Schools should, and can, be made safer

Welcome to another school year.

There was a time when a school was the safest place for a child to be, and for many children, sadly, that meant even safer than being at home.

Today, even more sadly, schools are no longer as safe for children, teachers and other staff as they once were. Legislative solutions for this quandary deal too much with symptoms instead of direct causes. Innovative bullet-proof backpacks illustrate alternative, strictly entrepreneurial money-making endeavors that also merely address symptoms.

Symptomatic increases in school security may accomplish some prevention, but sometimes that just moves the scene of killings. In addition to increases in school security measures, we need decreases in both the numbers and the accessibility of weapons that no one other than our military and other authorities should possess.

That means no more non-authority sale or resale of so-called assault weapons. It also means registering all legal guns.

No, registering guns won’t take away one’s guns, any more than registering vehicles takes away one’s car. No, restricting ownership of assault weapons by non-authorized people won’t weaken the Second Amendment’s “right of the people,” collectively versus individually, “to keep and bear arms” for the “security of a free State.”

People can still keep their muskets, flintlock pistols and other weapons that were available for the “well regulated militia” when the Second Amendment was drafted (1789) and ratified (1791). Responsible contemporary gun owners including hunters, hobbyists and collectors, for example, should not be intimidated or misled by NRA fear-inducing rhetoric or other slanted interest-group propaganda.

Tell your legislators it’s high time we all learn — and not just in school. But at least it’s time to welcome children to another school year and to wish them success — as well as survival.

Michael Lindsay

Eau Claire