Our children are dying for our insanity; It's time to emulate Israel's successful efforts to prevent mass killings in schools
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Unknown
by Jim Irvine
Like you, my heart sank when I heard the news of the mass killings in Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. "Not again," I thought. How many people, especially our children must die before we change our thinking? Sadly I fear that 26, including 20 children who were only 6 or 7 years old is not enough.
Most people have seen a movie that they didn't like the ending to. Last week was real life that we didn't like the ending to. But unlike the movies where we must watch what someone else decides, in our own lives, with our own families and our own kids, we have the power to write our own ending. It is too late to save the lives of those lost in Newtown, Connecticut, but not for your children's school.
Mass killings are not new and they are not "rare" anymore. After the killings at Century 16 movie theaters in Aurora Colorado this July, I predicted we would see at least one, but probably several more before the end of the year. Only weeks later, 6 people were killed in a Sikh temple Oak Creek, Wisconsin. There have been others. Today I predict that there will be still more of these events next year. I pray I'm wrong.
In prepared remarks, President Obama said "As a country, we have been through this too many times. Whether it's an elementary school in Newtown, or a shopping mall in Oregon, or a temple in Wisconsin, or a movie theater in Aurora, or a street corner in Chicago -- these neighborhoods are our neighborhoods, and these children are our children. And we're going to have to come together and take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics."
I could not agree with him more strongly.
On May 15, 1974, three Palestinian terrorists killed 25 people including 22 Israeli children in Ma'alot. They had taken 115 people hostage in Netiv Meir Elementary School. Even though Israel is a smaller, more-close knit country, we are today, where they were then. They had the same resolve to take meaningful action as President Obama, and they carried through with it.
They decided that it made no sense to have armed people to protect money, but no one to protect their children. They realized the only reliable way to stop an evil person with a gun, was to have a good person with a gun on scene and ready to take action to stop the killing quickly. Such protection does not come cheaply, and like it or not, money is a factor in everything, including our children's safety.
Today all Israeli children are protected by at least one armed person. In every school, on every school bus, at school functions and field trips. Parents and teachers are trained and armed. They volunteer to protect their children because they love them. They made a conscious decision that killing them would never again be made so easy. Last week, a total of zero children died in school shootings in Israel. I believe our parents love our children every bit as much as Israeli parents, and we could copy their success.
We have hundreds of multiple victim killings to study. They are premeditated events. We know that, like the terrible events on Friday, these attacks almost always occur in politically correct, so called "gun free zones." How sadly ironic. Best of all, we know how to stop the attacks when they start. We must offer resistance and stop the killer. The faster we do this, the fewer people die.
President Obama has said we are going to "take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this, regardless of the politics." I predict he will do the exact opposite. He will use politics in all its many forms to fight for exactly the type of policies that enable killers to slaughter our children, and the killing will continue. I pray I am wrong.
How many more children must die before we realize that it is insane to keep disarming the protectors of our children? Like Israel, we need to change our thinking and our preparedness if we expect to see these events end differently. Our children are dying for our insanity.
Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman, and recipient of the NRA-ILA's 2011 "Jay M. Littlefield Volunteer of the Year Award" and the CCRKBA's 2012 "Gun Rights Defender of the Year Award."
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