William Katz:  Urgent Agenda

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THE TRAGEDY –– OVERNIGHT:  I have little to add to the coverage of the school shooting in Texas, which left 21 dead.  The media will go through the usual, required reactions and expressions of grief.  We will hear the ritualistic calls for gun control.  And in a week the story will fade.  We'll then wait for the next disaster. 

I have only three questions:

1) Isn't it time to demand that government agencies bow to common sense and harden every school in America?  Armed guards if necessary.  Buzzer systems that are commonly used to protect banks and jewelry stores.  Volunteer parents acting as lookouts at all entrances to the school.  Trained and armed teachers, where parents approve.  And a widespread recognition that the only thing that will work will be a safety protocol that prevents a shooter from getting into the school in the first place.  And an accompanying recognition that prevention, not weeping after the fact, is the first obligation of government.  These steps may not suit the ideological left, but when has the left ever cared about children?  These actions work.  They work every day in the protection of institutions from assault. 

2) Who are the "mental health professionals" who make so many comments after these events, and presumably spend their time evaluating dangerous kids?  Are they actually qualified?  What are their track records?  Time after time we learn that a shooter had been through a psychiatric evaluation and had been cleared.  Why?  What are the standards? 

We are a diploma-crazy nation.  Someone hangs his diploma on a wall, and he's automatically made a junior god.  But I wonder about all the misses by these "professionals."  We should accept no authority to guide us who hasn't had real experience, with an excellent record, and we should not be dazzled by that diploma, or the gold thing that hangs from the graduation cap.  If "professionals" had all the answers, we wouldn't need them any longer.

3)  Why can't we use modern tracking techniques to determine that a weapon is approaching a school?  We can track iPhones, even just to find them.  We should be able, electronically, to track guns in the vicinity of schools.  Sure, there may be privacy issues, but these can be overcome by strict protocols.  The police get search warrants.  They can get a warrant to track a suspicious signal.  We have not put our technical skills to work to protect against shooters.

May 24, 2022