To the Editor,
I’m writing in response to the recent article titled School Safety Now, Not Later. I agree with retired officer Tim Colgan that RI schools must be made safe for our …
To the Editor,
I’m writing in response to the recent article titled School Safety Now, Not Later. I agree with retired officer Tim Colgan that RI schools must be made safe for our children, but vehemently disagree with his proposed solution. While Colgan can only imagine what it is like to “hide in a classroom,” I, as a former elementary school teacher, have participated in many active shooter drills. Also, as a former mentor to children at the Department of Juvenile Justice in SC, a secure facility, I can assure you, armed guards are not conducive to an optimal learning or working environment.
While seemingly well intentioned, School Safety Now’s plan is not a serious solution for safe spaces for Rhode Island’s children. Gun violence is now the number one killer of children in this country. School Safety Now can harden schools all they want. Children, however, go to shopping malls, churches, movie theaters, beaches, playgrounds, 4th of July parades, concerts, and sweet sixteen birthday parties. Are we to hire armed guards to follow our children around to these places as well?
The truth is strong gun laws save lives. From https://www.gvpedia.org: In states with strong laws, mass shooting incidents increased by 33% and fatalities by 26%, but in states with weak laws, mass shootings increased by a staggering 91% and fatalities by 92%. States with weak laws experienced 63% more mass shootings with an assault weapon. The use of an assault weapon makes mass shootings 4 times more lethal.
I was shocked at Colgan’s quote, “The only way that I can think of, and most people can think of, is put a cop in the school.” Here’s two other solutions: The RI House and Senate Judiciary Committees can move the bills that would prevent future sales of Assault Weapons and require Safe Storage of guns out of committee to the floor for a vote thus strengthening RI gun laws.