Since the school shooting tragedy in Newtown, Conn., many ideas are coming to light concerning the safety of schoolchildren and how to control people who misuse a weapon. Here are my opinions.
First and foremost, any person with any history of mental illness (including those on any medication to control mental problems) and/or arrest due to anger-management problems or violation of hunting rules and regulations should not be allowed to possess a firearm of any kind or, particularly, a license to carry a concealed weapon. Perhaps no one in such people's residences should be allowed to keep a weapon they may gain access to. Currently, only felons may not possess a firearm.
Second, having one armed guard in a school is not going to do much to prevent another massacre of students and teachers. The guard cannot be everywhere and can only respond to an incident. Arming teachers and other school personnel is the only way out of this. If the principal in Newtown had had a firearm, the shooter would be dead and she would be alive.
Any teacher who wants should be permitted to do so after having training on how to handle a weapon. A hunter safety course and many hours on a shooting range also would be mandatory. This should be paid for by the state, but the firearm would be purchased by and the property of the teacher.
There is no other solution to this problem.
Ronald P. Goebel
The writer, a former state representative, is a 50-year member of an 84-year-old hunting club with a 100-percent safety record.
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