Armed Guards Don’t Belong in School

After the senseless tragedy that occurred in Newton, Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary the entire nation has been engulfed in a conversation about gun control, school safety and mental illness. In my own Islamic school community, parents have  debated and had heated conversations about our kids safety. The school our kids attend is in the basement of a Mosque. It was decided that an armed guard would be the best short term solution in beefing up our schools security.

But that very notion of having an armed guard at school makes me extremely anxious and I don’t think he will keep our kids any safer. To invite a stranger with a gun into such close proximity of our children seems counterintuitive on every level.

My feeling on having an armed guard align closely with Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy who said:

“Let me say this: more guns are not the answer. Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher, and security should not mean a guard posted outside every classroom…”

In my head the math just doesn’t add up: Gun+Gun= safer school!

Having an armed guard at school introduces a whole new dimension of problems that we must be aware of. First  and foremost, the armed guard can be a potential threat to our kids and the staff. I understand that the guard would be trained and there would be a background check, but what guarantee do we have that he would not in fact use the weapon against us? We do not know what his intentions are and neither can we judge how he may feel on a given day. Why are we willing to take such a big risk?

The second problem that can potentially arise is the higher risk of accidents. If the armed guard  had a judgement lapse and mistakenly identifies someone as a threat he could potentially injure or kill an innocent person. That is also something that we can’t control and we are putting a lot of faith in a person who our community knows virtually nothing about.

The third problem is that we may become satisfied with the armed guard and not feel the need to consider other security options. The security issue is an ongoing dilemma that needs to be consistently improved by long term solutions such as adding video surveillance and bulletproof windows.

The hiring of an armed guard may make us feel more secure, but we are working under a lot of assumptions.The first assumption being that the armed guard is in fact a good and sane person who will not ever misuse his power. The second assumption is that he will never have an accident in regards to his weapon. The third assumption is that in the event of an emergency he will in fact put himself in harm’s way.

Our childrens security is paramount and an armed guard is great in theory “if” he performs as we would like to imagine him to be. But lets be honest he is a guy working a 9-5 job like the rest of us and we cannot put our childrens lives at risk because we are under the false pretense that the guard will put our kids first and will become a hero if an emergency type situation occurs.

The truth of the matter is that the Newton was an isolated event. Yes we should be proactive about our students safety, but we shouldn’t do that by bringing a gun into a gun free place. We should as a community seriously think about the potential problems and consequences that can occur by  bringing an armed guard to our schools.

In Sickness and in Health

 

Does perfect health make a marriage?

I recently heard of a gentleman who is mighty fine looking, highly educated and not to mention living a well to do lifestyle (in other words ‘well-set’). Who would think such a brother is  having a difficult time in getting married?

Well….he is.

The reason is he limps when he walks.

Does this disqualify him from being a suitable match? He has everything going for him, his looks, fun personality, education and financial success.  So should something like that get in the way?

I know of others (both men and women) who are also good looking, highly educated and successful people who have certain ongoing health problems which are becoming a hindrance in their marriage search.

These individuals are loving and living life to the fullest on a daily basis, but because of medications or treatments prospects get scared and immediately turn them down.  It breaks my heart when I hear of such cases and can’t stop thinking about it.  Can I blame the potential prospects for turning them away? Or are they too quick to say no?  For the brother who limps, I cannot imagine why he would get rejected unless his prospects are embarrassed of him.

I can understand people being reluctant when it comes to proposals with health issues.  People worry about fertility and the concern of having to ‘take care’ of their ‘ill’ spouse.  It is human nature to be afraid of the ‘unknown’.

However, if there is a spark and an instant connection between the guy and girl, then there should be no concern. Many Islamic books have mentioned that a good marriage can overcome any hurdle, but a bad marriage would be a life-long hurdle in itself.

For the married couples, we all know marriage is not just a matter of two people playing house.  Looks can only take you so far, and we know that money does not fill a void.  Marriage is a commitment that should be tied with love, trust and mutual understanding.  Often times we know of couples who are living dull and loveless lives. The only thing tying them together is their children.

Certain people are indeed given tests and trials that are clearly beyond their control. Do these people who have exceptional circumstances or cases have no hope of getting married?
People with health challenges may end up having a better perspective on life due to the various tests and trials they had to go through.  Such tests may humble a person, thus making them better spouses.

Don’t get me wrong, I can understand why prospects or their parents may not want to consider individuals with health conditions. However, for those who accept these people for the way they are, then in my book they are pious people.  Such people have a strong eman and know that whatever test they may be put through, with the help of Allah SWT they will get through it.

So on the notion of marriage searching for people with health conditions, how should they go about it? Should they mention their conditions prior to even meeting their prospects? or should they first create an impression so people can look past their health challenges?

I don’t know the answers to these questions, hence the blog post! 🙂

Something to think and respond about…