Letter: How many lives will be sacrificed on the altar of the Second Amendment?
Rich Veit asks, "Has it come to the point that we simply throw up our hands, say that there is nothing that can be done, and accept somehow that the deaths and injuries inflicted upon staff and students are an unavoidable by-product of the right to bear arms?"
It was with interest that I read Gary Berude’s recent letter to the editor where he stated that gun control will never work in this country.
I read it with interest because I am currently in my 38th year of working in public education in North Dakota and Minnesota. Just this week, I participated in yet another staff training session dealing with active shooters in school buildings, as coincidence would have it, a day prior to the anniversary of the April 20, 1999, shootings at Columbine High School.
Over those 38 years, I have lost track of how many staff development sessions have been devoted to active shooter drills. Every day that I am at work, I consider where I am in the building, the location of the nearest exit, watching students as they enter the building in the morning, and monitoring the main entrance of the school when I pass by and when on bus duty in the afternoon. For those of you who do not work in public schools, know that the security of students and staff is close to the forefront of the consciousness of some staff members, and that fact is disheartening to me at times.
I readily admit that I am not an expert on the options available to keep guns from people who intend to do harm, and I am not a policy maker. I defer to the science that will lead to those decisions. I do, however, question how many of my colleagues in education across the country and how many students will be sacrificed on the altar of the Second Amendment. Has it come to the point that we simply throw up our hands, say that there is nothing that can be done, and accept somehow that the deaths and injuries inflicted upon staff and students are an unavoidable by-product of the right to bear arms? Are we, as a country, ready to be fatalists and say, “It is what it is” when the next school shooting happens, which it surely will? Is our only response “Our thoughts and prayers,” which, by the way, have never prevented a future school shooting?
If these things are true, then I am even more disheartened than when I am monitoring my current school workplace.
Rich Veit is a resident of Lake Park, Minn.
This letter does not necessarily reflect the opinion of The Forum's editorial board nor Forum ownership.