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Politics

Stop first, parse later

Kathleen Parker on

And God forbid a school employee should accidentally kill a child.

This possibility alone should be sufficient to dissuade legislators from engineering potentially worse scenarios. At best, it seems, we should limit any armed personnel to legitimate, third-party operators with extensive training and field experience. Let them bear the burdens of terror and the liability of error.

Andrew Pollock, whose precious daughter was shot nine times at Stoneman Douglas, has argued convincingly that lawmakers should focus first on securing the schools -- and bicker about guns later. Rambo-ing the perimeter is only part of the fix. Whither the fob?

Here in Washington, everyone passes through some level of security in the course of a day. Such is life in a target zone. My apartment building has few exterior doors and none are accessible without a security fob. To reach my office, I have to pass through three checkpoints using a personalized security badge. Most retailers now have a serious-looking security presence.

Given recent history, schools should be treated as target zones, too, and security starts at the door. Converting schools to secure institutions will be costly and time-consuming. But, realistically, what choice do we have? If maximum security is good enough for Washington, surely it's good enough for our children.

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Kathleen Parker's email address is kathleenparker@washpost.com.

(c) 2018, Washington Post Writers Group


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