Letter To The Editor: What Won’t We Do For Our Children?

As a parent I believe the continued greatness of our Country and society rests on the shoulders of our children.  Because of that belief, and my love for my children and yours, I refuse to close my mind to any idea that can potentially keep our children safe and focused on learning.

I am perplexed when I read articles that simply dismiss the use of firearms to keep our children safe.  Firearms make our neighborhoods safer, keep the president safe, keep evil at bay around the world, and recently have made flying safer by arming pilots.  We accept that celebrities and politicians need armed security so why not our children?

The saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” applies well to personal security of all types.  My wife and I didn’t wait until we had a house fire to install smoke detectors.  We also had a security system installed yet we have never been burglarized.  We carry life insurance, health insurance,  disability insurance and car insurance despite not really believing we will die anytime soon, never having faced a life-threatening illness,  missed work for any length of time, or because we are accident prone.  Our children take karate classes and we even have a firearm in our home for personal protection.  These personal security measures we have taken don’t seem unusual or odd. In fact, many families and individuals have done exactly the same as we have.  Anytime you pick up a newspaper or watch television you are bombarded with ads offering these services with the promise of a more secure future.

Recent editorials regarding school security imply boards of education are impulsive, foolish, and lacking intellectually for considering arming staff members.  These same editorials offer other solutions such as single point of entry, controlled entry, bulletproof glass on doors and safety radios to inform other staff members that people elsewhere in the building are being killed or injured, but dismiss arming staff members as reckless.  The question that is being begged to be asked is why not “All of The Above” and more?  I am not critical of any of these good ideas but I am perplexed as to why we would choose to limit our children’s security options?  That’s right, options not solutions.  Firearms, bulletproof glass, locked doors, etc. are not solutions but options.  A well-constructed school security plan includes dozens of options and collectively these options form a multi-faceted solution to an active killer.

School systems in Northwest Ohio have chosen Tactical Defense Institute to be part of the solution to our children being killed at school.  Tactical Defense Institute, commonly referred to as TDI, has a plan and this plan is not new or reactionary.  For businesses and school systems across the country, TDI has been the solution long before Columbine was a household name.     TDI instructors constantly evaluate and refine what is being taught in an effort to remain relevant and effective. There is no such thing as “good enough” when taking care of people, especially children.   Perhaps this is why the National Associations of School Resource Officers (NASRO), has contracted with TDI for over seven years to provide training nationally.

How do I know these things and why am I so passionate about this issue?  I am a father of five school age children in one of the school districts that is considering arming staff members.  I am a police officer that learned John Benner’s, President and Founder of TDI, building search techniques in the police academy, I am a volunteer instructor at Tactical Defense Institute, I am a trustee on a college board, and a healthcare professional that armed his employees many years ago because I have lived long enough to see the evil that is in this world.

I trust boards of education to select appropriate staff members to be armed. I trust the good people that make up TDI to implement a safe and effective school safety plan where a firearm is one of many options to an active killer.  And, I trust teachers, school administrators, and even janitors to protect my children.

For me, I don’t really have a choice but to trust other people, because the alternative would be to live in fear or denial and to that I say, “None of the Above.”

-Sam Santa Rita, Edon, OH

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