Letter: Lobbying for gun control over heightened school security won’t protect our children

This is in response to a recent Letter “Will our nation decide to prioritize children’s lives over guns?” Although the premise of the letter is that we should protect children over protecting gun rights, the letter focuses exclusively on gun control policy — with no discussion of how to protect children in schools.

Concerned citizens have a choice — advocate for gun control policy exclusively or also advocate to enhance school security. Obviously, it’s more effective to focus on school security right now, instead of proposed changes to our Constitution that could take years to adapt.

During a school shooting, students and staff call 911, then wait for people with the necessary training and tools to arrive and stop the threat. This model wastes valuable time while innocent people are being attacked and killed.

The Association of Zoos and Aquariums requires member organizations to have an emergency response team and weapons secured on-site to deal with an animal escape that threatens human life. The Denver Zoo has trained staff and secured weapons on-site. As a result of this policy children are safer at the zoo than in our schools because the zoo has trained staff and resources to respond immediately in the event of a specific threat.

Our schools should be at least as prepared for tragedy as our zoos. Like the Denver Zoo, our schools should have trained staff and resources on-site to immediately deal with unexpected threats to human life.

As we saw in both Parkland, Florida, and Uvalde, Texas, even when police arrive, they may stand idle outside wearing badges and guns while children are being killed less than 50 yards away.

The letter closes with “It is way past time for adults in America to protect children, not guns,” and I agree completely. Because guns are already protected by the Second Amendment, we should focus on protecting children that remain vulnerable in schools that we have allowed to become soft targets for violence.

Those among us that advocate exclusively for gun control policies rather than also implementing common-sense school security measures appear more interested in advancing gun control policy than protecting children. In addition to policy discussions, we should prioritize the immediate safety of our community’s children and take the necessary measures to effectively secure our schools before they reopen in the fall.

Ken Mauldin

Steamboat Springs

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