Guest Column: Our children’s safety is paramount

By Ed Schott

The recent tragedy at Newtown, Conn., and other places is horrible and is not something for agenda proponents to capitalize upon. However, many have done that. We have seen, read and heard it, and most have offered little condolence or solace to the grieving ones.

Bill Moyers is a salient example. In his Sunday news feature, he mentioned the crime and then quoted one sentence of the National Rifle Association (NRA) news interview out of context. He quoted Wayne LaPierre saying, “Only good people with guns can stop bad people with guns.” Then, he emphasized how shocked he was at that sentence. He didn’t mention the other positive comments in the interview.

I thought, “I wish that poor, brave school principal had gotten her pistol, which she kept in her locked drawer and then stopped the criminal before he completed his crime.”

That thought is only a dream or a wish. She had no pistol. She tried to stop the criminal, and she and others died. And for what? For the lack of her self-defense and defense of others in the face of a mentally and psychologically-challenged criminal.

Such criminals are so determined that they will stop at nothing, and they kill with knives, ball bats, guns, gasoline bottle bombs or anything to accomplish their unimaginably horrible crimes.

In China, they are killing children in school with knives and meat cleavers where guns are not available.

The best response I have heard regarding the tragedy is the news interview with Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA. Here is a link. Please read it before you condemn the NRA and the many honest folks it represents:

The content of this NRA interview has already prompted a video arcade to remove violent games from its options. This is just one small step in the right direction.

The journalists have reported that for every box of ammunition that is sold, the NRA receives a percentage. I checked this with several stores, and I found that this claim is false.

There have been several cases recently in which school officials with arms have stopped a would-be killer. These cases receive little attention. Here is a quote from school officials answering why no children were killed in an attempt: “Because the good people of Tennessee have enough sense to allow armed officers inside of our schools to protect our children.”

This armed school resource officer prevented the planned killing. There have been other instances in the last month in which life and safety were protected by someone being armed, thus repelling a criminal.

The recent case in which a ball player killed his girlfriend and then killed himself in front of his coach was also tragic, but the cause was alcohol consumption with over double the legal limit. In this case, the need for strict alcohol control was demonstrated. With President Barack Obama having beer parties on the White House grounds, we will not get that protection.

We didn’t have this problem 60 years ago. What changed? The media with the increased emphasis on violence, parents who both work and don’t have “family time” with their children and give them little guidance and who let them watch TV and video games and run wild rather than using their initiative to be creative.

Sixty years ago, there was no ban on guns in our school. Sometimes, we brought guns and cartridges to high school to “Show and Tell” and to trade, sell or buy from one another. We put them in our locker and then took them home after school. Our parents taught us how to shoot safely. We had local rifle matches as a sport. Later, I competed in NRA rifle matches, and I won the Illinois State 600-yard Long Range Match with a perfect score using a rifle I built myself. I made the ammunition and zeroed the sights for 600 and 1,000 yards on our farm. Mother made me a shooting jacket and the cloth support for the 1,000-yard target. I have since taught my children and other youngsters to target shoot safely. My daughter went to the National Rifle Matches in Camp Perry, Ohio.

Ed Schott is a retired registered professional engineer, having made four inventions with patents, and manages and maintains the 180-year-old family farm, and lives in the Rockford area.

From the Feb. 6-12, 2013, issue

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