Last week's active shooter incident at Sanford High School was a hoax, but the chance that a demented individual could grab a gun and kill your son or daughter while they're learning their ABCs or playing on a school playground is very real.
So what do we do? Install more cameras, more locks and bolts, metal detectors, resource officers, airport-type scanners, body pat-downs?
When you go to Strafford Superior Court, security is tight. If the metal alarms goes off you get a pat-down from a trained security guard.
No security system is perfect, especially if you have an evil genius who is bent on killing kids and gaining infamy.
That was much of what inspired the boiler plate Columbine High School killers to carry out their fiendish scheme to kill as many innocents as the could.
They wanted to kill a bunch more, but still the carnage was heavy: 12 students and one teacher. They spent a year planning their sick and twisted day of death. We won't mention their names. We know they're looking up and wishing we would.
But what sickens us the most is the number of killers that law enforcement will say "were on their radar" prior to the event.
Don't think they're not crazy people in Rochester. There are.
Crazy, high on meth, crack or just cray cray.
Down in New York there's people pushing regular folk in front of subway trains. They're often let out on no bail while they await their suspended sentence.
The person sentenced last week in the bloody Bedford hotel killings had been previously let out from an earlier prison sentence for violence due to Covid.
There's two takeaways:
One, start enforcing the laws and imprisoning those that break them with the sentences written into state statutes.
Two, just like when you're at an airport and see a random package with no one around it: you go and tell someone, right? Well, if you see or know of someone who is suffering from mental illness and is speaking of violence, report it to authorities.
When we deinstitutionalized the violent and severely mentally ill 50 years ago we wrought this devastation on ourselves.
Far too many times, like in the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Fla., the suspect was on police radar for being a risk. The same can be said for the killer of the three University of Virginia football players. That suspect had also received two recent suspended sentences.
So just like the stray package at the airport or train station, "If you see something, say something."
And then pray to God that law enforcement and the courts remove the demented one from our midst. We'll all be safer for it.