Police to increase patrols in and around Boston schools

A statement from Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis on today's news out of Connecticut:

Our deepest sympathies go out to the victims and the families of those affected by the Newtown, Connecticut shooting. I have been in touch with the Superintendent of Boston Public Schools and the Chief of the Transit Police. Although there is no connection to the Boston area, the shooting is disturbing. Accordingly, we will be increasing uniformed police patrols in and around schools over the next several days.

Alex Tambascio reports the extra coverage includes parochial schools, such as Catholic Memorial in West Roxbury, where his son goes:

My son's school had the police deployed there and being very diligent.

In contrast, Sarah reports from Brookline:

My son's Brookline school was wide open at pick up today. No locked doors, no checking who's entering. As it is every day.

K. Beal reports the same open-door policy in Cambridge.

CC Chapman reports on meeting his kids at their bus stop this afternoon:

Good to see the bus pulling up. Be smart. Be Safe. Show compassion and love to those around you.

Hearing the laughs and giggles of the neighborhood kids getting home from school. Breaks my heart and fills me with joy at same time.

Advice to parents that as you hug your kids, immediately tell them everyone is ok. I scared my kids because they knew something was wrong.

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Doesn't hurt. Remember, a BPS

Doesn't hurt. Remember, a BPS student had a firearm and ammunition in his possession at school just four days ago, and if it had gone unnoticed we could potentially have had the same tragedy on our hands.

Suddenly struck me ...

BPS has security and cops and stuff during the school day, but what about later in the afternoon and evening during after-school activities? I've picked my daughter up at school several times after the end of the official school day and I've always been able to just walk in without having to sign in or anything.

You are completely right

I used to notice that in middle and high school. There were times in the evenings we'd do locker-room walkthroughs and guard the doors before changing. It's disconcerting to be semi-alone in a gigantic school building and realize no one really knows who's inside it. Especially when you're tiny and female.

His Life, Your Life

There are different hells for everybody. Just because you think you'd be relatively OK living without a hand doesn't mean everybody will be or should be.

What's loss of a hand to a virtuoso pianist? It's a life sentence of total frustration. Or loss of vision to an artist? Or loss of legs to an athlete? Different body parts can mean more to someone else than they mean to you.

Obviously, life is the most important consideration for the majority of us. But automatically assuming that your values in that regard are the ultimate bottom-line argument is arrogant on a world-class level.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

Goofy nitpick from usually rational uhubber

Oh please, losing hand <<< dying. Every human on the planet - even concert pianists -
will throw their hands up to ward off a potentially lethal blow. No one throws their hands behind their head in an effort take the damage with their face.

Trying to equate the potential human suffering your standard-issue whackjob can inflict with a knife to what is possible with a firearm is just patently ridiculous. One's opinion about the legitimacy of gun control need not be predicated on such silly false equivalencies.

I'd chalk this up to a failed attempt at an ironic joke, but you rarely miss when you go for the funny.

The question isn't if guns are notably more powerful and dangerous than other personal weapons - of course they are, they're specifically designed to throw immense amounts of kinetic energy at long range, and do it over and over in a very short period of time. The question is whether certain firearms are dangerous enough to warrant special legal treatment.

Jeff - Thank You, But I Guess I Need To Explain

I appreciate the compliments, very much, so thanks for those. I think you missed my point a tiny bit, though.

First, to be clear, even though I am generally a defender of Second Amendment rights, I wasn't arguing that any weaponry is more or less deserving of any specific legal treatment. I think perhaps you mistakenly took my siding with Boston_res, on the philosophical points concerning dismemberment versus death, as an agreement concerning the points about gun/knife equivalence. That was not my intent.

The other part is where I'll still claim ownership of my little rant, and, if we disagree, so be it. Yes, every sane person will certainly do what is necessary to avoid imminent death, but what you're talking about is being in that moment whereas I (and, I believe, Boston_res) are talking about the life after that moment. Once the fight-or-flight response is done, and the adrenaline has dropped to normal, the reality of life without fill-in-the-blank sets in. It would be at that time when one person might find life without a hand manageable while another might find it so depressing that suicide becomes a seemingly logical choice for that person.

