By Larry Blustein
As Horrific As The Douglas High Shooting Was, It Will Happen Again - Somewhere
With emotions pouring out like never before, back on Dec. 14. 2012, family members, community leaders and the nation proclaimed that what happened in Newtown, Ct. at Sandy Hook Elementary School, would “never happen again!”
Since that moment - on a cold winter day - that scene has played out over 300 times worldwide and well over 125 painful and heart-wrenching times in the United States. Usually one person, who was shot and killed or took their own life.
Last week in beautiful Parkland, in the far northwest reaches of Broward County, the nation once again saw what happened as one person - with an apparent severe mental problem - gunned down 17 at Douglas High School. But we all know by now, and as this latest tragedy is so fresh in all of our minds, the ideas are flowing, the rage is brewing and change is needed. But in the past, we learned that this passion and hurt will wear off and nothing will be done!
As the FBI missed this one completely, and many, many lives were changed forever, it will not be the last time. History says that whether it’s a gun, pressure cooker, homemade bombs or any means, someone will be sick enough to do harm.
While we mourn all of those lives - including Chris Hixson, who was a longtime athletic director and coach at Hollywood’s South Broward High - the reality is no matter what is said or done - this scene, unfortunately, will play out again - and again, and sadly again.
“Not being pessimistic, but the fact that this is indeed something that will forever be impossible to stop, should make everyone understand that this is 2018 and the culture we live in,” said Carl Thomas, a 40-year retired police captain. “When it comes to mental health, which all this is, we can identify problems, but like this case, it may have been identified and lost, but there hundreds of thousands that are detected and help is sought.”
That is something that many do not understand. Talk to any mental health professional and all will concur that much is being done in the way of treatment, but there is nothing in life than can be 100 percent. It’s a fact that man or machine can only do so much.
“There can always be a lot more done in anything,” nurse Cali Moran-Greco said. “Working in the field, I see so much progress being made - which many are not even aware of. You have to realize that there are a lot of people in this world who have dangerous mental problems, so while these tragedies are happening, and my heart wrenches as a mother three, it is going to be tough to completely stop it.”
This is the time, if you are not a gun advocate, to get that passion into the hands of lawmakers. But here we go again. With everything so fresh, and the hurt so deep in our hearts, the plea to put something into motion that will make it tougher for those to get guns, will come with a major obstacle.
What the gun control issue has long come down to is the fact that if anything is passed that will limit the purchase of a firearm, etc., the gun owners will take that as they are being singled out. The other side wants a complete gun control package - with background checks and everything else that goes along with it, which is a sound idea - but there is a reason why it hasn’t been done. There is no give and take in Washington. It’s one way for another.
While gun owners believe that there are other ways to control weapons - without threatening to take away their right to protect life - they all insist that it is a big waste of time, and with proof to back it up.
“I think I find myself repeating this to a thousand people, but anyone who wants a weapon can get it,” K.C. Oliver of North Miami Beach said. “So, while you are putting restrictions on the law-abiding people, those you are looking to stop are walking into schools or in venues doing the most harm.”
Oliver, just like anyone else, is hurting inside from the Douglas High tragedy, and has five children, but that is why he believes that gun control can be modified, but not be passed through without some changes.
“When you listen to these lawmakers, locally or nationally, it is obvious that they are all programmed to say basically the same things -with very little knowledge of guns,” Oliver explained. “That is the problem. It’s from one extreme to the other. If there was an understanding - on both sides - maybe something could be done, but with all the friction going on between the two parties, coming up with a stud solution is still far off.”
No matter what happens, in the society we live in, things will never be the same - and as much as many of us would love to be secure sending our children off to school, going to the mall shopping or get excited about an outdoor country music show, we need to comprehend that the world is changing.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was designed to present the facts of where we are at as a country in 2018. The South Florida Sun Times Newspaper grieves with the world for a community that has suffered much this week. Rest In Peace and comfort to friends and family.