MICHAEL RUSSELL

Opinion: Active shooter, lockdown drills great step to keep kids safe

Mar 6, 2018, 6:06 PM | Updated: May 2, 2018, 10:17 am
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)...
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

As the nation, President Donald Trump included, continues in a debate about school safety, kids around the nation have moved on to business as usual.

My eldest offspring is one them.

As I dropped her off at school she said, “Daddy, we have a lockdown drill today.”

Wait, what? Lockdown drills? As the alarms were going off in my head I calmly responded with, “Lockdown drills? Tell me what a lockdown drill is.”

She told me that an announcement is made, the teachers lock all of the classroom doors and turns off the lights as the kids huddle into the furthest corner of the classroom and stay quiet.

This. Is. Perfect.

We don’t need to do much more than this to keep our kids safe at schools. You read that right: There’s not much more we need to do.

I will maintain that, statistically, school is the safest place that we can take our kids every single day. You can’t argue with statistics.

Simply being prepared and practicing (drilling) will do so much more for our kid’s safety than any of these other crazy ideas:

Arming teachers

I am against this idea. I don’t think that increasing students’ access to firearms is a good move. I know some claimed that firearms would be locked away but there is a human factor here that makes me uncomfortable.

The anti-gun crowd claimed that law enforcement wouldn’t be able to tell the good guys (teachers) from the bad guys if everyone has a firearm. I’m not worried about law enforcement’s ability to decipher between the good guys and bad guys. I’m worried about the teacher’s ability to decipher between the good guys and bad guys.

School metal detectors

Terrible idea. There are too many ways that a shooter could access a school campus. The next time you drop off or pick up your kid up from school, take a look around and count how many metal detectors that school would need.

Oh, and ask yourself if that perimeter fence would be enough of a challenge for a would-be assailant.

The real question is, how in the world would we fund such an undertaking?

Of course, the knee-jerk reaction from administrators and politicians would be to pass the cost on to the tax payers. After all, “It’s all about the kids,” right?

Keep in mind that we have voted for budget overrides and bond measures promising teacher pay increases. How has that worked out?

Here’s an idea: Sell all of the 120 district office buildings (move them to portables on existing campuses) and use the funds for the metal detectors. But let’s be honest because they would rather pass the cost onto us.

Raising the minimum age to purchase a rifle to 21

This is just downright silly. Keep in mind that would not have stopped Sandy Hook, as his mom purchased his weapons.

Yes, I called them weapons because that were used as — weapons. Had they not been, they would simply be rifles.

So is the argument for raising the minimum age that an 18-, 19-, or 20-year-old is not mature enough for the responsibly of rifle ownership? If so, then why do we trust them to vote? Why would we allow them to join the military?

The minimum age for purchasing a handgun is 21. Handguns are used in the vast majority of violent gun crimes in this nation. Rifles make up about 1 percent of the total number of gun deaths annually, so tell me how raising the minimum age for purchasing a handgun stops gun violence.

Raising the minimum purchasing age is simply a political move that would do nothing but score some points for a few vulnerable reelection efforts.

If we feel that 18-year-olds can’t be trusted and raising the minimum age is the answer, then raise the age of adulthood as well.

To put it simply: Our kids are statistically safe at school. I haven’t seen one idea — whether its more guns or less guns — that actually makes our kids safer at school.

There is a reason why we do fire drills: they work. There is a reason why my southern California people have earthquake drills: because they work.

So let’s welcome active shooter/lockdown drills to our schools. It’s a start, its free, it doesn’t require Washington, D.C. to pass legislation and, most importantly, it will prepare our kids and teachers.

Michael Russell

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Opinion: Active shooter, lockdown drills great step to keep kids safe