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Get Rid of Your Guns!

dawn

One of the best policies that Australia has ever implemented was a gun buy-back scheme. Although illegal from owning a firearm, the Government recognised after a tragic massacre at Port Arthur that guns were available and something had to be done about it. So they bought people’s guns and incinerated them. You would think that the people who owned these guns would have happily kept quiet about it, and I’m sure many did, but the hand-in rate was overwhelming.

Whilst I realise that the United States has a very different outlook on guns than we do, I must say that if there is an amendment in their constitution that I’m unhappy with it’s the “right to bear arms” one. Whilst I wish this amendment could be tossed away for good, I realise that the US population would never accept such a drastic change.

But that doesn’t mean you have to own a gun. That doesn’t mean that you have to expose your children to guns. I know that guns don’t kill people but no angry, potential gunmen is going to take siege of a school with a baseball bat.

Whilst guns are readily accessible, I’m afraid security measures are unlikely to be sufficient in warding off gunmen:

Dawn Hochsprung, the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary who died in the shootings at the Newtown, Conn., school Dec. 14, had recently implemented new security measures, CNN reports.

In a letter to parents this fall, Hochsprung outlined new security procedures, which included checking identification for visitors if they were not recognized by staff.

“Please understand that with nearly 700 students and over 1,000 parents representing 500… families, most parents will be asked to show identification,” Hochsprung wrote in the letter, which was addressed to “Members of our Sandy Hook Family.”

The letter also stated that all visitors arriving at the school after 9:30 a.m., when the front gates were locked, would have to ring a bell for entry and would immediately have to report to the main office to sign in.

The Associated Press reported that the shooter’s mother was a teacher at the school.

Twenty-six victims died in the shooting, including 20 children and six staff members. The gunman appears to have taken his own life.

Hochsprung, a veteran administrator with 12 years of experience, kept an active Twitter account and was a respected member of the education community.

“Dawn Hochsprung… touched many of our hearts with her professionalism and love for her students,” Bethlehem, Conn., first selectman Jeff Hamel said in a statement Friday afternoon, according to the Litchfield County Times. “Our hearts and prayers go out to all the victims from this selfish, senseless act.”

WNYT reported that Hochsprung was a doctoral student at the Sage Colleges, having started a education leadership program over the summer.

Lori Quigley, dean of the college, told the station that Hochsprung was “vibrant, full of life and loved her school community” and called her a “truly… caring administrator.”

A candlelight vigil for the victims of the shooting was scheduled in Woodbury, Conn., Friday night.

Click on the link to read Helping Kids Cope in the Aftermath of Sandy

Click here to read ‘Helping Our Children Make Sense of Natural Disasters’.

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2 Responses to “Get Rid of Your Guns!”

  1. Kitty Hogan Says:

    are you nuts? maybe it’s because you aren’t a US citizen so you aren’t properly informed as to WHY this amendment exists. the “right to bear arms” was created by our founding fathers with the intention of giving the PEOPLE a way to protect themselves against the GOVERNMENT. just like drugs, people can still find them if they’re legal. not only can they find them, but the means used to obtain them becomes more violent and chaotic.
    once you start taking away rights, it opens the door for even more to be taken away. this is a slippery slope. it is a liberty of ours that is important.
    drunk drivers kill people everyday. does that mean we should make cars illegal? was it the car that killed, or the driver? think about that.
    i think there should be more thorough background checks and VERY thorough psychological testing required before you can purchase a gun, indeed. but taking away that amendment? stay in Australia, please.

    • Michael G. Says:

      Dear Kitty,

      Thanks for your considered comment. I appreciate your feedback.

      Unfortunately, I believe you missed my point. Whilst I am not a fan of an amendment that allows citizens to own guns, I wasn’t exactly calling for its end. I was simply making the point that just like US citizens have the right to bear arms, so too they have the right to decide not to. They also have the right to ensure that their children never see a gun in their house. That is just as much the right of an American as the right to own guns. I implore the citizens in your country to consider not owning weapons, and while you mention it, to avoid drinking and driving and driving recklessly etc.

      Whilst you wish for me to stay in Australia, I hope others in your country are a bit more welcoming. I would love to travel to your great country one day. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for what is the beacon of democracy. One place I would love to visit is Sandy Hook Elementary School, to witness something that America has shown time and time again – the resilience of rebuilding and uniting after natural disaster, terrorist attacks and devastating incidents like this and the recent Colorado shootings.

      May the welfare of the innocent children and their parents and teachers of your great country be protected and nourished from this day forward!

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