by Casey Flesch
I broke the law this week. I ignored all the warning signs. I knew what I was doing was illegal.
I wasn’t alone either, hundreds of people were doing it too. I wondered if they saw the signs. Did they care they were breaking the law? Apparently not, most of them were passing me as I drove I-5. I didn’t want to go any faster because that would increase the chances of a ticket and mean higher insurance rates. I also have a clean driving record I’m kind of proud of.
I wonder if other criminals on the road thought about the risks of breaking the law like I did. Assuming they can read the regularly placed signs and had a drivers’ license, they must have known what they were doing was wrong. Did they not care? Why would they ignore the signs?
Why do a few people go to schools and other public places and shoot people? We all know that’s illegal.
I’m horrified by the recent series of mass shooting events. I’m also very frustrated with the response of our elected leaders. Not surprisingly the ones who already didn’t like the idea of the 2nd Amendment used these events to further the cause they’ve been working on for decades. State Senator Ginny Burdick waited an entire 12 hours after the shooting at Clackamas Town Center to start making her rounds in the Capitol trying to get other lawmakers to support her dream of destroying civil rights she doesn’t like. Burdick didn’t have an epiphany about gun control that night, she just had no shame in using a tragedy to further her cause.
Unfortunately, she isn’t the only elected official to respond irrationally. Some local school boards have rushed to declare their schools Gun Free Zones. The Estacada School Board wasted no time doing so, I wonder if they believe their new policy and signs will stop deranged murderers from entering school grounds to shoot people.
It’s odd that the same lawmakers and administrators who demand our schools be fire-safe choose to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to other potential tragedies. I remember monthly fire drills designed to make sure students and staff knew what to do if there was a fire. In any school you see fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, fire alarm handles, and smoke detectors everywhere. We’ve done a good job making schools safe if a fire were to break out. I don’t recall the last mass casualty event due to a school fire.
Why then do we not protect our schools against another potential threat… an armed murderer out to kill?
Our response to this scenario seems to be passing more laws to tell law-abiding citizens their civil rights don’t really matter, the only thing that matters is a policy and a sign. If that’s all it takes to make you feel safer why bother with fire protection? Shouldn’t we just post signs saying fire isn’t allowed on school grounds? You see, fire, like a deranged gunman hell bent on killing people doesn’t respond rationally. Both fire and murderers kill people, neither pays much attention to signs.
It’s time for elected leaders to lead with rational, appropriate ways to keep schools safe, not empty measures that destroy the civil rights of Americans.
Casey Flesch is the Vice Chair of the Clackamas County Republican Party