I watched the news coverage of the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Words can’t yet explain why it happened or if anyone but the shooter is to blame. The answers to these and many other questions will come with time. It is a tragedy that this happened, but we have seen it before and my guess is, unless we make some changes in our country, we will see it again.
Many people are suggesting that gun control is the answer. I for one do not believe that eliminating the AR-15 or other rifles will stop the shootings. Just look at the murder rate in some of America’s largest cities. They have some of the strictest gun laws in the nation and some of the highest murder rates, and not by guns purchased legally.
I understand the emotional outcry from the families and the survivors. We can’t make changes based on emotion, but let us use reason. Let me ask the first question that I believe needs to be asked, “How did he get into the school in the first place?”
I served on the board of trustees for an all-boys high school for almost 20 years, and even with that position and exposure, I could not get into the school without going through security. Long before the security was in place, we never had a problem. In fact, that school never had a problem, but the school installed a security system just to be safe.
I want someone to find out what security was in place in the Parkland school, and if there was none, then someone needs to lose his job. Without question, in these times security needs to be introduced into every school in the nation. If there is no security in the school district, then the school board needs to be recalled and a new board needs to be installed along with security measures. If there was no security, the parents and family members of those shot or killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas should sue the school district.
Let me move to the bigger picture, and in so doing, I will anger some, but hopefully demonstrate a course of action we as a nation must take. In the most recently reported statistics about the state of Florida, 75,000 abortions were performed in one year. Of these 75,000 abortions, 10,000 were performed on girls under the age of 19, possibly most as high school students. That means 27 babies were killed every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In the case of the recent high school shooting, a Florida resident shot and killed 17 people. Likewise, Florida residents take the lives of 27 babies a day.
One of the questions that are being asked about the Parkland shootings is how many people knew about the shooter but did nothing? I’m not referring to the FBI not doing their job in listening to the people who reported the young man, but others in the community.
How is it that we have a society that on the one hand can become enraged at a school shooting, but have no compassion for the 27 babies killed by abortion each day? What about the girls who may be of the same age as the girls in the school, and who may have emotional difficulties the rest of their lives?
The issue is that we have a screwed up value system in our country. The value system is whatever I want to do is okay. I’m angry about something that happened in school, so I want to kill somebody because I will feel better.
Many in the country seem to no longer have a regular religious experience and for some families not for several generations. I ask where do the moral values come from? Each generation that continues to have a demised value system will place less and less value on life itself. Values are not taught in school and many parents seem increasingly ill-equipped to teach their children a moral code, because they may not have one themselves.
As long as we have a diminished value of life, more people will turn to killing as a solution to their problems. Again, I point to the killings in African American neighborhoods in Chicago. Indiscriminate killing is the perfect example of a lack of moral values.
Let me take you back in time after Hitler came to power. When he established his death camps, the people in German neighborhoods could see the Jews being marched off to the death camps. In the beginning most of the people didn’t know what he was doing. Over time the people learned but they did not protest; they just let it happen. How are the people who lived in Parkland who saw something and didn’t say anything any different than those in Germany or any nation that looks the other way? Is it because they have no moral compass?
If we truly want to try and stop senseless school shootings, there are many things we have to consider. First, we have to look at the schools. We have to make the schools safe for our children, teachers, and administrators. This is not a political issue. It is simply a matter of safety. If the local school boards don’t act, then state government must take over security of our school children. The Congress must pass legislation and provide the funding to “Secure our Schools” in the 2018 session. All schools should, if they are not currently compliant, have to be by the end of 2019.
In the interim all schools should be assigned an armed police officer on duty during school hours or during regular extracurricular activities. Concurrently, a curriculum review committee should be made up of teachers, clergy, and parents to develop moral values classes to be added to the curriculum. These classes will not be optional; all students will have to participate in the values program. Colleges and universities will be encouraged to build programs as part of their curricula.
A community-based safe schools 800 number should be set up so if persons see something out of sorts, they say something. On a daily basis, all calls will be screened to alert police of a possible suspect who may be dangerous.
Lastly, we have to look at our mental health services and institute a reporting process that can identify verified concerns about individuals who are, or who may be considered dangerous.
Committing a crime with any weapon is a felony and subject to jail time. Any person under mental health treatment will not be permitted to purchase or own any weapon, regardless of type.
I understand that each of these suggestions can be construed as a sacrifice of some individual freedoms. Those who want to eliminate guns are asking all of us to give up our Second Amendment rights to own a gun. We have to ask ourselves if the lives of our children are worth the sacrifice and look at other ways as I have suggested that might better address the problem. If we don’t change, every year that goes by, our Judeo-Christian foundations of this country erode, and the number of children that will die will increase. It is time for America to make the most important choice in its history.
Dan Perkins is an author of both thrillers and children’s books. He appears on over 1,100 radio stations. Mr. Perkins appears regularly on international TV talk shows, he is current events commentator for seven blogs, and a philanthropist with his foundation for American veterans, Songs and Stories for Soldiers, Inc. More information about him, his writings, and other works are available on his website, DanPerkins.guru. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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