mdhayesby Marty Hayes, J.D.

I wrote this month’s column addressing the tragedy in Newtown, CT in the days following the event, starting it a mere 20 hours after the murderer (name withheld) took 26 innocent lives in a horrific act. As I was writing, the emotion of the incident was still forefront in everyone’s mind, and the tears (when thinking about those precious children slain) still rolling down the cheeks. Predictably, the anti-gun politicians and news media were then (and still are) dancing in the blood of these innocent victims in order to push their anti-gun agenda. The President has indicated that we need to discuss what can be done to stop these types of incidents. This act was shocking, revolting and all too commonplace. So, let’s talk, Mr. President. What is the solution to stopping these mass murders? I will give you my thoughts.

NOTE: The National Rifle Association had not yet responded to the murders when I wrote this column. The reader will find close parallels between what I say here, and what the NRA came up with as a possible solution to the issue of violence in our schools. Instead of re-writing my column though, I thought I would let it stand and comment about the NRA proposal at the end of the column.

First, before another tragedy like this occurs, parents should DEMAND that schools take necessary steps to prevent this type of incident. After all, isn’t it the parents’ responsibility to ensure their children are safe? Why are parents willing to turn over these precious children to schools that have no concept of how to keep them safe? Or if they do have a clue, why are they still unwilling to take those steps to stop these types of incidents?

Translation: It means schools need to start providing armed security, if they want to be able to stop a mass murderer in his tracks. And the parents need to be willing to pay for it.

But that is not all. We gun owners need to take a critical look to see if we are doing enough to stem the violence. We enjoy our firearms freedoms like no other country in the world. We owe a debt of gratitude to the founding fathers for providing us with the Second Amendment, and owe another debt of gratitude to the five United States Supreme Court Justices who upheld that right to keep and bear arms, both in the Heller and the McDonald decisions. So, what can we gun owners do?

For one thing, we can help out our local school districts, both in monetary contributions to help provide for paid security, and second, we can volunteer to provide that security if there are not sufficient resources to pay for armed, trained personnel. How about armed, trained volunteer personnel? If our local school district put out a call for a staff of volunteers, gun owners who were trained and competent in using a handgun to stop an armed intrusion into the school, how many people do you think they would get to volunteer? I know a lot of people would. And that would be a good start. An even better start would be to tap into the wealth of trained, armed retired law enforcement officers, who were granted the right to carry concealed handguns nationwide by virtue of the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act of 2004. The rationale behind this law was to allow retired law enforcement officers to carry guns nationwide, to add a layer of security for society. It seems that these guys and gals (many of whom are not working and are truly retired) could form the nucleus of that voluntary security force. Each year, we seem to have a school levy on the ballot, to pay for maintenance, upkeep, new schools and such. How about school levies to pay for school security? I would vote for a rise in my property taxes to help pay for it. And, if the voters turn it down, then the voters of that school district have chosen slightly lower taxes over school security.