The early buzz has started about the need for gun control, as the region is reeling from the shootings in Essex. I know this is an emotional time and perhaps not the best time to expect logic and reason from people, but I too am emotional and need to rant.
I am not going to focus on the inanimate object used in this incident. The gun did not terrorize a community and end two lives. Like them or not, we have a constitutional right to bear arms. There is a good reason for this.
If you shouldn’t get mad at the gun, then where should you focus your out-of-control emotionalism?
How about at our messed up “justice” system? The shooter in this incident had a record of making threats against a former girl friend in Springfield, Massachusetts. She obtained a restraining order. He violated it three times and never showed up to court. The case is “pending.”
Pending? Pending?!? There is something you can be pissed off about. What the heck was this guy doing on the streets? How does this happen? Why does the law enforcement community not take domestic violence seriously? (Don’t even try to tell me they do, or I will so go off on you. – Hey, I can be emotional, too.)
There’s another thing that can and should be done to prevent this from happening. When a teacher or other school staff member has a crazy ex-boyfriend, whom she just described to the police as “flipping out” for the past two days, keep her away from the school and post a marked police car out front.
I am not trying to attack the victim here. Her mother is dead and I am sure she is in a really bad place right now mentally/emotionally. I truly feel for her. More than you know.
This is about policy – the policy of a government agency that expects us to place our children in their care. They have a high burden of responsibility to keep them safe. Can you imagine if this had happened next week when school was in session? They should have a policy that requires staff to report any kind of domestic situation so they can take precautions. They should require the staff to be reminded of this policy yearly, at least.
Once I worked at a place where a woman was having a domestic problem and they instituted a new lock system and gave us all key cards. This company took the safety of its employees seriously. Why should we expect anything less from the schools?
All schools should require that teachers/staff alert the principle of any domestic situations. The staff member should then be required to take some leave time and there should be police stationed at the school, just in case.
There is no gun control law that would have prevented this. A person with Williams’ criminal past can easily obtain a gun on the street. As it stands, the laws already in existence made it illegal for this man to have a gun. It is illegal for a person with a relief from abuse order (restraining order) against them to have a gun. It is also illegal for a person with certain criminal convictions to own a gun. My guess is that selling drugs in a school zone and car jacking fall into that category.
So, if you are angry, upset, grief stricken, fearful, or experiencing any other intense emotions in the wake of this incident (in other words, if you are human), do not focus your anger on guns. It would be far more productive to focus your emotions on changing the systemic failures in our government agencies of law enforcement, criminal justice, and the schools.