The United States is in a state of shock and mourning just a week after mass shootings in both El Paso and Dayton left dozens murdered. Innocent people doing some shopping or having a night out had their lives suddenly snuffed out by crazed gunmen who thought their problems could be solved by use of a firearm.
Their twisted ideology, especially in the case of the El Paso murderer, is something we don’t need in the United States and I hope our legislators will do something to help minimize and eliminate mass shootings in the future.
I don’t know what that solution is, and this column isn’t trying to figure that out with the myriad of alleged causes and solutions, it’s to reflect on what has happened in the last two weeks. All I know is something needs to be done about these needless deaths. If there has been any silver lining to the situation it has been law enforcement.
In the case of the Dayton shooting the extremely quick actions of the police, who took out the shooter a little more than 30 seconds after his rampage began, probably saved the lives of an untold amount of people. Kudos to those officers who acted quickly and professionally to save lives and take out the shooter.
I personally feel from working with area law enforcement for many years in my capacity as a newspaper reporter and editor, area police and emergency first responders – who hopefully will never have to deal with a situation like Dayton or El Paso – would rise to the occasion and get the job done when needed.
Whether it is dealing with them in my capacity in the media, or getting stopped for going too fast in my car, they have always been extremely professional, knowledgeable and moreover willing to work together as a single unit rather than individual entities.
That isn’t just for law enforcement, but for other emergency first responders as well in the county, including the fire departments, EMS, and agencies like the U.S. Forest Service, U.S. Coast Guard and Michigan Department of Natural Resources. It’s honestly a comfort to me knowing that our county is under the protective net of these agencies, which I believe are capable and can handle any emergency situation. Hopefully those emergencies will always be mundane for their safety and our safety.
Another thing I am thankful for is security in public buildings, which I think needs to be ramped up and included in more buildings, however the cost, for the security of both the employees who work in those buildings and the public that goes to the buildings. A great example of this is the security work that has been done in the Iosco County Building in the last year, which includes security guards, a limited entrance to the building, secure doors to offices, and other features.
It may never be needed in Iosco County’s public buildings, but the fact that there is security in place should be peace of mind for those who enter the building. It sure gave me peace of mind last Wednesday when I entered the Iosco County Building to gather materials for the newspaper with the national events still fresh on my mind.
Most residents in Iosco County might only visit the county building once or twice a year to pay tax bills, have property transferred, get a marriage license or birth certificate, or something else. They should not feel vulnerable going to a public place, any public place. Likewise for those who have to use the court system with legal issues and probably already feel stressed or anxious enough dealing with their legal troubles, it’s good to have security in place.
I wouldn’t mind seeing more security in public buildings, including township halls and places like the Michigan Secretary of State. It’s something that some may argue is an unnecessary expense but I feel that just like law enforcement it’s an insurance policy that one hopes they never have to use, but keeps peace of mind intact in the meantime.
Having more security in places isn’t the only solution to this national issue, but with more people looking out for the best interests of the public safety, it’s a good start to helping minimize potential loss of life in my opinion, as well look for solutions and heal as a nation.