Brian Baker: Some ideas to address school shootings

On Feb. 17 The Signal published a column by Katie Hill entitled “A call for action.” In it she wrote the following:  “The vast majority of Americans agree that measures like universal background checks, waiting periods, and disqualifying terrorists, domestic abusers and those in mental health crisis from buying weapons are all simple solutions we can take action on — TODAY — that would save lives from being lost tomorrow.” Yes, well, all of those things are already in place, so what is she really advocating? Or is this just one more example of a member of the ethically and morally bankrupt Democrat/socialist party cynically mining a tragedy for cheap political points? Nikolas Cruz, the Parkland shooter, bought his guns legally, meaning he was subjected to all the background checks required by law, both by Florida ( and by the feds. He passed. Real life isn’t the movie “Minority Report,” wherein the cops can predict who’s going to commit a crime and then swoop in and arrest them ahead of time, before they commit the crime. Furthermore, until someone actually does something that disqualifies them from gun ownership — and there’s a long list of such actions — they can’t be prevented from owning a gun just on the mere speculation that they might do something. Ms. Hill wants to “take action?” Well how about taking action on some things that might actually help address the problem? The first step is to stop making schools “gun-free zones.” You might as well put up a sign that says “target-rich environment.” You’re actually advertising the fact that a school is what’s known as a “soft target,” meaning it’s defenseless. Then consider hiring people capable of putting up an on-scene immediate response to a shooter, and let them be armed with concealed weapons. No matter how fast the local cops can react, it still takes them time to get there. When seconds count, they’re only minutes away. Consider hiring retired people with military experience. They work cheap — like the crossing guards at intersections — and they know how to respond to the sound of the guns. Furthermore, once potential bad guys know that they won’t be hitting a soft target anymore, I suspect this problem will pretty much evaporate. If nothing else, when one of these nut jobs is busy trying to defend himself from someone shooting back at him, he’s not using his time to shoot innocent kids. Those are some suggestions for how we can “take action” and actually make an impact, rather than just trying to score political points based on emotion and hysteria. How about it, Ms. Hill? Brian Baker is a Saugus resident.