Arming school staff no solution


Where do you want the battle, if any, to happen?

I ask the question with regard to school shootings. If your main focus is arming school personnel, then any shooting that happens will be in the school building.

Another problem is the school personnel will be severely out-gunned, if history is any measure, particularly when military assault weapons and multiple shot slips are legal and easily available. Another issue is that good guys don’t always win (only in movies).

It seems to me that controlling entry points and what is brought in is a far better approach because it has a better chance of keeping gun fire outside the school. It means a closed campus, but a safer one. This has been shown in D.C. urban schools.

This focus also de-emphasizes outreach and prevention by categorizing students — as good or bad, valued or worthless, sane or mentally ill — without an effort to understand the human being and needs of the student.

Alienated or bullied students aren’t mentally ill. They are generally reacting to a callous system that offers no real helpful outreach or support.

A critical part of the solution is communication, and outreach to students who are socially, emotionally or educationally challenged with programs individualized to make hope happen.

The cheap ineffective approach is more guns. Focusing on hope is valuing each student and encouraging the student’s talents and success with real support.

The prohibition of assault-like weapons, and universal background checks with real authority to control access to guns, is also critical.

Gilbert Engel

Niagara, Wis.