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The real issue is public safety PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:
Nebraskans, I suspect, not only will be captivated by Legislative Bill LB 516–legally permitting secular school teachers and administrators to carry firearms–but also will be dubious of the people who carry them.
He carried the firearm like a professional; he aimed the firearm like an expert; he pulled the firearm’s trigger like a blind man.
We’ve grown accustomed to the euphemism called “collateral damage.” Civilian casualties are not easy to dismiss, especially for people related to them or the one who pulled the trigger, dropped the bomb, or thrust the metaphoric sword.
Vietnam veterans unable to forgive themselves live mostly on the streets of large cities. Each day on the street represents reparation and self punishment, although they know what they did cannot be undone.
Some Iraq veterans who were under fire and returned fire discovered they shot and killed women and children and innocent and helpless unarmed civilians. I myself have seen their tears; I myself have seen their gaping psychological wounds; I myself could not console their shredded lives.
Hypothetically, a school teacher confronted with children racing up and down the halls, a deranged person shooting here and there and everywhere, a firearm held tensely in the teacher’s hand–he or she could pull the trigger like the aforementioned “blind man,” and he or she would write a new definition for collateral damage.
The enormity of school insurance cost could be mind-boggling; moreover, worse than that, he or she (school teacher) facing the grief of the whole community; and he or she struggling for the strength to face personal accountability.
Because you are carrying a firearm doesn’t mean you will have the advantage.
The element of surprise–remember the attacker who killed three armed patrolmen in a convenience store?–always belong to the attackers.
Whether you be school administrator or school teacher, the attacker, wherever he starts his assault will kill the armed administrator or teacher first. A Columbine tragedy could occur in one class room; and the attacker typically wants to die, so he will shoot himself after his thirst for attention and evil is fulfilled.
Psychologists have warned us for decades about the insidious nature of television and movie violence. Now we cannot rectify our mistake, nor are we capable of altering mainstream society; therefore, we wait powerlessly for the next radical attack on life, and we continue to mentally digest more and more violence.
The real issue, in my opinion, relates to public safety. Children spend most of their time out of school–in towns, in businesses, in libraries, in swimming pools, in homes, etc. Children’s safety is a top priority wherever they are.
If Nebraskans cannot create a safe haven for both school administrators and teachers through professional law enforcement officers, plus, blanket all students with security, we are embarking upon anarchy.
And anarchy–lawlessness–is becoming more and more a part of the American landscape. How can anyone forget Tucson?
Either professional law enforcement means something or means nothing. Their job spells R-I-S-K; and their mandate is to provide public safety.
The legislature debating LB 516 will fathom the safety relative to us all.
I thank Jan Rahn for a very thought provoking editorial. Yes, what if American life evolves where to toting guns are on equal footing with carrying cell phones?
If teachers should be armed, we all should also be armed: for Nebraska in arming teachers will be sending all of us the more emphatic message–Nebraska’s professional law enforcement officers do not have the resources to provide a safe environment for your children, your schools, your school personnel, your businesses, your hospitals, and so on; therefore, we, the citizens, must do it, even school teachers.
Respectfully submitted,
John R. Willis
Grant