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West Michigan drills for events like Sandy Hook but there are limits

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People grieve outside the overflow area of a vigil at the Saint Rose of Lima church in Newtown, Connecticut December 14, 2012. REUTERS-Shannon Stapleton
People grieve outside the overflow area of a vigil at the Saint Rose of Lima church in Newtown, Connecticut December 14, 2012. REUTERS-Shannon Stapleton

UNDATED (WKZO) -- Those of us who have been around long enough remember drilling in case of Nuclear War in schools, as if ducking under our desks was really going to do any good. Students today hold lock-down drills  and prepare the best they can for armed gunmen, whether they be bank robbers on the run, disaffected students like at Columbine or as in this case unhinged adults, but there effectiveness is limited.

 Larry Johnson, who is President-elect of the National Association of School Safety and Asst. Superintendent of Grand Rapids Schools says schools are not designed to be fortresses, and there is a balancing point between making them safe and losing what makes them schools.

Police agencies and hospitals also regularly drill on how they would respond to such an incident, or any mass casualty scenario, but finding a way to prevent them remains politically difficult.

The timing couldn’t have been more unfortunate for one of the many bills that Michigan State Legislators approved just hours before the senseless tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary.

It would allow citizens with advanced Concealed Weapons Permits to carry guns into most of the settings where guns are now banned, everywhere from stadiums to daycares, churches to bars and including schools which would have the option to impose their own bans, as the bill is written.  

Kalamazoo House Representative Sean McCann hopes the Governor vetoes it. He says he would like to see a ban on assault weapons too. 

The Governor, asked about it on a Detroit television program stopped short of saying he would veto it but says the events at Sandy Hook Elementary have definitely given him pause.

  Its given us all pause. 

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