Gun ownersagainst loophoe

The Toledo Blade

The nation mourned after learning that a child was fatally wounded in a school shooting last week in South Carolina.

A 14-year-old boy is believed to have killed his father at home before driving a pickup to Townville Elementary School in Townville, S.C., a little more than 100 miles northeast of Atlanta. He used a handgun to shoot a teacher in the shoulder and a student in the foot. Jacob Hall, 6, was also shot, and he died Saturday from blood loss after the bullet hit his femoral artery.

Had it not been for a volunteer firefighter, Jamie Brock, who rushed to the school once he knew reports about a shooter were real, the outcome could have been worse. A 30-year veteran of the Townville Volunteer Fire Department, Mr. Brock did not use weapons and prevented the teenager from shooting anyone else when he took him down on the school playground.

Though Mr. Brock is being celebrated as a hero, he is shunning the attention. That’s part of what makes him a true hero.

In the meantime, the sentiments of so many parents with children in the nation’s schools were summed up by a South Carolina mother who expressed fears about her daughter going to school. “I don’t even want her to go to school now,” the mother said. Few parents can blame her.

Kids should be safe in their schools. Period.

And we need to do whatever it takes to make sure kids are safe in school.

The argument that school shootings are not a daily occurrence scarcely applies any more. Nor would it be determinative if school shootings were rare. Assassinations of presidents are rare in American history. It makes them no less traumatic. And for this reason we go out of our way to protect presidents.

We should go out of our way to protect our kids — with school safety drills and lock-down technologies as well as trained, armed safety officers in the schools. And, yes, with reasonable and limited gun control.

A majority of gun owners are in favor of closing the so-called gun-show loophole, which end-runs registration. Some 82 percent of National Rifle Association members believe that people on the no-fly (terror watch) list should be barred from buying firearms. And the vast majority of NRA members agree that law enforcement should have the tools it needs to trace the origins of weapons used in crimes. These are places to start.

Kids should be safe in their schools. Period.

The Toledo Blade