In the wake of the Florida school massacre there have been shrill calls for stricter gun controls, including raising the age to 21 for the purchases of semi-automatic weapons and an outright ban on AR-15-type rifles. If Congress passes any of those measures it will only be feel-good legislation because that will no protect our schoolchildren from crazy shooters.
Right now there are over five million military-style rifles in the hands of American gun owners. Some of these gun owners are already crazy and there is no telling how many of them will turn into nutjobs. It is obvious that we cannot protect our school children from these crazies. Having an armed cop in every school will not prevent a shooter from killing students and teachers, although it could cut down on the carnage.
I’ve noticed that schools in the Houston-Galveston area have surrounded their campuses with fencing to keep intruders out. Wrought iron fencing is decorative but if it’s only 6-8 feet high, it will hardly keep out some nutjob determined to slaughter a bunch of schoolkids. So what can we do to protect our kids?
As I’ve said, armed cops on campus could cut down on the carnage, but those cops would have to be in the right place at the right time to incapacitate a shooter before he has a chance to open fire on any students. The same can be said about armed teachers.
Locked bullet-proof classroom doors are effective while classes are in session but won’t protect students when the hallways are crowded during class breaks and when the school cafeteria is filled. How then can we make sure our children are protected while in school?
There is a radical measure that can be taken to make our school safe. Security fencing is the answer. None of that wrought iron decorative fencing!
The school campus perimeter should be surrounded by a chain-link fence at least 12-feet high and topped off with razor wire. A double fence would be even better. Any access point must have a guard post with a metal detector. And for very large campuses, having someone patrol outside the fencing with a vehicle would not be a bad idea.
All that is expensive, but how much are our kids worth?
School boards spend millions of dollars building palatial-looking schools and such fencing would certainly detract from that. Looking at it from the outside, one might think they are seeing a prison. But that is the price we may have to pay to make sure no crazy shooter will gain access to a campus.
Instead of constructing palaces, school boards should put up no-frills buildings and they should stop using a different architectural design every time they plan for a new school. That way they would save tons of money which could be used for the fencing, guards and metal detectors.
I’m sure some of you will think I’m the one that’s nuts. But I do not propose letting a snarling bunch of Rottweilers or Dobermans run loose inside the double fencing. At least not yet.
Seriously though, security fencing with guarded access points appears to be the only real answer for the prevention of school shootings.