The out of control school shootings continue to wreak untold suffering in Florida where there has been much talk about banning assault rifles. The gun lobby in the USA has a strong neck-hold on the Republican Party (GOP) … The NRA is believed to be funding their political campaign. These high powered weapons have featured in these 14 deadly multiple shootings on campuses in the USA over the past (8) eight years.
What is a 19 year old doing with a AR15 assault rifle? To put insult to injury we are told that the alleged shooter had a history of depression. “A form of mood disorder which by the layman can be confused with mental illness. Depression is treatable”, according to Hazeline Jamieson, a Counselling Psychologist at Kingston Open Bible Church (KOBC) … she also lectures at the University of Technology, Ja. (UTECH).
Deputy “Chickens” Out?
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, USA.
The School’s Resource Officer (SRO) failed to confront the shooter we are now learning. He is a trained and armed officer failing to carry out his duty of protecting life and property. This is scandalous and a serious betrayal of trust. We are sure he would have saved lives. Just his presence and uniform could have made a difference. Was this a comedy of error or a gross dereliction of duty? We may never know the true facts. The deputy through his legal team said he was initially told was fire crackers then radioed and informed that fire was coming from a playing field. Is he just covering his butt, or is his account the whole truth? We also understand that he ran for cover and triggered a lock down of the school. Trump has labeled the deputy “a coward”. This is believed to be his position after meeting with the powerful National Riffle Association (NRA).Trump’s position on the shooting seem to have changed since meeting with the NRA. Is this so?
My friend Beverly Mc just returned from Florida where she attended the funeral service for a close family friend Carmen, 16 who was a youth leader at the Mary Magdalene Church, in Coral Springs. USA. Carmen a victim of the Parkland massacre at the Marjory Douglas High School. Carmen was 17 the day after she was buried. The victim we are told attended the school where 17 students were senselessly gunned down by a possible mentally deranged teen.
No Such Madness in Canada
The Canadian society has been very sensitive to public safety and as such there are no school shootings. On a personal note as a student on at least two campuses in Ontario, Canada, myself and fellow students enjoyed excellent personal safety …. a high degree of safety at these places of learning, at both campuses. There is order and a great respect for life in Canada. So the gun culture and right to bear arms which is enshrined in the American constitution, down south, appears not to be the way to go.
Respect For Life
I saw guns galore in Canada in homes and visited at least three firing ranges where shooting practice routinely occurs. The presence of similar high powered weapons as featured in school massacres was common occurrence. Hunting for game in a country where there are vast acreages make the need for high powered guns very much in demand. So guns are in abundance in Canada. In short it is false to ever get the impression that there are very few guns of all makes in Canada. It is the respect for life that makes the difference. Canadians frown on coarse and gun tooting behaviour. Canada can rightly be described as a more gentle society when compared with many others including their southern neighbour.
Focus On The Wrong Issue
The focus is shifting from the misuse of guns to the role of law enforcement and proliferation of guns in the American society. We should not allow the narrative to change focus. High powered weapons in the wrong hands is supposed to be the focus of attention. No teen needs to have a high powered weapon in the form of an AR15 assault rifle. This is a deadly weapon not to be in the wrong hands.
We hope that President Trump’s comment on this most unfortunate mass shooting is not intended to shift the narrative away from long overdue gun control in the USA. How many more mass school shootings will it take for something meaningful to be done to stem gun control.?
We hope this madness will stop soon. What is your perspective? This is ours.
Hopeton O’Connor-Dennie is Senior International Correspondent for Vision Newspaper Canada.