I decided to write this after receiving the blanket email all parents of Elk River students received shortly after the tragic school shooting in Connecticut. The emails were written to calm parents and remind us that the safety and security of our students are a priority and that they were looking into their Crisis Management Plans etc.
Despite the intention of the email, it did little to calm or reassure me. It comes down to this: How safe are our kids, really? If a gunman ran into one of our schools tomorrow, how would it be different than it was in Connecticut? My latest email notification from one school stated that staff presence has been increased. …OK, that’s great but what does that do other than create more targets? I’m not being critical, I’m being realistic.
It is absurd to think even for a second that the evil monsters in this world will ever be deterred by “gun-free zone” laws or by having extra unarmed people standing in the hallway on the lookout for bad guys. It is a fact that gun-free zones are where nearly all of these terrible mass murders take place.
I do not understand why so much of our society has the grossly irresponsible mindset that it is OK to be unarmed and helpless in today’s world. If you’re unarmed and helpless, guess what? You are unarmed and helpless. I have been a police officer for nearly 14 years and I have seen enough evil, loss and heartbreak to last 100 lifetimes. I also understand that this is the world we live in. New gun laws and wishful thinking aren’t going to stop these evil and sick people from harming our children.
It is equally absurd to have the mindset that “it will never happen here” because it could happen here, and as we all know, it will most definitely happen again somewhere. If you polled teachers and school staff today, you will find many who are willing and qualified to be well-trained, armed and prepared to protect our children.
The alternative is this tragic history that keeps repeating itself over and over. We have a responsibility to ensure that it does not. — Michael Rocklin, Elk River