To the Editor:
I set up a blog for anonymous posts for comments on why people voted No since there are so many nuances this time. There's a new group of No voters (post 12/14/12), and the articles assuming we voted No on increased security cannot be further from the truth! Our PTA voted 33 to 0 in favor of two armed guards at our elementary school, for obvious reasons. When I volunteer at the school, the police officer is on the playground in back of the school, while the person near the front door is armed only with a smile, ready to take the first couple of bullets if anything happened. This isn't adequate security.
I flew the 757/767 for United Airlines (same plane the terrorists were trained on) September 10, 2001 from NY- LA. When we were back flying on the 15th, we didn't have to ask for steel bars on the cockpit doors, nor beg for two armed air marshals on every flight. United took the safety of its crews and passengers seriously, and provided. Countless schools everywhere have treated our town tragedy as a learning experience and added two armed guards immediately following that event.
It's unreasonable to ask teachers and staff of schools to do their jobs well, without showing them that their safety is paramount. We know schools are targets and why. We know many kids these days are on psychotropic drugs with side effects such as “irrational thinking” and “thoughts of suicide.” We know about the disgusting games available online to kids with too much time on their hands.
Since the town collects our tax dollars to pay for public schools, it is their responsibility to protect our kids when they are there. Of course, I would love to be able to put Newtown police officers at each and every school – public and private, plus day cares. This is not feasible financially, since each officer costs $92,000/ year plus a pension that may cost this town over 40 years if they retired at 40 and lived past 80, nor is it fair to taxpayers who have no children. The retired police officer we have at our school already has a pension and benefits and doesn't need to work more than the 180 days per year. It makes no sense not to give this man a gun, yes, g-u-n, and have him conceal it under a blazer. He is licensed to carry, requires no additional training, and would not drain our town finances after he stopped working. Retired officers are the way to go, but we need two! To participate in voicing your thinking behind your No vote on either budget, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. To read, go to http://newtownvotesno.simplesite.com.
I love this town! I know it's difficult – we feel divided by our fears, and the government and media have manipulated all of us for their own agendas, but we need to be kind for Ben (Ben's Bells) and choose love for Jesse (The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation).
16 Beaver Dam Road, Newtown May 1, 2013