Most of the old western and cowboy movies seem to have the same ending, and that meant the good guys in the white hats beat the bad guys in the black hats. That fight has a new meaning now and it's hard to tell the difference as both sides of the gun control debate are standing by their decisions of what is just, right and moral. There will be no riding into the sunset this time, but an arguement that will continue between the NRA( National Rifle Association) and those groups that are against the beliefs and standards of the NRA.
Amid the horrific acts of violence at Sandy Hook and the countless displays of shootings throughout the country has spurned more than a debate, but what must be done to stop the madness. It will take a concerted effort from the government, media, teachers, parents and communities to either stop or slowdown the violence, especially with the weapons that are used in combat situations, not in schools, streets and communities.
Parents will play an integral part of that process and that means more than a family talk. They should monitor what their children are watching and playing video games. Many cartoons and pre-teen TV shows are filled with random acts of violence and disrespect, and that includes bullying. The parents must relate to their children the difference between fantasy and reality. Visits to the toy store will find heaps of guns and combat materials, and even if some of them appear to be safe, the children are still aiming at the proposed attacker. Even though that fantasy may appear harmless; it instills a behavior that may escalate unless thwarted by the parents and should be discussed of what is right and wrong.
Schools are changing their safety regulations and meeting with the staff and organizing meetings and programs to learn about safety. Many schools have a buzzer system and video set -up before anyone can enter the building. Name tags must be worn by the teachers, and this serves as a reminder to the younger students that the teachers are there to help keep the students safe. The doors should always be locked, and entry to the building should be monitored by a school employee. The administration is developing speakers at in-services to help the teachers experience all avenues of safety and learn about what steps of protocol should be followed.
Throughout the year, schools ask police officials to talk to the students, and this serves as a safety net that they can trust the police department.The programs involve bike and home safety, but now many schools are taking an added approach that teaches about "stranger danger", bullying and emergency (911) assistance.Throughout the year, there are safety drills , visits by the fire department and speakers on safety topics. Classroom teachers and specialists are adding skills to the curriculum that covers health and safety.
The annual gun shows haven't shown any slack in attendance, as there are thousands of patrons purchasing and viweing what is on display. On the other side of that are those who think this will just propagate more violence. There are countless articles and gun control facts for the public, and there has to be an open mind what those facts are and mean to each person.
Some schools have rifle teams, and there are places to use guns at public and private shooting ranges. The firing ranges and schools have targets, which is for recreation and improving a score. Recently, there was an article in the a local Pittsburgh newspaper that gun makers were appealing to the younger children as a marketing tool to place guns in the hands of them and to sponsor youth programs and competitions using semi-automatic handguns.
Only time will tell if this either helps with the education of guns or leads to more violence. In any event , something must be done to quell the needless loss of lives, but at the same time, find ways to understand the thought process of people using the guns and an effort by parents, schools and government to work together to meet for an understanding of what is best, or that meeting will either be okay or not okay at the corral.