I recently read an article that concerned gun control in a local edition of the Branson Tri-Lakes News. The article was written by Stephen Herzog and concerned comments made by Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell as to his thoughts concerning what has become a national controversy, ever since the events that transpired at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Connecticut.
Sheriff Russell made it clear in his remarks that he feels the root cause of many problems with face with shooting lie not in the weapon as much as it does the on-going failure of our society to address mental heal issues. In the article, Sherriff Russell noted that ‘they’ve closed two mental hospitals’ in Missouri; this occurring at a time when the number of mental patients is on an increase and not a decrease. An article posted by ABC News found a study that shows as many as 1 in 5 Americans currently suffer some form of mental illness. And, increasingly, these people are falling through the net that is supposed to be in place to protect the rest of society.
Sheriff Russell also directed some of his remarks to local area schools and the need felt by some to install persons with concealed carry privilege onsite as a possible deterrent to random acts of violence. Mr. Russell felt that while the idea should merit consideration, he would be concerned that a person who was carrying a concealed weapon might not be able to retain it properly and so would require additional training.
My response to that statement would be for the state to insure proper training, but to also insure that they get some guns on location and then to advertise the fact. The reality is that the chances for someone to attack one of our schools in the manner that happened at Sandy Hook is very remote. (Even the gun control lobby acknowledges that fact). However, I would propose that just the rumor that some personnel ‘may’ be carrying’ would be enough to deter unstable individuals from even trying. (I base that assumption on the fact that in every instance of past mass shootings, these acts were done in ‘gun free zones’). While these shooter may be truly 'insane', they still are intelligent enough to pick the 'softest' targets available.
In summary, I think Sheriff Russell and others might agree; if you enforce the laws currently on the books, make gun offenses Federal offenses, teach kids responsible gun safety and protect our school children in the same manner we protect our money in banks, then everything just might work out!