Letters to the Editor

A couple of suggestions to make schools safer

Once again a school shooting tragedy has rekindled the gun control debate in our country. Having spent time in both the military and law enforcement I may have insight that some have missed. Is it any less heinous for someone to enter a school, or anywhere else, with two handguns each having a 16-round magazine than with one “assault rifle” with a 30-round magazine? Strict gun laws only affect the law-abiding citizen. If a criminal wants a weapon, he/she will buy it on the street or steal it.

The suggestion of putting armed personnel in our schools, be they teachers, veterans or retired law enforcement, has been met with derision in some quarters. It begs this question: If a gunman entered the school attended by your child or grandchild, wouldn’t you prefer to have a trained, armed and willing person present to stop the threat?

Those who commit these crimes may not meet the legal definition of insane but they certainly “ain’t right.” No one buying a gun needs to have it immediately, and a comprehensive background check should be completed before they take possession. A database of those with mental or violent issues, available to law enforcement only, may be a start.

Chuck Burkhard

Ocean Springs