When I was a young man, guns and school violence were not an issue. It was well known that if you got out of control, a teacher would step in and, if needed, grab you and throw you out of school if necessary.
As for guns, we grew up with them. I was taught to shoot at an early age. I shot my first deer at age 12. In the fall, a lot of us kids drove to school with guns in our cars. And, when school let out, it was not uncommon for me and some of my teachers to gather in the area to go hunting.
In those days we had respect for one another. We all knew each other and tried to get along.
In 1964 I started my law enforcement career. Since that time I have witnessed great changes in our communities, state and country. There is very little respect.
In our schools teachers cannot get involved with an out-of-control student without facing disciplinary action. We have seen increasing violence. And, in true fashion, we are trying to place blame.
I own an AR-15 (along with many other guns), and I have hunted and shot deer with it. All the gun owners I know respect their guns.
What causes some people to want to kill, we don’t know. But we do know that it’s not the gun; it’s people thinking they want to get even for something.
If these killers used something other than a gun, what would you blame?
Ben Conant, South Paris