If we’re not careful with our guns, we’re giving others ammunition to take them away

“There have been too damned many of these,” Senator Ted Cruz said Friday in Santa Fe, Texas.  He was referring to yet another mass school shooting.

He’s right.  There have been too damned many of these school shootings.  The first one was too damned many.

In April of 1999, we might have been forgiven if we thought the massacre at Columbine High School was so horrible that no human being could repeat or seek to repeat it.

But now the evidence is in.

In the last 20 years, what have we done to make schools safe?

In the last 20 years, what have we done to make schools safe? It varies from one school system to the next.  But the Texas lieutenant governor hit on something big and important.

“There are too many entrances and too many exits,” Dan Patrick said of Texas schools.

One of our local high schools has multiple doors unlocked and unmonitored. I doubt it stands alone.

Any stranger can quickly figure out how to get in or out the back door. Worse yet, a disgruntled student or former student need not bother with figuring it out. It’s just a known situation among the students.

I’m told there is not so much as a security camera on one particular door. A shooter can enter unhindered and undetected.

As the parent of a high school student, I know this is begging for trouble.  It’s just a matter of time.

“If you’re a parent and you own guns, lock your guns safely away,” he said.Patrick hits a second big point.

I’m a firm believer in the Second Amendment. You have the right to bear arms. But you put that right at risk by being sloppy with other people’s safety.

If you’re a parent and you own guns, lock your guns safely away.

In 2016, the Washington Post reported on a study done using observations of crime scenes from 2008.

“[The study] found that in approximately 8 out of 10 cases, the perpetrator was not a lawful gun owner but rather in illegal possession of a weapon that belonged to someone else,” the Post said.

That same study found in 62 percent of illegally possessed guns recovered at the crime scenes, “the place where the owner lost possession of the firearm was unknown.”

Are you kidding me? You won’t lose one beer from the fridge without knowing it.

Make people the potential subject of lawsuits if their guns are used to illegally kill or wound or damage property.

In my opinion, the gun owner who reports a stolen weapon should get protection from punitive damages (but not actual damages).

But, the irresponsible bloke who doesn’t even know his gun was missing can be sued for everything he’s got. The point is to encourage responsible gun ownership and punish irresponsibility.

While we’re at it, let willing, qualified teachers participate in concealed carry.

Whatever we do, we better take this seriously.

Expand the background check system. Allow a judge to remove weapons from someone who is found (commensurate with due process) to be mentally unstable.

The list of level-headed proposals goes on.

But here’s the thing, whatever we do, we better take this seriously. The first cost of failure is lost lives. The second cost is a left-wing do-gooder destroying the Second Amendment. The third cost is a police state because no one can protect themselves.

To protect gun rights, we need — absolutely need — to crack down on irresponsible gun possession. That means theft of a weapon (or even unauthorized use of a weapon) must be taken seriously.

Mental illness must also be taken seriously.  School safety must be taken seriously.

People in all sorts of positions of responsibility have been made to take on even more responsibility in the last 100 years. Why should gun ownership be any different?

We rise to the level of new challenges and higher responsibility because if we don’t, then we get our guns taken away.