I left the elementary school where I was working on Friday, waved to several kindergarteners playing on the playground, and walked to my car, where I learned of the shooting in Connecticut. Horror turned to despair and rage as I listened to the hand-wringing and questioning about how we can make schools safer. It seems the metal detectors, the “zero-tolerance” policies, the lockdown training, the profiling, the bully-prevention programs, and perhaps the most dangerous and misguided initiative, the ALICE program (it stands for alert, lockdown, inform, counter, evacuate) are not working to stem the violence. I heard very little about gun laws.
However, quite simply, if the shooter had not had a gun, the shooting would not have happened. All of the aforementioned measures put the onus of survival on the potential victims. This is insanity. First, take the guns away from the shooters. Then, if you want, teach potential victims to defend themselves, profile and identify potential attackers, and work to stop bullying so that the bullied won’t become killers. But put guns out of reach — that is, unless we believe that the 20 dead little children and the six dead educators might be alive today if they had only completed the ALICE training.