98°F
weather icon Clear

Simple solution to world’s evil doesn’t exist

The new principal walked toward me early one morning, coffee tumbler in hand, its steam wafting into the cool autumn air. It was 1995, my second year as a school resource officer.

“Deputy Jennings, I cannot believe that student just cussed me out in my own office!”

Mr. Clark (not his real name) was not happy. His previous school was in a peaceful, rural area where he knew the names of all his students and most of their family members. This high school was different.

“Just wait until the parents and grandparents come here and do the same,” I half-jokingly replied. (Neither the parents nor grandparents did; I believe the mother took her son out of school by his left earlobe).

Today, everyone has a social media platform to curse the president, the National Rifle Association and anyone else with whom they disagree. Civil discourse is a lost art.

My 38 years of law enforcement experience includes being wounded in a shoot-out with two armed robbers, one of whom illegally obtained a rifle from Kmart. Back then, Rosie O’Donnell was the spokesperson for Kmart.

After the Las Vegas massacre on Oct. 1, I wrote that there were no easy answers to evil; there still isn’t.

The Florida school massacre has spawned a new wave of activists calling for more gun laws and vilifying the NRA. They are misinformed and are being manipulated by the media.

Blaming the NRA for a mass murder is like blaming Weight Watchers for obesity or the American Kennel Club for dog attacks. NRA members don’t commit mass murders. However, NRA-trained citizens use firearms to deter and prevent violent crimes daily.

Demonstrators demand a five-minute cure for a 25-year-old symptom, and they won’t allow good facts to stand in the way of bad laws.

There is no simple strategy to combat the evil that permeates social media, video entertainment and the hearts and minds of wicked people. Criminals do not obey gun laws, whether there are 20 or 20,000 new gun laws.

The next two school shooters have already procured their firearms and have planned their attacks. They are merely waiting for the time and date that will enhance their notoriety.

Law enforcement nationwide, in unity with their school districts, are proactively planning deterrence and reaction to the next shooter. I recommend that off-duty and retired peace officers be allowed to carry their firearms on school campuses at any time.

We can plan and train, but enhanced background checks must be a part of continual deterrence.

To prevent future violent crimes, there should be a national database of all children being treated for emotional or behavioral problems, especially those being treated with psychotropic drugs. When they reach the age of majority and wish to purchase a firearm, the background check will include this database. A physician or a judge, or both, would have to adjudicate their mental condition prior to the purchase of a firearm.

The millions of people who are addicted to heroin and fentanyl should also be placed into a national database preventing them from purchasing a firearm.

Will databases and background checks prevent all shootings? No, but it is one step in a multidisciplinary approach.

Will confiscating everyone’s firearms, all 325 million, prevent future gun violence? No, because criminals do not obey laws.

Finally, instead of blaming innocent people and organizations for the acts of evildoers, prosecute the criminals.

Is there anyone else angry at the Florida shooter besides me?

Dan Jennings is a retired military police captain, a retired police sergeant and a lifetime NRA member. He can be contacted at bcpd267@cox.net

THE LATEST
A story of reconciliation amidst division

I keep going into the week when it is time for me to write a column with an idea that I know I want to write about but events keep pushing that idea further out into the future.

Who did more for veterans?

Did President Joe Biden or President Donald Trump do more for America’s veterans? It all depends how one keeps score: Introduce laws? Pass laws? Do large things, or many small things? Important things, or things that were not so important?Below are two examples according to Military.com.

Holy smokes!

Two weeks ago on June 25, I received messages from panicked individuals at the Elks Lodge RV Park stating that the Boulder City Fire Department had been conducting a controlled burn that had gotten out of control.

July is PR Month

For nearly 40 years, the nation has celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant, and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation.

July 4 safety and awareness checklist

As we celebrate our great nation’s birthday, let’s run down this safety and awareness checklist so we can have a blast this 4th… but only the good kind.

“Be Kind, Be Boulder” this Fourth of July

Happy Birthday, America! Today, we celebrate an act of autonomy and sovereignty that happened in 1776, nearly 250 years ago: the Founding Fathers signing of the Declaration of Independence established this great nation. (It would be another 155 years before Boulder City’s founders arrived to construct Hoover Dam!)

Ensuring fire safety at Lake Mead

At Lake Mead National Recreation Area, our mission extends beyond preserving the natural beauty and recreational opportunities.

Independence Day in Boulder City

I was elected to the Boulder City council long ago. Believe me, there were more exciting events that occurred during city council meetings in the mid-to-late 1980s than there are at present. We had Skokie Lennon who arrived in the council meetings while standing at the back of the room. When he had something to say he would erupt with the statement “can you hear me?” Of course we could since he was the loudest person in the room. He would say what he had to say and then leave.

Nothing to fear

A June 13 letter by Norma Vally claimed Pride Month in Boulder City is an example of identity politics that will cause divisiveness in our safe, kind, and welcoming town. I cannot disagree more.

Save me some confetti eggs

In last week’s edition, I wrote a preview of the upcoming July 4 celebration and described Boulder City’s biggest day of the year as if a Norman Rockwell painting had come alive and jumped off the canvas. I had a few people praise me for that description, saying it’s the perfect way to do so.