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Feedback from April 12 and Beyond

Our readers opine on gun control and onion rings.

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Cover story, April 12, Dining Guide
Proper Burger has great fries [Five Guys' Cajun fries come second] and Crown has my onion rings of choice.
Chris Keth
Via Facebook

Opinion, April 12, "Safety First"
Yes, it's important to listen to those who are traumatized by school violence. While it's true that I was never the victim of an active shooter at school, as someone with a disability who was "mainstreamed" in school from day one, I was regularly the target of teasing, taunting and, in some cases, physical intimidation during my early school years. No school official responded effectively to the problem until junior high.

While the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School is tragic—and while it indicates we still have a long way to go—we've come a long way since my elementary school experience many years ago. No matter where one stands on the issues of gun control or of how to prevent and to respond to school violence, one should neither vilify those who favor solutions which are different than the ones s/he favors, nor should one dismiss the legitimate fears and concerns of victims. Such actions are not conducive to effective public dialogue, nor do they contribute to the search for solutions.

Any school which—or any official who—instills unnecessary fear in students while attempting to prepare them for an active-shooter situation is doing it wrong. It's important to discuss probability when preparing for such events: While preparation is important, the likelihood of a huge number of (still unlikely) untoward random events occurring in students' lives still is greater than the chance that any of them will face an active-shooter situation at school.

Broward County, Fla., Sheriff's Cpt. Jan Jordan, who instructed deputies to not enter the school, did exactly the wrong thing in responding to [the shooter's] rampage. Apparently, she forgot that—while it's true that, as the title of an old Adam-12 episode pointed out, "A dead cop can't help anyone"—her first priority, rather than keeping her deputies safe, is to keep the public safe. That's why the old advice of responding to active-shooter situations: "Set up a perimeter and wait for SWAT," was abandoned nearly 20 years ago after the Columbine High School shooting.

The contrast between law enforcement's response to [the shooter's] rampage and its response to Sulejman Talovic, who began indiscriminately shooting patrons at Salt Lake City's Trolley Square on Feb. 12, 2007, is instructive. While it is tragic that lives were lost on both occasions, in the latter case, officers didn't simply "set up a perimeter and wait for SWAT." Rather, the first officers to arrive on the scene immediately sought out and confronted the shooter, saving numerous lives in the process.

The post-9/11 advice of, "If you see something, say something" was followed by a tipster who reported to the FBI that [the Parkland shooter] said on social media that he wanted to be "a professional school shooter." One of the challenges of "the wild, wild web" is that such information can come from anyone and from any place, which makes it difficult to follow up on. However, the FBI admitted that the tip was mishandled, while, by contrast, stories of law enforcement and school officials taking similar information seriously and of responding effectively make the news regularly. Perhaps officials in Florida and elsewhere can learn from them.
Ken K. Gourdin,
Pleasant Grove

Blog post, April 20, "We Are Numb"
What a bunch of brainless sheep. You have to ask what is being taught in schools? Certainly not history, the Constitution, critical thinking or logic.
Dave Caldwell
Via Facebook

Maybe they should take some time to fix bullying, antisocial behaviors and elitism to help other students feel not so bad about themselves and others [so] they'll not make the choice to lash out through choosing a gun to make themselves seen.
CJ Southworth
Via Facebook

Yeah! Hugs and nice words are all we need to prevent psychopathic behavior.
Maggie Clarke
Via Facebook

I support you.
@s_deakin
Via Instagram

Way to go, kids! I'm sorry that you have to fight your own government for the right to be safe in school. I stand with you.
Jessica Sheehan
Via Facebook


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