If something were to happen here, I'd much rather be calling a parent to tell them that their child is OK because we were able to protect them."

It was unclear how many of the 50 or so teachers and staff members will be armed this fall because Thweatt did not disclose that information, to keep it from students or potential attackers.

The district is 150 miles northwest of Fort Worth on the eastern end of Wilbarger County, near the Oklahoma border. Wilbarger County Sheriff Larry Lee did not immediately return a call placed to his office by FOXNews.com.

Texas law outlaws firearms on school campuses "unless pursuant to the written regulations or written authorization of the institution. Barbara Williams, a spokeswoman for the Texas Association of School Boards, said her organization did not know of another district with such a policy. Ken Trump, a Cleveland-based school security expert who advises districts nationwide, including in Texas, said Harrold is the first district with such a policy.

While the district's plan shot them into the national spotlight, carrying guns to school is nothing new some states. In Utah, the law allows anyone with a permit to carry a gun in public schools and state institutions of higher education.

FOXNews.com's Michelle Maskaly and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

So there it is folks. Now we’re back in the days of marauding Indians and wild outlaws and our teachers may soon have another responsibility heaped upon them. However, as terrible as it seems, I expect many people at the scene of these mass murders, would have much rather have had the means to stop the killing rather than helplessly let it continue. What a terrible predicament we find ourselves in.

Last night I jotted down some thoughts about what is uppermost in our minds: What is causing all this violence and what can we do about it?

There are lots of thoughts bouncing around wherever people meet, for this latest massacre is the most hideous of all. Our babies and the brave people who tried to save them! Those lost lives must be the catalyst that changes our society. They must!

In the midst of our horror and tears over the unspeakable murders of last week, there is also anger. Anger, because for some the solution seems very simple. The hate for guns by many individuals is understandable and they are pushing for the elimination of guns from all citizens’ households. Personally, I doubt this will solve our problem and I have doubts it can be implemented peaceable.. The need for that standby of ultimate protection against danger is too ingrained in many lives for this to be a successful program. Regardless of fines, jail time, or face-offs with authorities, there would be defiance. There would be hidden guns, gunfights, and deaths.

No, I contend that guns are not the problem any more than an automobile plowing into a nursery school, or a can of gasoline and a match in a crowded building.  We cannot legislate against all dangers that a twisted mind can devise. Think of the damage an axe-swinging, deranged person could inflict!

So this is where we stand today. We can desperately plug the holes in the dike of our protection against dangers such as this at  Sandy Hook Elementary school  or we can hunt the real source of this flood of violence.  And if the opinions of many who are speaking out today are any indication, several things are highly suspected. The remedy will not be a quick fix but it must be done.

I’m sharing with you some comments on Facebook:

A ”shared poster” was one of the first to sum up our impatience with the lack of backbone in our Congress in failing to stand firm against special interest groups whose lobbyists probably far outnumber members of Congress.

One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and
we all take of our shoes at the airport
Thirty-one school shootings since
Columbine and no change in our
Regulation of guns.”
                                                                                                      John Oliver   

From Pennsylvania:

“Calling for total illegality of all guns isn't going to change the face of evil one bit. It will just insure that evil will be the only thing armed. Calling for better regulations and control is a great idea. Anything more feudal is....not.”

And yet another voice…
“I wish I could believe that a total ban on guns would work. But, it just won't. If it would, well, our streets would be free of drugs too. They're illegal. They're "controlled." It's a nice concept. And I understand the passion of those that want to pry guns out of the hand of every American. I really do. I just know that it won't work. Common sense (when it can rise to the top over the passion) will tell you that making something illegal doesn't make it impossible to own. Or even much harder to get. Evil will always find a way to make its mark. If that kid hadn't had guns at home, he could have gotten plans to make a bomb from the internet and done just as much damage. It just wouldn't have put ammunition (pardon the pun) in the hands of those that wish to ban ALL guns.”

A Texan puts in…

“ I have not read any of the expected gun controversy. It makes me angry. Many other things are contributing to the problem . Could it be the violent games? The movies? The publicity that always follows? Just try to control those! I was raised with guns and was taught to leave them to their proper place (I was also taught to mind my elders). My children were raised in a household with guns. Same situation. They also played 'cowboys and Indians' and went "Bang, bang" all around the yard, and seem to have survived and become caring and responsible adults. So what has happened in our society since the 60s? And even more important...what can we do about it.”

A Canadian speaks up….

 “It makes you realize all that discipline we got was for a reason and worked; I grew up the same.”

From Colorado…

“As I've been saying for a long time - this country has lost all its morals, corrupted its youth - forgotten everything that's important. The schools are not teaching our children values, morals, love, respect . . . And how many parents are failing to do the same thing at home? Stop worrying about offending others and focus on what's right. Teach your children to be polite, respectful, trustworthy, caring and loving. Bring God into your home, your hearts and your everyday. It's not too late to stop this madness. I have hope for the children of this generation but it's up to all of us.”

Then there was Morgan Freemans’ answer to the question of “Why.”

"You want to know why. This may sound cynical, but here's why.

It's because of the way the media reports it. Flip on the news and watch how we treat the Batman theater shooter and the Oregon mall shooter like celebrities. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris are household names, but do you know the name of a single victim of Columbine? Disturbed people who would otherwise just off themselves in their basements see the news and want to top it by doing something worse, and going out in a memorable way. Why a grade school? Why children? Because he'll be remembered as a horrible monster, instead of a sad nobody.

CNN's article says that if the body count "holds up", this will rank as the second deadliest shooting behind Virginia Tech, as if statistics somehow make one shooting worse than another. Then they post a video interview of third-graders for all the details of what they saw and heard while the shootings were happening. Fox News has plastered the killer's face on all their reports for hours. Any articles or news stories yet that focus on the victims and ignore the killer's identity? None that I've seen yet. Because they don't sell. So congratulations, sensationalist media, you've just lit the fire for someone to top this and knock off a day care center or a maternity ward next.

You can help by forgetting you ever read this man's name, and remembering the name of at least one victim. You can help by donating to mental health research instead of pointing to gun control as the problem."

It was at this point, that while scrolling down Facebook hunting for a quote, that I came across a link that led me to a summation of all that had been in our minds. In this speech Joe Scarborough,MSNBC’s morning news anchor, very eloquently laid out our nation’s problems and I firmly believe he is right. He hit the gun manufacturers, the movie makers, those who create the violent games, and the fact that our money is going all over the world with nothing left over for providing care for the mentally ill. He slammed our congress members for not having the intestinal fortitude to do what is right for America instead of what is right for whomever the lobbyist are representing––and he didn’t let the parents escape their share of the blame for taking the path of easiest resistance in raising their offspring.

 These are tough opponents and the issues have become deeply ingrained in our present lifestyles.

Can we do it?

Mother, Grandmother, and Great grandmother

In memory