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Do we need a school safety commission?

March 12, 2018

Although the President has not been complimentary about the efficacy of commissions, apparently we are going to get another one anyway.

It’s hard to see what good the school safety commission will do.

We already know that most schools do not have controlled entry procedures. Some schools are apparently more concerned with their public image than the safety of their students, as witnessed in the Parkland incident.

We also know that any one of the people threatened by Cruz could have filed formal charges against him, and the police would have had grounds to arrest him.

We know that part of the reason no one put him on the NICS list was because he was a minor when many of the law enforcement visits occurred.

That’s something that could be fixed by not covering up for criminals or repeated law enforcement interactions just because they aren’t 18 yet. There shouldn’t be a sealed juvenile record for certain offenses.

The shooter had been on law enforcement’s radar since he was nine years old, according to some reports. Surely, when he was still a problem at 12 or at 14 he should have been treated as an adult offender.

Certain offenses, for instance threatening a girl’s life because she won’t go out with you, or beating up your family members, or torturing animals should at the very least result in some sort of habitual offender penalty that would be reportable to NICS, regardless of his age.

Cruz had been in a court-ordered mental health outpatient program for a period of time until he turned 18, at which time he simply quit attending. That should have been enough to put his name in the NICS database, but perhaps because of arcane patient confidentiality laws it didn’t happen.

But we know all that now, just as we know that the Broward County Sheriff’s office wasn’t exactly the epitome of serve and protect.

No laws that we pass are going to catch every potential offender. Stephen Paddock, at least as far we know, didn’t exhibit any violent behavior until he attacked people in Las Vegas.

Outlawing guns won’t stop someone who is intent on doing harm to others. They will find a way, whether it’s arson, a bomb, a knife, a club  or whatever else they can find.

With all that said, is the new commission going to study any of these problems? Somehow, we doubt it.

From → op-ed

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