My point (if I haven't beaten it into the ground already) is that each person has as much individual right to their level of depression as they do to any other emotion, and for someone else to say something akin to "That's idiotic to feel that way!" is, while obviously true to the commenter, not a reaction that is truly for that uninvolved person to decide for the person who has been affected.

(Going for the funny here...)

Either that or I'm insane.

Suldog
http://jimsuldog.blogspot.com

I'd rather be dead than missing any number of body parts.

All of my work involves use of my eyes and hands. Losing any combination of them means I have to choose a new profession. It just so happens my profession is something I've done my whole life, and now I'm recognized for, and have made a living at. It makes me happy, and losing that would mean I'd be miserable.

In both cases (shooting in CT and stabbing in China), I can see all victims as being traumatized. This doesn't end for the survivors. They'll most likely have dreams about this for years to come, and will most likely require extensive therapy. In one radio report this morning, they mentioned a little boy who got out of the school alive. His sister didn't. When they finally sat the kid down to tell him what happened, he realized the impact, started crying and mentioned he'd have no one to play with anymore. This is a situation which would make me amazingly depressed.

Right, but gun culture is part of the sickness

Part of the sickness of American culture is the idea that you can use a gun to solve problems or that people "need" guns for self-protection. If guns were outlawed, and "only outlaws had guns" people would adopt a more defensive posture and learn self-defense methods to disarm and overpower the bad guys instead of thinking a gun would protect them.

Overpowering the bad guy?

Don't know about you, if someone holds a gun to me and wants something, they're likely to get it. I say likely since I usually don't have any money on me, and don't actually have a wallet. So if the perp wants my T pass, that's what they get. I don't care if I have my own gun with me, the last thing I'll do is get into a scuffle with an armed criminal who has a knife, gun, taser, canon or whatever else.

There were people this sick long before guns were invented. Some of China's history, going back thousands of years, has references to an emperor burying hundreds of people alive (Qin Shi Huang, far too many references to link).
http://asianhistory.about.com/od/profilesofasianle...

SwirlyGrrl's comment down below mentions mental illness, and our "back burner" approach to helping it. I think this is a bigger problem we need to address.

Re: "Doesn't hurt"

The BPS is diverting resources from real police work to making parents feel better about their kids at school. If there's a legitimate threat of copy-cat attacks, or if there's some proof that schools in Boston today are more at threat then they were yesterday, then ok, more patrols. But I don't think that's the case.

I get it; this is sad and scary stuff. But I bet there are some residents of Mattapan who'd like to see some more cruisers driving by tonight on their streets.

Might not be more actual cops on the street

BPD likes to station cops at possible trouble spots - where they can quickly respond to other places if the need arises. So maybe for the next few days, cops who would normally be at X will patrol or station themselves closer to Y School. If a call comes in for a problem back at X, they can be there real fast.

And we know this because ...

The kid got caught.

Meanwhile, we have a large population of younger people who are familiar with weaponry who also have substantial mental health needs.

We also live in a country where mental health needs - including addiction - are put on the back burner unless profitable pills can be thrown at them - and then only pills are thrown at them.

Stuff is going to keep happening until we, as a society, deal with this in a more constructive way.

That incident has nothing to

That incident has nothing to do with this police presence. Stop and think - when they did have a kid with gun and ammo at a school, did they do all this? No - they wait until something happens in anther state. Why? Kids with guns in BP schools is a recurring fact, and one they don't want to deal with. In this case, you have a headline that will be forgotten in a few days, and the cops will be pulled away from the schools, and it will be business as usual. And no one will talk about the kid in a Boston school with a gun.

Brookline should know better!

