In all areas of life, exhaustive preparation may not guarantee success, but it assures the best chance of it.
This week, we’ve seen some local examples of that concept being embraced.
New Castle police officers, for example, have been outfitted with body cameras that will record each of their interactions with the public.
Holy Spirit Parish has required all volunteers working its annual festival at St. Vitus church to have Protecting God’s Children background checks.
And in Mercer County, Sharon Regional Medical Center hosted officials from multiple school districts for a seminar on exploring issues that can lead to violence in schools and on how to help students and teachers deal with the challenges.
Admittedly, as wise as such steps are, they can’t guarantee that all instances of the behavior at which they are aimed will be prevented. Body cameras won’t halt antisocial acts. Child abusers will have clean backgrounds until they commit their first offense. And not all students with the potential to commit violent acts will necessarily provide clues as to what might lie ahead.
Nonetheless, all these steps will create a system that offers a better chance of heading off such dangerous acts.
U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey said it best this week when reintroducing gun control bills he originally proposed in the wake of the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting.
“I’m the first to acknowledge there is no single bill that is going to prevent all such mass shootings,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do all we can to prevent what we can.”
From out viewpoint, that includes:
•Background checks for all civilian gun sales and transfers, with at least a 10-day review period.
•Prohibiting firearms sales to people with documented emotional or mental health issues.
•An across-the-board ban on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons to civilians.
•The restriction of high capacity bullet magazines to no more than 10 rounds.
None of these steps would endanger Americans’ Second Amendment rights to own a gun for protection, hunting or other sport. And, like Toomey, we are not under the illusion that their implementation would put an instant end to the epidemic of tragic mass shootings.
However, they will be a giant step toward doing everything we can do to prevent more senseless loss of lives, and we urge lawmakers to act on them.