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We Must Protect Our Children

BY JOHN PATRICK

I have thought about the increasing number of school shootings in the United States too many times over the years. It would be naive to think it couldn’t happen in Boise. It is every parent’s worst nightmare.

I received an email from my son’s principal on Thursday, outlining the emergency response procedures for parents in the event a shooting happens. That is an email no parent should have to read.

I start my weekdays like many parents. I drop my son off at school at 7:25 a.m. Most of the time during our drive, we don’t talk a lot. I’ve learned that teenagers don’t feel like talking much that early in the morning. As he grabs his backpack from the backseat, he quietly mutters the words “love you.” I make sure I have the radio turned down so I can hear him. I say, “love you, too” before he departs for school.

I was angered to read Governor Otter’s comments made to the Idaho Press Club as reported by the Idaho Statesman: “I think we’ve done what we can do.” I have written to Idaho Sens. Crapo and Risch about the need for common-sense gun laws. I received a form letter from Risch stating he would never do anything that would interfere with The Second Amendment. Our president wants to spend millions of dollars on an asinine parade to flaunt our military power while we can’t even keep our kids safe at school.

I don’t pretend to know the answers, but doing nothing should not be an option! If placing armed guards at every school will help, it should be done.

Before Wednesday I had never heard of Aaron Feis. For the past two days, he has crossed my mind dozens of times. Feis was one of the 17 people gunned down in the school shooting in Parkland, Florida. He went to work as a security guard at the high school from where he graduated. He was an assistant football coach and a father. He died a hero shielding students from the gunman.

It is a senseless tragedy. There were others at the school who did whatever they could to keep the students safe. Some lived, others did not. They are heroes, too.

I’m ashamed to admit it, but I am also a selfish parent. In the event something like this happened here, I hope someone would do whatever is necessary to protect my son. Someone like Aaron Feis, a true hero.

At least he did something.

John “JP’’ Patrick produces Idaho Sports Talk with Caves & Prater weekdays from 3-6 p.m. on KTIK 93.1 FM The Ticket. He can be found @JPKTIK (Twitter).