Armed guards in the school isn't a feasible solution either. No community would ever be able to afford the cost of having armed guards in each school within that jurisdiction. Even if you went to a private security force to provide protection, you would have to have every entrance to the school manned throughout the entire day. Even then you will have visitors throughout the day coming to the school, whether it be parents, or other authorized guests. To ensure that weapons are not introduced into the school, each visitor would have to be scanned for any metal object. What parent or visitor would want to be subjected to that search each time they come to the school? Is locking the students in while locking all others out the message we want to send to our children? How do we address the situation where the shooter is the student? Consider Columbine High School. The shooters there were students. They had a reason to be there and they were not intruders from the outside. How could there introduction of weapons into the school have been avoided? Let's change the scenario. What if the shooter did not even enter the school? What if the shooter or shooters remained outside? What if they waited until school was out for the day and the students were leaving, or in the elementary school situation, the kids were out at recess playing in the playground? I'm reminded of Charles Whitman who was an engineering student and former Marine who killed 13 people and wounded 32 others in a shooting rampage located in and around the tower of the University of Texas in Austin on the afternoon of August 1, 1966. Here was a shooter who was not inside the school but was on the campus. How could that situation have been avoided? And more recently we had the spree killer who killed 32 people and wounded 17 others in 2007 at Virginia Tech. Seung-Hui Cho traveled along the grounds of the campus before he started his attack. There is no fool proof solution to ensure that events like this in our schools don't take place again.
As far as the mental health issues, how do we identify these people? Do we require that all citizens undergo a psychological examination to determine who is mentally ill? Even then, Psychologists and Psychiatrists have varied opinions in the classification of mental illnesses. How do we set the standard? Charles Whitman (University of Texas) included in his suicide note that his brain needed to be autopsied because he knew there was something wrong with it. His hope was that the problem could be diagnosed and could give medical professionals some insight into the problem, hoping that one day it could be cured. Each of us have our own quirks and our own abilities and/or restrictions to reason, which may be caused by the electrical impulses in our brains. To say that all of these impulses were identical in each person would be ridiculous. I would suspect that we all have some sort of or electrical misfire? So, what is normal? There is no yardstick to measure what is and what is not normal. We view what is normal and abnormal based on how society perceives it to be. If we identify someone who has these mental issues that may have violent tendencies, how do we determine if that person will commit a violent act against others? And even if we were able to identify, how would we make everyone else aware? Would we require that they be adorned with a Scarlet Letter on their clothing so that everyone can know that they are dangerous or do we just remove them from society, locking them up for our safety? To do so would imply that these people are not worthy or equipped to live among us, much less violating their civil and constitutional rights. So how do we do this? Again, there is no logical solution to the mental health issues that would guarantee us safety from any of these individuals even if we were able to determine their propensity for violence.
In the aftermath of the Connecticut shooting, I've heard many express that the reason for the shooting was because our government officials no longer allow prayer or God in school. I would almost bet that on Friday morning when that shooter opened fire in those classrooms, there was plenty of prayers being said in that school. I personally have no problem with prayer in school and I feel that each person should have the right to determine their own belief systems. I've always been told that you can pray anywhere and that you don't even have to pray out loud for your prayers to be heard. How many times have you said a silent prayer, believing that God would hear that prayer? Open prayer and religious literature may not be allowed in schools but the presence of God exists in the hearts that carry him there.
According to the Bible, murder has been around since the days of Cain and Able, and so has evil. We have all been taught that murder is wrong, yet we cannot stop it. All we can do is punish for the offense after the fact. There is no absolute fix to correct the problem. There is no one particular reason why these shootings take place. Those that try to isolate the cause, whether it be blaming guns laws, the mentally ill or religion, each have their own agenda or reason. If the truth be told and acknowledged, each and every one of us are subjected to the possibility of evil and foul play every day. Whether we go to the mall or we go to the school or anywhere else we may go, we put ourselves at risk, not knowing the dangers that potentially await us. The shooting in Connecticut on Friday was a random act. It seems to have been a spur of the moment, the reaction to an event, that caused this man to carry out this act. I doubt anyone could have predicted that this would happen. I doubt that there was anyone who would have thought that this person was capable to commit such a heinous act of violence. Outlawing guns, restricting guns, identifying those with mental health issues or allowing God and prayer back in the school will not resolve this problem. We just have to realize that there are evil people who may or may not be diagnosed with mental illness who at any given time and at any given place could lose control and do this very same thing. We need to be aware of the possibilities that exist but we also have to be aware of our surroundings and take notice of those situations that appear odd, and then just hope for the best. We cannot live in fear. Maybe one day the media will stop glorifying these killers which in turn may reduce the number of these people trying to achieve their 15 minutes of fame.