To the Journal editor:
My 38 years as a public school student and teacher has given a unique insight into the operation and dynamics of these institutions.
I have outlined seven points of some possible solutions to curb the avoidable school shootings, like the one in Newtown, Conn., and seven other schools in 2012 alone.
1) Tell your kids you love them no matter how much you dislike them or visa versa.
2) Spend at least an hour a day together, getting to know them and recognizing problems or emotional red flags before they fester. Being withdrawn into one’s bedroom for hours a day, playing virtual warring scenarios and killing games should be of concern.
3) If you see emotional red flags talk to your child or refer them to a counselor. Don’t be ashamed. Michigan public schools and county seats have such mental health professionals.
4) Some parents and guardians need to be more responsible. If you have guns in the house with unstable dependents, keep them out of reach and/or under lock and key
5) Video games manufacturers, the International Game Developers Association and gamers need to take time off from producing and playing killer in the virtual world. Kids and adults need to get away from computers and go outside more and do human things; run, jump, climb, laugh, engage your natural surroundings.
6) The NRA, in Washington needs to stop invoking Second Amendment fear into Americans. No one is trying to take your guns and you don’t need 20 shot assault rifles and armor piercing rounds in your arsenal. What is the first weapon a deranged twerp grabs when they wish to kill and maim? A knife, shovel, spatula. No, it’s a gun!
7) Schools are “soft targets” and teenage shooters know it and how to penetrate the school’s safety measures. It is unfortunate that it’s come to this but in order to disable/thwart a school perpetrator select administrators and/or staff need to be trained in firearm operation and marksmanship.
Some of you will cry out, saying your constitutional right to bear assault rifles and armor piercing rounds are being threatened and call me another liberal trying to take your guns. Far from it. I am a patriot that loves guns, their feel, smell and power.
And gamers may say I’m threatening their First Amendment rights to free speech.
We need to work together now.