Alarmist or Realist? - The Missourian: Opinion

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Alarmist or Realist?

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Posted: Wednesday, April 3, 2013 9:55 am | Updated: 11:24 am, Wed Apr 3, 2013.

Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, former Army Ranger, is a nationally recognized expert on human aggression, and the roots of violent crime. He was the main speaker at the recent Lincoln Day dinner, an annual event sponsored by Franklin County Republicans. His message was straight to the point: Our schoolchildren are in great danger from mass killers, and this country is mostly in denial about that fact.

He pointed to the increase in shootings at schools in this country, and says there will be more. He urges more training for administrators and teachers as to what to do to protect children from violence. He explained that we go to great lengths to protect our money in banks and other places, but we don’t do enough to protect something that is more precious, which is our children.

Grossman used as an example the training to protect schoolchildren from fires, but do little to protect them from violence. “Our kids are more likely to get killed by violence in the schools than any other possible causes put together,” he asserted. He adds that no schoolchild has been killed in a school fire in North America in the past 50 years. He gave figures on children killed in school shootings and it is shocking. The school shootings are on the rise and will continue, Grossman said.

He did suggest arming and training teachers to use guns. He said there have been no shooting deaths in Utah where teachers have been armed and trained to protect children.

A bothersome point about arming and training teachers is that the mentally deranged shooters may not be deterred from entering a school where teachers are armed because most, not all of them, expect to die anyway, usually by their own hands, and could do considerable harm before they are shot by a teacher, we believe.

We doubt if many school districts are ready to arm and train their teachers and administrators at this time. There would be a high cost. We would like to see more security at all schools to keep shooters out of buildings. There would be a cost in those plans also.

Grossman said violent movies and video games stimulate violence. Television shows are laced with violence. You can flip

around at night, and the television screens reek of violence. He said the mass killings at the Sandy Hook School are just the beginning. “They’re coming to our daycare centers, school buses, hospitals and all places where conceal and carry is not allowed.”

He said terrorists have and will be more involved in the killing of schoolchildren.

Grossman is a gun guy. He believes there is an intense sense of urgency for Americans to be trained and armed. Too many Americans are in denial of that reasoning, he said

Even though he painted a dark picture of conditions today, he believes in the end Americans will do the right thing and prevail.

We believe too many Americans are in denial when it comes to the urgency to recognize and report potential mass killers. The signs can be there and people close to the individuals are reluctant to blow the whistle. Others close to the scene also are reluctant to report behavior that is common among the mass killers. The need to do more about mental health is becoming more recognizable.

Grossman has an important message and if nothing else is accomplished by him except to begin discussions about protecting our schoolchildren from violence, and in other places where it can occur, he has performed an important public service.

/opinion