Once again the debate about the Second Amendment and stronger gun laws is heating up across the nation. As I have spoken on before in this column this is not the answer. When I was a high school student back in the late 1970’s (I graduated in 1979), most of my fellow students (mostly, but not all, male) had gun racks in the back window of their pickups, usually with guns riding in them. And yes, they drove these same vehicles to school with said guns sitting in the back window. Not one school shooting. Ever. Know why? Because these kids were taught respect for guns and for other people. If a couple guys had an issue at school, it was generally settled with fists at the DECA break or after school. We had respect for life. Guns were used for hunting, not killing other people. And people who had been found to have mental health issues were given treatment or put into group homes or facilities that cared for them.

I have said it before and I will say it again. Gun control laws will not keep these kinds of shootings from happening. It will keep honest, hardworking citizens who obey laws without defense against those who will acquire weapons to use legally or not. I will say that I see nothing wrong with making it harder for those with history of mental illness or violent behavior from getting one.

I think maybe the NRA could use with some fresh leadership. Many years ago, the NRA was supported because of its stance of gun safety. From what I have heard from many former members of the NRA, the new leadership is too worried about politics and not its members safety. 

The bottom line continues to be that the issue isn’t the guns. It’s the people who own, whether legally or not, the guns being unstable. That is the common thread here. Let’s work to start making it easier for mentally ill people to get help rather than easier for them to buy an assault weapon. Most of these mass shootings that occur, the shooter had shown signs of what he/she was planning. In our technological world where everyone posts everything on social media (that we all know is monitored) if someone posts about shooting up a school multiple times, maybe that person should be looked at a little closer?

Parents, be parents to your kids. Don’t be their friend. Bring discipline back into schools. Stop making kids feel so entitled and hold them accountable for bad behavior. I got three licks at school when I was in Junior High. For chewing gum BETWEEN classes in the hallway. These days a student can attack another student or even a teacher and what happens? Oh, the police might get called, but they aren’t going to do anything either. What signal do you think that sends students?

You see, guns are not the problem. People are the problem. Only people can stop the shootings. Not by banning guns either. Then only criminals will have guns. Did people stop drinking alcohol during prohibition? Have people stopped using drugs since the war on drugs began? Those strategies haven’t worked, why does anyone think banning guns will?

My heart goes out to all those in Parkland, Florida.  My prayers are with the families of those who lost their loved ones. I also pray that wisdom will reign in our nation. I don’t care if you are Democrat or Republican. We are all Americans. We must work together and stop letting special interest groups guide our nation. If your Senator or Representative is not doing the will of his constituents, vote his butt out!

Until next time...