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| Guest Columnist | Harry M. Covert | Jason Miller | Ken Kellar | Patricia A. Kelly | Cindy A. Rose |


As Long as We Remember...

May 23, 2018

What Is More Important Than Our Children?

Patricia A. Kelly

The latest school shooting certainly brings this question to mind. How much do we treasure these young beings, who will, with a lot of care and a little good luck, grow up to create good lives that benefit themselves, their children and our world.


As good parents, we put our children first. We never leave them home alone. We lock the doors. We buy baby monitors. We feed them the best food we can, and teach them, and watch over them from birth. We accompany them to school, leaving them in the hands of other reliable adults, where they should be not only educated but safe.


Stories abound throughout the world about parental sacrifice. People feed their children before feeding themselves. People sacrifice comfort and savings, work three jobs, leave their Third World countries to work and make a better life for their families.


Yet, now, we tolerate political arguments instead of solutions in the face of school shootings, which have been repeatedly killing and terrorizing our children. In the face of decades of death and suffering, we argue. Gun free zones? Armed protection? Peace? This is unbelievable.


What would you do, standing in your front yard, your child by your side, if confronted by an armed threat? Would you take a moment to give thanks that your property was weapon-free, and that your child had no idea of how to contribute to his own protection?


I don’t think so.


And why are we, as a society, not valuing our own children, not to mention adults, enough to protect them?


Whenever I want to know how to keep things safe, from airplanes to schools to borders, I check to see what Israel is doing. This always besieged country has virtually no school shootings, after one historic massacre decades ago, and virtually no airplane hijackings.


In Israel, armed guards under civilian police department management are stationed at every school with more than 100 students. Those guards check everyone entering the one door that is used to enter each school. School buses are reinforced to make them safer from attack.


Duh! There is an answer. We’d all know that if we got off our political and philosophical soapboxes long enough to look.


Right now, today, throughout our country, every school should lock all the doors but one, and be immediately provided with armed, professional security personnel. For the moment, these personnel could be military, National Guard, or local police, or sheriff’s deputies, until permanent departmental responsibility could be assigned. Our president should mandate this through executive order now, today. If he doesn’t, local governments should.


Not only do our children need to be protected, they need to know we truly value them. That we value them as much as Colonial Jewelers values jewelry and employee safety. One robbery led to the hiring of an armed guard, a sign of good thinking. Dozens of school shooting have led to talk, and more talk. What does this say to our children, and to our values?


The best way to ensure that children grow up to become happy, productive citizens who make good decisions in their own lives is to treasure them. That doesn’t mean spoil, which is to reinforce bad behavior with attention.


To treasure someone means to place such a high value on them that you devote yourself to caring for them. That includes, of course, cleaning, feeding, clothing and educating them, as well as setting high standards for them, placing them where they will find friends who inspire them, thus convincing them that they have value, and that their life decisions count.


Instead, we’re allowing them to be murdered while we argue. Even people who genuinely believe that we should never fight, or have guns, must agree that our greatest treasures must be protected, and that societal change can’t occur in one day.


Tell me, would you rather see an armed security guard at Colonial Jewelers, or at your precious child’s school?


Let’s save our real treasures and sort out the details later.


Woodsboro - Walkersville Times
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