Ignore The Liberal Media. Only Parents Can Truly Prevent School Shootings
No matter what the details, the liberal media has a gun control script ready to run with when kids get murdered in school. But the details matter if we want to prevent or mitigate these tragedies — rather than just make political hay out of them.
After my daughter was murdered in Parkland, Florida, the media focused on gun control from day one. But I, and other parents and family members of the victims, wanted to know what actually went wrong and why. These questions were cast aside as a “distraction” from the national political debate, and it was left largely to me and a handful of others to find the answers for ourselves.
The truth was, so much went wrong. Particularly — a breakdown of basic school security and a massive police response failure.
As I watched the aftermath of the tragedy unfold in Uvalde, Texas, it all felt so sadly familiar. Corporate media went straight toward their gun control agenda before we even knew the basic facts about what had happened.
Once the dust started to settle, it became evident that here again was a basic breakdown in school security and a massive police response failure.
In the Parkland shooting, the killer walked through an open gate that should have been closed, and an unlocked door that should have been locked. In the Santa Fe, Texas, shooting, the killer walked through an unlocked door. And in the Uvalde shooting, the killer walked through an unlocked door.
While I understand the impulse to try to make it harder for potential killers to get guns, I don’t understand why the liberal pundits and activists who push for that cast aside the question of making it harder for a potential killer with a gun to walk into a school building. And yet, in their monomaniacal push for gun control, pundits like Chris Hayes mock basic school security measures: “Oh my god,” he tweeted, “They’re going to go with the one door thing, aren’t they?”
Yes. We are. Because if schools did this, it would save lives. A single point of entry was a key recommendation of former President Donald Trump’s Federal Commission on School Safety. President Trump’s administration put out dozens of concrete best practices, most of which were basic common sense — not political or charged at all.
And yet, rather than cover some of the recommendations, the media drowned out the report with complaints that he wouldn’t go along with their gun control agenda.
But if a killer with a gun manages to make it into the school, he must be stopped somehow. We’ve seen from Parkland and Uvalde that we can’t count on the police to respond appropriately.
et we’ve also seen that some brave men will rush into danger to try to save children’s lives. When the Florida state commission began looking into the details of the Parkland shooting, many of the members were mixed on the question of arming school staff. But everyone who reviewed the video from that day ended up voting in favor of it.
I understand that this rubs some people the wrong way. Ideally, every school would have a dedicated and highly trained school resource officer. But there needs to be someone on campus with the capacity to stop an active shooter.
If your community is truly opposed to an adult with a gun, there are alternative tools — such as tasers and non-lethal projectile launchers — that combined with body armor could do the trick. We can debate gun control until the cows come home. But at the end of the day, we must take concrete steps to prevent killers with guns from entering schools — or to stop them once they enter.
Ultimately, it’s on you as parents. When such tragedies happen, don’t go running to twitter. Don’t pay the national political conversation any mind. Find out what security is like in your school. And if you don’t like what you find, run for school board and make it better.
Andrew Pollack is the father of Meadow Pollack, co-author of Why Meadow Died, and promotes school safety with Secure My School Now.
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