Method to train teachers

As a retired sheriff's lieutenant from Shawnee County with a master's in law enforcement management and administration, I have an idea that I think would be of value in the current school security debate.

There is a relatively simple way to secure schools against potential school shooters. Every sheriff in Kansas has the power to appoint "special" or "reserve" deputies under his/her direction and control. This power could be used to train and appoint school teachers and staff as special/reserve deputies, allowing them to carry concealed in schools and would be strictly voluntary.

It would cost the state nothing other than empowering legislation. Any cost would be borne by the sheriff's department and the volunteers. All special or reserve deputies must furnish their own weapons and ammunition and must undergo mandated classroom and range training, including "shoot, don't shoot" scenarios.

Upon successful completion of training and background checks, possibly including psychological exams, teachers would be empowered to the concealed carry of the weapon they trained with. That weapon would be registered with the local sheriff's department. They would be required to re-certify with that weapon every three months or so, depending upon the requirements of their county sheriff's department.

Further, this proposed program could be subject to the desires and dictates of the local school board, as well as the sheriff.

Oren Long, Hoyt


Look in the mirror

As I sit wondering why there is so much hatred and violence in this world, the world around us is just falling apart. People crying for help, mass shootings, suicides, single murders, bullying, homelessness and so much more.

Why? I think it boils down to the heartless, selfish people that we have become. If we look in the mirror, we see just the shell of the person, and of ourselves. We have become just surface people. But if you look deep, what kind of person do you see? Really see? We are commanded by God to love, and show kindness and mercy. We are important. The world needs to see, but beyond that, needs to know that life is worth living and saving.

God starts with our hearts. When you look in the mirror, ask yourself, “Are you doing enough, or are you even doing anything?’’ Probably the best thing that can be done is to have a truly caring and listening ear. Also, help someone, reach out to the depressed, be a Samaritan, and feed somebody, both emotionally and physically. Also, truly mean what you say and do.

Gun control will always be controversial, until the end of time. There is already gun control and testing. There can always be more laws, more restrictions, more controls, more rules and less freedom. Until we start with the real problem, which boils down to the content of our hearts, there will be no end to the violence and sadness in this world. It will only get worse.

As Michael Jackson said, "It starts with the man in the mirror." Life is important. Today is all you have.

Emily Miller, Silver Lake