by Rob Morse
The murders at Sandy Hook Elementary School happened nine months ago. School is about to open again, yet politicians ignored the hard work of writing laws to protect our children. Many of us wrote about the changes needed to stop mass murder and protect our children. I have not seen those changes implemented across the United States, and I certainly have not seen them implemented in California where I live. Our politicians left our children at risk. The politicians planned for the next tragedy. They prepared press releases rather than preparing necessary legislation to protect our children. This is what the California politicians ignored.
– By law, schools are required to have fire-emergency plans and to exercise fire-emergency drills. Politicians ignored legislation to address school violence by requiring a physical security plan at each school and exercising that plan with students and first responders. Politicians ignored physical security even though school violence hurts more children than school fires.
– Glory killers commit their crimes to receive media attention after their death. By restricting the news coverage after a tragedy, we can deny the murderers the celebrity status they seek. We already restrict news coverage of rape victims and child victims of crime. Writing media laws to hide the names and faces of glory killers was too hard for our politicians.
– Politicians installed a few security doors and cameras in California schools. California politicians rejected the one thing we know reduces school violence; they rejected armed security on campus. Politicians can have armed security at work, but not our children.
– It is hard work to write and fund mental health laws. California politicians looked the other way and pretended our mental health system works.
– At the national level, there was never an effort for uniform mental health reporting. Before you pass a new law, it would be wise to know if the old laws worked. Legislators never asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to report if states are complying with existing mental health reporting laws.
Politicians ignored real solutions to make us safer because those legislative efforts won’t keep the politician in office. A politician needs media exposure to win the next election! Passing school safety reforms won’t generate the headlines and bring in the special interest campaign donations that follow a school tragedy. It is easier for our politicians to advance their careers by pandering to anti-gun groups after a tragedy. It is easier to pander than to implement the real security reforms that actually save lives.
Sandy Hook was not the first glory killing. We’ve had murder in schools for many years. Sandy Hook will not be the last tragedy as long as we keep doing what we’ve always done. After each tragedy, the politicians passed feel-good legislation that had no chance of stopping the next disaster. True to form, California politicians again called for more unrealistic gun laws. If gun laws like these were effective, then California cities would already be the safest places on earth! They are far from it. See Oakland, Richmond, Compton and Stockton, California in this list of 100 most dangerous US cities. Countries like Mexico and Norway would not have their mass murders if gun control worked. Facts don’t matter to politicians.
The headlines for the next mass murder are already written. The headlines will say evil guns killed defenseless children and teachers. The headlines will say we need more restrictions on law abiding gun owners in order to be safe. The headlines are wrong. It is the negligent politicians who left our children vulnerable to crazy people and criminals! These negligent politicians would rather grab headlines than work towards real safety reform.
We are losing time and lives while politicians dance in front of the news media. I will blame these politicians for the next tragedy. I will blame us, the voters, for leaving them in office.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison