Thursday, February 15, 2018

Reflections on the Florida shooting

This is a compilation of my email postings this morning, but it also contains some resources in both press and original sources I found which go into greater detail of laws, lawsuits, and enforcement problems. It may be helpful in getting our heads around the magnitude of problem and the difficult solutions.

This morning I am thinking of the pain and suffering of the parents who lost children in Florida yesterday and pray for recovery of the wounded. It bring back images of 1999 and Columbine and so much more. I am thinking of my daughter the teacher in a school near Columbine years later who drilled her students in "active shooter" evasion just as I used to be a student in Oklahoma who drilled against tornado threats.and nuclear war. Later in 2013 she witnessed her own daughter running out of Arapahoe High School in Littleton Colorado with her hands in the air after a school mate shot a fellow student (both mother and daughter took years of counseling to deal with PTSD, just as those will do who survived the horror yesterday.) I think of my grandson huddling under a desk as children were mowed down in a nearby school in Newtown, Connecticut . I mourn, I am horrified, I ask how and why we have come to this. Colorado has passed some rational gun control laws, in the wake of the Aurora movie theatre shooting
, Giffords law and universal background checks, limit of magazine sizes, closing gun show loopholes and e commerce loopholes.Yet we are only a short drive to Wyoming to escape our state laws and some local Colorado sheriffs refuse to enforce some of the laws.  We will not end all mass shootings, but we can reduce the carnage. We should and we must. It is a national responsibility.

Reports this morning in the wake of the Florida school shooting are that the gunman
had been identified as a threat, he had been reported to the FBI by a citizen as a potential
threat due to his postings and behavior and he had been expelled from school. In the wake
of the Arapahoe school shooting in Colorado, a suit against the school for not
recognizing or taking action against an angry student who had made death threats
resulted in a new law. Colorado schools are  now liable for violence. Whether the 
Florida school had done all that it could to prevent the massacre or not, it appeared
they had done more than Arapahoe High had done. In any case, more must be done
to report threats to law enforcement and that should be translated into background
check laws.  It is not just that schools have a responsibility. So does law enforcement

and so do citizens  and law makers have the responsibility to make sure the connection is made.

From my Facebook  friend in the UK this morning: Sophy Jubb. a parent of school age children: I yield the floor to her. " In contrast, my daughter was at school in London for 7 years and I was never in fear of a gun incident. She did not learn 'active shooter evasion' in school, because there was no need. Knife crime is on the rise, but mass shootings are incredibly rare. We haven't had a gun massacre here since 2010; and we haven't had a school shooting since Dunblane in March 1996. That's almost 22 years without a school massacre. How? Simple. Dunblane caused such public horror (people my age and older remember it vividly) that the gun laws were tightened to make it much harder to obtain a gun licence. It is not impossible to obtain one, in fact I know several people who hold one and own weapons legally; but application involves comprehensive background checks and guns have to be kept securely. My daughter, my husband, and I have all used firearms legally, though we don't own any. You *can* stop the shootings; you just need a government that will stand up to the gun lobby, and I pray that some day soon you will get one. The children deserve it."

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