Monday, December 17, 2012

Beefing Up Security at Schools: Nice Gesture, Poor Solution

Posted By on Mon, Dec 17, 2012 at 11:54 AM

In reaction to the Newtown school massacre, the St. Louis County Police Department is beefing up security at area schools. Chief Tim Fitch tweeted it on Friday:

That's a telling way to put it.

Notice he didn't say, "We hope our presence will make the kids safer."

Granted, increased presence of police officers probably will make the kids safer to some degree. However, the cops can't be everywhere at once, and as Adam Lanza has shown, a person with the right assault rifle and high-capacity magazine can commit an awful lot of murder in an astonishingly brief time.

This is part of how our nation reacts to mass shootings: We immediately increase security for a while. But that costs money, and Americans don't like tax increases. So after a time, we go back to normal.

"Normal" describes the atmosphere in Newton, Connecticut right before Adam Lanza massacred 20 innocent children.

Real solutions would mean finding better ways to keep dangerous guns out of dangerous hands while also honoring the Second Amendment; or finding a way to put trained mental health professionals in a position to notice people like Lanza; or, as I said, increasing taxes in order to add more security measures in schools on a permanent basis.

It's true that the danger to schoolchildren in St. Louis has slightly risen due to the threat of copycat crimes. But slightly increasing security only allows up to keep up with, and not get ahead of, the danger.

Soon, we'll go back to normal. And normal is not safe, clearly.


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