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Friends to Follow

More rules, regulations can deter violence

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            Since the massacre at the campus in Virginia, I’m wondering if a general security beefing-up of university buildings and classrooms is in order.

            What do you think?  

            Every student entering a building or class might be required to pass through a metal detector much like in airports. We could carefully screen for weapons by having random checks at select, anonymous locations on campus. There could be x-ray detection units into which book bags would have to pass successfully before entry. Remote watching devices such as closed circuit video cameras, some obvious and others hidden, would reveal suspicious behavior. Cameras can be made so small and can be hidden most anywhere.

            By such selective watching, there could be a thorough control of miscreants and potential assassins. Students could be selected to keep an eye on classmates and report any suspicious activity. Teachers could report miscreants, and thus forestall a tragedy.

            A student who complains too loudly about a grade could be hiding a more severe personality or mental aberration whose denouement when properly enflamed could lead to trouble. There could be a large television screen, much like the Jumbotron in Times Square, on which authorities could “communicate” with the population on campus, and warn them of upcoming threats, but then use it at other times to sell advertisements. 

            Now editor, this sounds so Orwellian that some people might have trouble with it. The big TV even raises a chuckle as I write this and reflect upon the metaphor created as a result of that author’s book titled “1984.” But, can we afford the continuation of an open and free flow of fresh ideas and intellectual discourse these days? 

            That life is a risk, even crossing the street, is small comfort in a day of mentally ill assassins. That a healthy political system is promoted by skepticism of leaders’ claims, molded in the debate of adversarial opinions on college campuses, should not stymie preventive action.

            We have to deter potential assassins with anti-social proclivities. And, what about this idea – maybe we could have tough, complete background checks, scrutinized during a mandatory waiting period, the results of which might prevent people with documented mental problems from buying guns.

Carl T. Cone

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