Gun control talk is all the rage these days in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton, Conn., but we feel much of the angst is misplaced.
Yahoo recently tried to stir the pot with an article asking who was responsible for the shooting. The answer is obviously the mentally-disturbed young man who took it upon himself to commit a sick, illegal act. Guns by themselves did not kill the precious little children in Connecticut.
Yahoo's article was a blatant attempt to stir up angst against people who own guns and those that plan to buy them in the future. In our opinion, articles like this are, at best, examples of gut reactions to a tragedy that has stunned us all.
We stand by the right of every adult person in this country to own a gun provided that they register their weapon and are properly trained before the gun is purchased.
Locally, there's been a push to put a sheriff's deputy in every school in the county. In our opinion, this is another gut reaction.
In order to pay for additional officers, we'd have to further cut from a budget that's already bare bones. The school system has already maxed out its property tax rate, so even if citizens were willing to pay more in taxes, they can't - at least not simply. In addition, we doubt one officer would have been able to stop the carnage that occurred in Connecticut.
New safety equipment could be more practical, given that SPLOST funds would likely be eligible for such additions.
However, what we need to do is create a broad base of education and training for parents, led by our school officials and supported by every civic and church group in this county. One of the first topics we'd like to see addressed is explicitly violent videos and video games.
For far too long, we've allowed our children to buy, watch and interact with this trash without any controls.
You may even have some troublesome videos and video games under your tree right now.
We suggest that you review any questionable content yourself before allowing your child to watch or play them. Once you see what you're dealing with, you might think twice before letting this trash be seen and absorbed by your children.
We will always have sick and mentally-deranged people in our world threatening our children and our very lives. However, it's important for parents to spend time with their children, not only teaching them morals but paying attention to any troubling symptoms they see crop up.
As a trained and concerted group, we can all become more aware of concerns in our community and work to get people help.
As a community, we can take a stand. Such a stand will take courage, heart and perseverance, but it can be done.
Let the change begin with us.