Making Schools Secure a Common-Sense Solution in Safety Debate

“Doing something” about gun violence in our schools should include focusing on a more straightforward attitude toward providing safety and a modern security strategy for those schools.

This is the thrust of a new commentary by Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II – a constable in Pennsylvania.

In his Daily Caller commentary, “School Safety is a Common-Sense Solution,” Council noted that too many people are focused on factors that will harm our rights help make society safer:

The rights our Founding Fathers sought to protect – including gun ownership – are not the problem. What we must address is not guns themselves but how young people get them. More important, however, is the need for effective school safety strategies that look beyond politics.

Council bring a unique perspective to the table in the debate over America’s alleged “gun culture,” root causes of anger and what police can and should do. He has actual experience in the worlds of law enforcement, education and ministry. He explained:

As a clergyman, law enforcement officer and former inner-city school teacher, I have seen firsthand the many factors contributing to increasing societal violence. There’s growing family dysfunction with too many fatherless families. There are more unchurched people. Schools ban faith. We have a culture where parents allow their children access to a constant stream of violence and anger through video games, social media, YouTube and entertainment media.

But Parkland raises another issue. While the shooter is clearly to blame, institutional and human error in dealing with the situation bears some responsibility for the carnage.

Citing retired NYPD lieutenant Dr. Darrin Porcher, Council noted the failure of those involved in the recent Parkland, Florida school shooting to quickly challenge the shooter or adequately follow-up on prior tips about the shooter’s mental instability and access to weapons. But Council also said that communities – possibly including in Parkland – are behind-the-curve on the latest police strategies for reducing the potential for damage caused by active shooters:

Having recently received tactical active shooter training at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, I am aware of the new methods for addressing active shooters. Officers are now expected to be bolder. Before Columbine and Sandy Hook, standard procedure was for the first officer on the scene to set a perimeter and wait for the SWAT team. Today, officers like me are being trained to go into buildings and eliminate threats as quickly as possible – minimizing the loss of life.

Unfortunately, most officers do not receive this training. Many communities have yet to adequately address real and growing threats. There are plenty of demands for a “solution,” but who’s really protecting our children right now? Are local officers being trained to appropriately deal with active shooters? As some communities reduce their police departments’ size and budget, are they still prepared?

To read Council’s commentary in its entirety, click here.

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