Your View: Guest Columns - Arm teachers; don’t disarm law-abiding citizens

Jan. 03, 2013 @ 12:34 AM

BY ROBERT L. YOUNGBLOOD

I disagree with Patrick White (Guest column, Dec. 20, “Don’t arm teachers in my child’s classroom”). We most certainly do need to arm teachers. We provide protection for elected individuals, why should we not allow our teachers to protect themselves? The teachers who have a concealed carry permit should be able to arm themselves.
Accidental shootings of children occur less often than other ways that children die. The school lock-down feature is after-the-fact and the carnage has already begun.  Close combat begins by instructing the students to hit the floor; such was the repetitive instruction during the Cold War in case of nuclear attack.  As for the first thought of protecting the children, without a firearm, all you can do is lock the door, huddle and hope the crazy won’t be able to come in.
White made the statement, not a single civilian has been able to stop the killing. First, it is a felony to carry a firearm on campus.  In another state, where you could leave it locked in your car, a vice principal retrieved his handgun and stopped a nut — who had just killed a group of students — from going to another school where he planned on killing more.
White may also be surprised to know how few law enforcement officers train in the use of firearms to the level that many do in a civilian atmosphere.
When he says criminals do not commit the crimes, most are already way beyond normal behavior, and please do not forget the legal action in the 1980s that resulted in many mentally ill people being released to become the homeless we face today.  The courts demand drugs be administered to keep the patient level, then place the control of administering said drug on the individual. Every one of the murderers has shown a very troubled past.
Kennesaw, Ga, requires all homes to have a firearm. The city has crime rates much lower than the national average, according to city officials. Israel uses armed teachers in their schools.  Swiss citizens are trained to be proficient in the use of weapons, and about 420,000 fully automatic guns are in the private homes of citizens. Fact, where gun control laws are the highest, the crime rate is the highest. White says he is a supporter of the Second Amendment, but apparently does not know the difference in a semi-automatic and an assault weapon.
The issue is not the control of the weapons, it is the control of the individual. When I was growing up, we hunted on the way to school. The teachers had us put our rifles away until it was time to go home, and we hunted on the way back home. Later on, we left them in our trucks on a rack in plain view.
Bottom line, if a individual wishes to take another’s life, there is no way to prevent it. They will find a way. All we can hope to do is limit the mayhem, so why in the world would someone wish to disarm the good guys and keep them from having a fighting chance?

Robert L. Youngblood lives in Trinity.

 

The trouble with guns

BY GERALD WONG

Can we be honest? Guns are not going away. With gun sales on the rise due to threats by anti-gun groups to outlaw certain weapons a feeding frenzy has occurred.
So what do we do about the gun violence in America?
There is not a whole lot you can do with the gang type killings or the crimes of passion, but what about the propensity of certain people to be violent?
It seems in most cases as with the congresswoman in Arizona, the movie house in Colorado and most likely even Sandy Hook; these shooters could have been identified as people with a propensity for violence.
Changing our gun laws or adding new ones is a practice in futility, it is the person with the gun and their mental state that needs to be addressed, in my opinion. Guns will never be banned or go away, so we must undertake an even more drastic and maybe costly program, and I don’t know if it would even be constitutional, We must start to identify persons with a propensity for violent behavior at a young age.
All children are tested at some point for their aptitude, and when I enlisted in the Army I was tested for the vocation that fit me best in a series of intelligence exams.
What would we be willing to do to stop another Sandy Hook in the years to come? What are the lives of not only innocent children worth but any victim of crime?
I propose that starting at an early age all children be given a “Propensity for Violence” exam.
This may not help in the near future, but over time I believe we can start to see a pattern for most of those that “MAY” be destined to commit a violent crime and if that is possible, we put in place some extra stumbling blocks in their path to adulthood to gain weapons that they “MAY” use to commit mass murder.
This is a long-term effort that will take all people to support, From the NRA to the most liberal, but I think it is the only way to start to end the senseless killings by sociopaths or those that are tired of living and want to go out with a bang.
I also believe the person that commits these crimes should never have their names spoken in the media.
This would remove the “glory” factor from a persons decision to do an act of violence.
As an afterthought: Putting armed guards or police in schools only makes certain those will be the first to be killed by a would-be assassin. Think about it, if you are going to kill people and there is an armed person at the door, who are you going to take out first and by surprise. (He approaches the officer with a bewildered smile “Hey officer, how ya doin’.” Maybe the officer has a chance to respond, maybe he does not, before the gun is fired at his head.)
I do believe that as a solution it would be wise to have stealth armed teachers, custodians or school personnel allowed to be trained and armed and for that fact to be widely publicized with perhaps warning signs placed in obvious locations around a school’s perimeter.
I do not have all the answers but I do think what I have outlined is food for thought.

Gerald Wong lives in Trinity.

 

YOUR VIEW POLLS

The Guilford County Board of Education is considering renaming Allen Jay Middle School when a new magnet facility opens there. Should the school be renamed? What name would you suggest? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email us your thoughts to letterbox@hpe.com.

Bob Kollar’s letter Dec. 26 touches on the current wave of petitions for state secession from the United States. What’s your view? In 30 words or less (no name, address required), email us your thoughts to letterbox@hpe.com.