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Letter: Increasing school security step in right direction


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Note: The statements, views, and opinions contained in this letter to the editor are those of the author and are not endorsed by, nor do they necessarily reflect, the opinions of The Republic.

From: Ross Ricketts

Columbus

Received: Dec. 26

If you’ve been reading the Republic lately, you’ve seen statements from our school superintendent, student assistance coordinator and Columbus Police Department regarding the procedures in place to protect your children. After reading these statements, do you have any more peace of mind that your children are safer now?

After 9/11, massive steps were taken to make aircraft safer. Cockpit doors were hardened, the air marshal program was initiated, pilots were trained and armed. Why hasn’t a similar plan been put into effect to protect our children? Mr. Quick also mentioned secret plans. I hope this secret plan involves trained, armed personnel in the schools. Every school. There is no doubt in my mind that many of you would abhor the idea of guns in our schools. There are other countries and other states in this country that have trained, armed personnel in their schools and the problem is solved.

You probably don’t give a second thought when you see an armed guard carrying a bag of money out of a store. Do we not want our children afforded the same amount of protection we give a bag of cash? Are our priorities that misplaced? Now is the time to take on the issue seriously enough to actually protect the students. In Indiana, anyone appointed as a security guard, with a carry permit, can carry a weapon on school property.

The next step is simple. Recruit a select group of volunteers willing to accept this responsibility. Train them in both the weapons skills and mindset skills that it takes to possibly take another person’s life, to prevent your children, teachers and other school personnel from losing their lives. There are already training facilities that have stepped up and offered free training to the people the schools would select. I don’t think you would have a problem finding retired military or law enforcement personnel to volunteer for this duty.

There are two sayings I like to quote. “You can call 911 government sponsored dial-a-prayer,” and “when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.” I have the utmost respect for our law enforcement officers, but they will agree that they are first responders to a situation. They are not going to be there to prevent the carnage from taking place. That is what the armed and trained school personnel would be there for. These people would carry concealed so as not to alarm the children, and their identity would be unknown, but the ability to protect would be there.

I myself have no children in school, however I do have two beautiful grand nieces that could possibly be in harm’s way at any time. I know that I would have more peace of mind knowing that there is a higher level of protection than cameras, locked doors and practiced response plans can provide. If a deranged person is bent on committing a heinous action on our children, those aforementioned protections will not stop him. A trained, armed citizen will.

Take a moment to think about this. You’re not going to be able to get rid of all the guns in our country, you’re not going to get all the doctors to quit prescribing the psychiatric drugs that most of these killers are found to be on. The thing you can do, is demand that serious action be taken to protect your children. Call your school administrators and let them know how you feel.

Let’s not let Columbus be the next Columbine or Sandy Hook.

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