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Is there an answer?

04/19/2018 12:22 PM | Anonymous

Richard Rossi, Delaware County SCOPE Member

I was going to write about another topic this month; however, in light of the recent mass-shooting in Parkland, Fla. I felt this was more appropriate and timely.  Unfortunately, in these times, "POSITIVE ACTION" must be taken to stop these mass-shootings.  The 'Feel-Good' measures that have been enacted, by our Congress and the many state and local governments will not and do not make anyone safe - they never did.  Time has proven that 'Gun-Free Zones', are an invitation to mass-shootings and terrorist attacks.  Just look back at Newtown, Columbine, Aurora (theater) etc. and now Parkland, Florida.  The issue goes far beyond 'Gun-Free Zones' in schools - it applies to Gun-Free Zones anywhere.

More Gun Laws, Restrictions and Regulations and the so called - 'Assault Weapon Bans' are just words on 'paper'.  Murder, assault etc. are already crimes.  These remedies have had no impact nor will more of the same make any difference nor have an effect on criminals and the severely mentally ill from acts of violence.  If our elected officials in our government want to truly make a difference, then they need to attack the 'Root Causes' (seriously mentally ill individuals, gang violence, both illegal and legal drug trade, illegal's, domestic and foreign terrorists) for all violence.

Law-abiding gun owners are NOT the problem and never were.  CCW Holders are by far more responsible than the average citizens in America - this also includes LEO's which have a higher crime rate than CCW Citizens.  These so-call common sense gun control measures are NOT addressing the issues.  They are as I said, 'feel good' initiatives, that make it harder for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves and their loved ones.  These measures constantly restrict an object - the gun; rather than the individual.  Our school are 'soft targets'.  Every school administrator, needs to be 'pro-active' and use all means available to keep our children safe.  This includes, 'Lock-Down' procedures to prevent unauthorized access to schools, containment measures should a 'breach' occur, and, YES, armed, concealed carry personal on the premises during school hours.  However, this should be the last defense to protect our children.  I say concealed carry individuals, which are the element of surprise, must be the major tactic in any mass shooting confrontation.

Uniformed LEO's are fine; however, are we going to have one, two, three or more at each school?  Small community schools can't afford the cost associated to enlist this assistance. In New York State, our rural schools are declining in enrollment with higher and higher school taxes; unfortunately, the residents can't absorb this type of security measure.  For the individuals who are afraid of armed response measures, what choice do we have? In a mass murder scenario, seconds count and LEO's are minutes away. Is it not better to have assistance right there NOW?

Some say they are afraid of guns in school, they don't want to have fear instilled in the students.  Schools in NYS are required to have 'lock-down' drills and drills to simulate mass-shooting scenarios - the same could be said for these drills - right?

Just think about this for a minute, when SWAT is summoned in an attack - they are at a disadvantage when they arrive. They are arriving well into the mass shooting and associated hysteria event. Unfortunately, several individuals will have been killed or wounded by this time. They will be searching for the shooter or shooters.  Would it be more advantageous IF the attack was already stopped or the individual contained in a specific location?  The presence of an armed individual(s) might be the difference that all our children will survive.  Why 'wait and pray' that LEO's will arrive in time.  Let’s face it - the first seconds or minutes are critical.  Our local Sheriff offered to have a Deputy Sheriff stationed at every school in our county (Delaware).  I believe it is 11 schools; however, this would be only one individual and it would be up to the community to pay for this.  A Deputy Sheriff or School Resource Officer, and, yes, even some administrators and teachers who are trained in confrontation scenarios involving firearm assaults are appropriate. The time for action is NOW. The past 'FEEL GOOD MEASURES' are not effective and most are just infringing on the rights/freedoms of law-abiding gun owners and doing nothing to stop crimes.  We are in fact making our citizens less and less safe and becoming prey for criminals.  Law-abiding citizens are entitled to self-defense.

The NRA back in 2012, developed a program to assist schools in safety protocols.  I ask every school administrator to take advantage of this program .  ( I would like to add two additional points.  We have an untapped resource of highly trained combat individuals who have proven under high stress to react quickly, our veterans.  These individuals have been 'field tested' and can fill these needed security measure.  Let’s REALLY keep our children safe.  As we learn more and more about Parkland Fla., it proves that our system has failed all of our citizens and our children. This individual SHOULD HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO LEGALLY PURCHASE A FIREARM - PERIOD.  His criminal past should have put him in the NICS System to be blocked from any gun purchase - HE WAS NOT.  On top of this - the actions of the school deputy that was assigned to protect these children - failed them miserably.  I don't know his past experience with these kinds of issues; however, clearly it was not his finest hour. Hopefully all the 'true' facts will come to light, so we can learn from this what NOT to do - next time.

In my opinion, these two issues clearly make a case for multiple armed individuals on school premises.   Hopefully, our elected officials will 'see the light', and truly resolve this issue with not the same 'feel good measures' of our past.  However , our rights/freedoms as citizens must never be compromised in the process.  Our Constitution/Bill of Rights must always be the true test of any approach.  Abandon these guiding principles and we have nothing - 'We the People' will become slaves of our government.  Freedom is in the balance.

In closing, I would just like to add one additional personal view point; which is, unfortunately, very unsettling to me as a law-abiding American citizen/gun owner.  Can our elected government officials be that 'ignorant' concerning these, 'so-called' common sense gun control measures and actually believe they will stop violence? I believe it is far more complicated, and this maybe the true objective, which has nothing to do with violence, but has everything to do with our basic Rights/Freedoms of our Democracy.  Our Second Amendment Right protects 'We the People' from our own government. It is the 'citizens 'Checks and Balances' to prevent the government from becoming the rulers.  It is not about hunting etc.  We, today’s gun owners are the militia our Founding Fathers were speaking about and stated in the 2nd Amendment.  It is about the elite few becoming the ultimate power and the citizens becoming the subjects.  Destroy the 2nd Amendment and the rest will surely follow.  Some food for thought - hope I am paranoid and they (politicians) are just 'mentally challenged'.  Time will tell.  God Bless our children and grandchildren, may they live in a country that is Free.

A 2nd Amendment Defense Organization, defending the rights of New York State gun owners to keep and bear arms!

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East Aurora, NY 14052

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