Guns in schools requires discussion


I am concerned about the gun incident at Highland Local School, reported in the Sentinel story dated 8/23/19.

We have a complex gun culture in our country. Our cowboy and detective heroes always conquer the bad guys. Their aim is always sure. They are always confident. And why shouldn’t they be? The outcomes are scripted. These screen heroes rarely shoot innocent bystanders.

The wrong people seldom die from ricocheting bullets. The heroes are rarely hopelessly over-matched by a bigger gun or more bullets. These things rarely happen in the scripted world of TV and movie fiction, a world that exemplifies the claim, “a good guy with a gun …”

But in real life, outcomes are not so predictable. Is “a good guy with a gun” a tested conclusion? Actual research into gun violence is scarce. Our representatives with a particular ideology have refused for over two decades to allow the Centers for Disease Control to conduct research into reducing gun violence.

So the myth lives on absent any research or evidence to support it. Then we put it into practice in a local school. Is it surprising that we’ve experienced an outcome that could have been tragic? Some of us intuitively doubt the myth, yet we commit the safety of our youth to it.

From what I read in newspapers, the community didn’t know this policy was in place. Are there other local schools that have adopted a similar policy? It’s concerning when we proceed with untested policies, thus experimenting with the safety of our children. Research could provide answers, if only we’d prefer that to untested popular myth.

Roger Wren

Mount Gilead