A plea for heightened security
It's been said we live in an 'evil world'.
As much as I wish I could disagree with the pundits who have coined that phrase, unfortunately, I cannot.
The catastrophic tragedies that have transpired just within the past nine months alone - both in our immediate area and others close by - sadly support that opinion.
We need not look any further than this past Monday morning, when a former Navy reservist killed a dozen innocent victims and left others wounded and taken to hospitals as part of a mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.
The fact that this unspeakable behavior occurred at what we've been told is a secure military facility certainly calls into question exactly how 'secure' facilities really are across our great nation.
It begs the question, if such a horrendous act could take place at this so-called secure military facility, then what's to stop such dastardly acts from being carried out at those that are assuredly far less secured?
The answer is nothing. Nada. Zilch. And, don't think for one second the perpetrators of such horrific crimes aren't aware of this glaring issue that continues to stare our country right in the face.
As last month's shooting at a Ross Township board of supervisors meeting has made painstakingly clear, such behavior isn't relegated solely to the big cities.
At that Monroe County facility, three innocent men lost their lives when a gunman -seemingly without warning - opened fire while the meeting was in progress.
As a reporter who covers his share of meetings in various municipalities, I couldn't fathom sitting in that room and hearing the sound of bullets being shot, let alone witnessing the bloodshed that followed.
Nor should I have to, quite frankly. At no point should those of us carrying out our work/civic duties ever have to live in fear that such an act of cowardice may potentially enter into the equation.
But, as the shooting rampage at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CN, last December, clearly illustrates, such behavior does exist.
There, 26 individuals - 20 students and six adults - were inexplicably shot and killed inside their classrooms.
All of us are, or were, students at one time or another who were taught some very valuable lessons inside a classroom.
Imagine, for one second, being shot and killed inside your own school. Indeed, how times have changed.
In all three of those instances, the acts were sudden and unforeseen.
While it's unknown whether heightened security measures would have stymied any or all of the aforementioned crimes, there's at least the chance it may have.
From this day forward, I believe every institution should have some form of visible security present.
Otherwise, the threat that looms over each and every one of us remains just as much, if not more, of a distinct possibility.
As unimaginable as these reprehensible acts may have appeared to be several decades ago, they are a proven reality in today's society.
Simply put, today's world is a vastly different place than the one our parents and grandparents grew up in.
It's a society in which more stringent security measures are a must so that similar acts cannot be repeated.
If these disasters have taught us any lesson at all, it's that we could be but only a split-second away from such fate.
That certainly isn't what I would like my destiny to be.