Cooler heads need to prevail in discussions about shootings

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        The recent mass shootings that have left many people dead, including school children in Texas, are certainly on the minds of almost every citizen.
        Last Saturday, it was the topic of discussion during a well-attended Neighborhood Watch meeting at Woodcreek Village near Walbridge.
        Much came out of that meeting, and I was pleasantly surprised that everyone stuck to the plan for it not to turn into a political discussion on gun control issues. The main focus of the discussion was how can we prevent these mass shootings from occurring to begin with.
        Over the past several years, I have done my best to promote the idea of “see something, say something.” Rarely does a shooter carry out their horrendous acts of violence without first broadcasting their intentions over social media. News reports say this was done by the shooter in Texas.
        Last weekend, during one Sunday political talk show, it was announced that recently in Barkley, California a high school student threatened to bomb his school. That plan was thwarted when someone called police to report these threats, resulting in the student’s arrest.
        Another recent account from West Virginia indicated a man went to a birthday party with a plan to shoot multiple people there, but a woman who had a concealed carry permit took out the shooter before he could fire his weapon.   Closer to home, in my hometown of Fostoria, a few years ago a person was trying to round up people to perform an act of “ethnic cleansing” at a city park that would have resulted in several people injured or killed. It was reported to Fostoria police, who acted swiftly to prevent the event.
        There are plenty of incidents to show that those who report plans of mass shootings have done what it takes to prevent injuries and deaths, but sadly not all get reported. This leads to many tragic deaths, including innocent children.
        No one has a magic wand to bring back those who have died from violent acts, and I don’t have a simple answer to prevent them. However, having productive discussions like those at our recent Neighborhood Watch meetings is a good start.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may obtain further information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.


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