Beyond the Cusp

December 15, 2012

Observations on the School Shooting in Connecticut

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut was the scene of a horrific and senseless slaughter of twenty innocent children whose wonder and amazement of the world came crashing to a violent end. All their and their friends, parents, siblings and all who knew them hopes and dreams of what could be will now be unanswered and unfulfilled. My condolences go out to everybody affected by this vile, heinous and senseless violence wherever they may be found. The facts at the time of this writing are still woefully incomplete and still I feel I know all that is necessary to come to the realization that Newtown, Connecticut, the entire nation, and many around the world will never be quite the same after gaining knowledge of this wanton waste of innocent and precious lives. The news story is still in flux with the information changing with every update and unanswered questions still being added proving that at times the more information you get, the more questions there are to answer. Before this story will thankfully fade with time, though its effects will never completely dissipate, we will hear every possible reason and excuse for what happened. The young man, I am tempted to call him a monster and not a man, will likely be a troubled person on medications and this will be given as the mitigating factor. This will be used to place the blame on society, medical science, our lack of programs for those with mental difficulties, lack of sufficient supervision for people suffering from whatever ills drove this person’s actions and other such justifications, as if there can be any justification for such evil. This may be the sole use of the word “evil” you are likely to see as evil has become more of a four letter word than those that pepper so much of the entertainment mediums of today’s society. There will be numerous demands for restrictions of our freedoms and rights going forward all claiming to be reasonable demands if it saves a single life, and it is this direction I wish to explore.


Right up front I want to make clear that with almost universal application, none of the expert reasons and explanations are worth a thin dime and will be mostly long on educated language and terms that have important sound but mean little to most of us. The hosts interviewing the people who will be coming out of the woodwork will all nod and shake their heads knowingly as if they actually understand the theories and ‘eduspeak’ spouted by the experts. Some will blame the culture of guns in the United States, others the violence in the video games and entertainment of American society, still others the lack of sufficient numbers of people who deal with those with troubled lives and unhealthy mental states. There will be recommendations for gun control, more spending on social services for troubled people, placing police in every school or even every classroom, arming teachers after a training course, and anything from a catalog of subjects that can be imagined. All the solutions will require either the need for the surrender of rights by the population or a great additional expenditure by government making them inappropriate or ill-advised. Few will come up with suggestions which are workable in today’s world.


My suggestion is that perhaps we should look to what has been utilized in places where such threats have existed. The place I am thinking of went through a period of years where the main targets for violent attacks were the schools, the elementary schools being the preferred target. This was the situation in Israel for decades starting in the early 1960s. The Israelis found an affordable and innovative solution that eventually made such attacks so difficult that targeting moved on to other targets where people congregated. This eventually led to every business and institution becoming security conscious and employing armed guards who searched all containers including purses, bags, or any object that might contain a bomb or firearm. But initially, when the full extent of the problem was the targeting of the schools and the children attending classes, the Israelis applied an innovative solution. The Israeli solution was to have a special IDF unit provide special and targeted training for volunteers who were then allowed to guard the school of their preference. The people who made up this cadre of school armed guards were grandparents who volunteered to stand guard at the schools where their grandchildren were attending. This prevented numerous attempted terror attempts and soon ended the threat because those guarding the schools were highly motivated and well trained. Before anybody claims that such is insane let me explain that the IDF also screened the volunteers for mental and physical fitness to provide intelligent and proper security. What makes this use of retired and concerned people was not the idea of any government bureaucrat, no, not at all; it was initiated at the insistence of the grandparents who demanded the government allow them to guard and provide the safety that they did not expect the government to provide in a manner anywhere near as adequate as what these concerned volunteers knew they could provide. Perhaps the time will come in the United States when the people demand to be given the tools and training to make their schools and even the malls and movie theaters and all other public places susceptible to such attacks safe from the random violence from some disturbed person who managed to arm themselves. It is our society and our responsibility to safeguard the places from all evils, both carefully plotted in a sane and meticulous manner and the acts of an insane lunatic who goes off the deep end. If we the people are unwilling to take measures to assure our own safety, please do not depend on the government to provide such, just look at the past few weeks and realize this is the level the governments are willing to provide and we can do better.


Beyond the Cusp


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