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While the Obama Administration has jumped on the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut as an opportunity to attack gun ownership, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and his School Safety Panel are promising to take a reasonable approach to looking at school safety.
That’s a breath of fresh air.
It seems anytime there’s a shooting, anymore, politics raises its ugly, reactionary head.
According to a story from Capital News Service (by Whitney Spicer and Blake Belden) the School and Campus Safety Task Force vowed this week that their recommendations on keeping Virginia’s schools safe would be based on fact and not emotion.
According to CNS, the task force is charged with evaluating the safety of schools and campuses throughout the state.
“I thought in the wake of that terrible tragedy, it would be prudent to get all of our leading experts from all disciplines together to gather around a table or two, and talk about what can we do better,” McDonnell said.
The problem is those who, after the shooting, called for immediate measures, such as banning assault weapons. You can expect Vice President Biden and the Obama Administration reforms to place a heavy emphasis on restricting gun purchases.
The CNS story noted that some members of the task force are no strangers to shooting tragedies such as Allen Hill, whose daughter, Rachel was killed in the tragedy at Virginia Tech in 2007.
“Perhaps no state is more familiar with this kind of inexplicable tragedy than Virginia after April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech,” McDonnell said in the CNS story. “Many of you have been a part of that recovery.”
When a deranged student killed 32 people at Tech, McDonnell was the state’s attorney general and Tim Kaine was governor.
The task force has 45 members and includes teachers, law enforcement officials and mental health practitioners, legislators, parents and students.
One of the task force members is state Delegate Margaret Ransone, R-Kinsale, a mother of two.
According to CNS, the task force plans to send its initial recommendations to the governor by Jan. 31. The first round of recommendations will focus on issues that require legislation or budget appropriations; a final report will be issued by June.
“I think that we have a very important duty to make sure in our education system, K-12 or university, every person has the ability to work hard and gain access to the American dream and to do it in a safe and secure environment,” McDonnell said in the CNS story. “For the most part we’ve been able to do that in our state pretty well. But I think these events have called upon us, once again, to look at all aspects of school and campus safety and say, ‘Is there something we can do better?’ ”
That’s a reasonable approach. Executive orders and reactionary measures are nothing more than pure politics.