My heart goes out to the family, friends, students and school staff of Sandy Hook School in Connecticut. Many people's first reaction is to blame the NRA and ban all guns. That is not going to happen anytime soon. The school has your child and the school, the county and the state have the responsibility to keep your child safe and secure. Just to say the school is old and they don't have the finances to secure it or to have an officer on site is just bull. Someone has his or her priorities in the wrong place. I keep hearing about no child left behind, but what about every child goes home safe and alive?
Who is looking at the children with mental illness? Why did this child do this? Did the school and parent not have this child tested and evaluated? Did they not know that this child had a problem? In Winchester, there is a program affiliated with the Virginia health department that evaluates and diagnoses young children for mental health and behavior problems, and if you look at the new budget you will find that the state is trying to outsource and eliminate that department. Why?
And why is it so hard to get children tested and why do insurance companies not want to pay for testing? If children with behavioral issues can get help with coping skills and counseling, they have a better chance of learning how to live within their family and society.
If you want to remove the guns, then you need to remove the Internet because on the Internet you can find out how easy it is to make a bomb from material you can get from any hardware or grocery store. Maybe we should look at the source of the problem, which is mental illness, and put forth the same effort and resources to resolve the problem at the source. If someone wants to kill and does not have a gun, there are other ways that might have more devastating results.
Secure the schools and help the children in need.
Donald Womble, Star Tannery