In response to such a tragedy it’s understandable to reach for simplistic answers: ban all guns, arm the teachers, bring prayer back to schools. But there is no easy solution to the problems that lead a person to go on any killing spree, let alone the slaughtering of young children.
Let’s hope that after all the hyperbole and knee jerk reactions, our country finally recognizes the need for SENSIBLE gun laws. No, there is no reason to ban all weapons. It is reasonable to allow stable, law abiding citizens to own most handguns and hunting rifles. It is also reasonable to restrict access of high volume, assault weapons to people with special licenses. For Christ’s sake, you need a special license to drive a commercial truck, why should it be such a big deal to expect that people have a little more training and screening before being allowed to use an assault weapon.
As for those who glibly blame this horrible tragedy on prayer no longer being allowed in school, I have to ask “What god are you worshiping?” Why would anyone worship a god that would allow children to be slaughtered simply because a government respects the rights of it’s citizenry to not be forced into any specific religious activity by those that have authority over them. Prayer is not banned in schools. People can pray any time, anywhere. That is what the first amendment protects. Teachers/administrators (as agents of the government) cannot endorse any religion by leading students in prayer. If you aren’t sure if what you are endorsing violates the first amendment, try this test: replace the word “God” with “Allah” and “Christian” with “Muslim.” If it no longer sounds like a good idea to you, then it is probably a violation of the first amendment.
What we should be concerned about is insurance companies and society in general realizing that mental illness is no different than any other PHYSICAL illness. It is unconscionable that it is treated differently by insurance companies than an illness like diabetes or heart disease. Too often people do not receive the treatment that would help intervene in a violent episode because this type of illness is not covered by their insurance. How many of us have insurance policies that have an entire section devoted to exceptions or special coverage for ‘mental illness,’ as if the brain is not part of the body?
Before reaching for the easy, glib response to this terrible tragedy, let’s think about sensible answers that may be harder to enact, but will have long term, lasting effects while protecting our families AND our rights.