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Debating shooter violence

The scene at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School

The scene at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after the Feb. 14 shooting. Credit: Getty Images / Joe Raedle

As someone who has spent 30 years in law enforcement, nine years as a member of the Sachem school board and six as the director of school safety for the William Floyd School District, I consider myself an expert on school security.

My research has led me to question whether our schools are doing everything possible to prevent and mitigate horrific shootings. I’m sure that we, as a society, consider our children our most precious assets and would do anything to keep them safe.

My goal in writing is not to get into a back-and-forth political dialogue on gun control, even though I believe that conversation is long overdue.

I oppose arming school staff. However, we have a plethora of recently retired law enforcement officers who could serve in a new school security position: school crisis engagement officer. They could strengthen perimeter security and entries.

These officers could continue to be licensed to carry firearms. They would not replace regular security personnel, but rather, their assignment would be to patrol and respond directly to and prevent or mitigate imminent danger to students or staff.

Jim Kiernan, Holbrook

The argument about the founders’ intentions on the right to bear arms ignores some of the context in which it was drafted [“Bringing grief over guns to Trump,” News, Feb. 22].

No one discusses the Third Amendment, which prohibits the quartering of soldiers in residents’ homes. After the Revolution, there was a strong aversion to a standing army since the British had commandeered residences for lodging. So how do you protect yourself without a standing army? This is one reason for the Second Amendment, with its key phrase, “a well regulated Militia.”

The argument about gun ownership needs to examine the conjunction of both amendments as the reason they were written into the Constitution. It was never the intent to arm the general population.

Tony Smolenski, Little Neck

I wish the March for Our Lives national protest planned for March 24 would focus on all issues, not only firearms.

Guns have been in the hands of Americans since the formation of our country. School shootings are a relatively new epidemic and a symptom of social collapse. The focus needs to be on political bullying that overrides common sense.

Maria DellaPorte, Long Beach

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