I went to school in a neighborhood with an equally Jewish demographic. The district felt that the high concentration of Jewish children made it a solid "soft target" for anti-Semitic hate crimes, especially in the wake of 9-11 and changed its security protocols accordingly. This was 11 years ago.

School shootings are extremely rare. But then again, so are many other things we take common precautions against, and there are no common precautions being taken by many schools.

Worst kind of public policy

This is the worst kind of public policy. We shouldn't be directing our resources based on what's in the news this week. If mass shootings at schools are a risk we're actually under-protected against, then police presence in those areas should be upped for a lot longer than "the next several days."

But more cops at schools mean fewer cops elsewhere. If we're not actually under-protected at schools, then upping the police presence there will leave us under-protected somewhere else.

Boston School Police

Pray for all the victims and their families. We all know nothing will be done in Washington about weak gun laws and lax drug laws. Combine this with the desease of mental illness and you have a toxic cocktail of violence.
The school police who have a tough job should be armed to protect the kids in our schools

Why isn't there more

Why isn't there more discussion about how TENSE and STRESSED OUT so many people in our society are today? Why isn't there more discussion about the epidemic of people young, middle aged, and old on powerful and dangerous psychoactive drugs [sorry, medications]? Why are so many families in our society fractured and broken? Why are so many people marginalized, and socially isolated? Why is there so many angry people in our society? Why so much road rage, sidewalk rage, store rage, simply rude, arrogant, entitled people of all ages and 'races'? Why is our mental health infrastructure broken? It simply doesn't do the job it's supposed to do. And we spend a FORTUNE on healthcare in this country, more than any other comparable western nation.

And these mass shootings are still statistically insignificant as far as our national homicide rate. But, how can anyone not notice how it's often a young man from an upper middle class/well off family? James Holmes, Dylan Klebold, Eric Harris, Adam Lanza, etc., ALL from well off families, parents [dad or mom] who're high level executives in corporate America or upper ranks of academia.

I have a theory that the majority of people of all socioeconomic backgrounds in our country today are behaving in ways that in the past only the 'elite' upper classes behaved. Arrogant, entitled, smug, selfish, even sociopathic. This is behavior also commonly seen among high level executives in corporations, and other 'high performing' individuals in various professions.

Finally, many people are legitimately angry and frustrated because they strongly dislike what they see in our society and how it appears everything is rapidly decaying. There are various institutions such as politics that should help the average person get some sense of power and influence over their world and to vent. These institutions, such as politics, are now also broken. The average intelligent person realizes that the whole thing is basically a scam, and the joke is on them.

What changed?

"Why isn't there more discussion about how TENSE and STRESSED OUT so many people in our society are today?"

Peple have always been tense and stressed out. Go to the library and look at old newpapers or magazines, and in any era they always say "we live in such fast paced, high pressure times". Every era thinks they lve in the most stresed out times. I think the question should be "why are people now reacting they do to this stress and tension?". What changed that people now seek an outlet in mass shootings, which seem to have become almost commonplace?

Though I absolutely agree with you that we live in a drastically overmedicated society.

I attended a HS in downtown Boston area

in the late 70s-early 80s. The violent crime rate and urban decay was probably peaking during this period. The combat zone was probably at it's peak and my school was right down the street from it. Yet, it was always UNLOCKED. Even late into the evening it remained unlocked. No security cameras, no guards. AND NOTHING EVER HAPPENED. I would stay late into the evening in fall/winter when it gets dark early, sometime s being the last or one of the last people in the building. The doors were as I said unlocked. Nothing ever happened. Likewise, my grade school and jr high were wide open compared to today's schools. There was no such thing as a 'lockdown' outside of prisons and jails. And again, this was in a period of American history when urban violence, crime and decay was probably peaking on on the verge of peaking.

Why is it so different today?

Because

The state mental hospitals were still open.

This isn't a gun control crisis. This is a mental health crisis. Instead of taking rights away from everyday Americans, we need to take rights away from the mentally ill. Some people need to be locked away where they cannot hurt people- instead of us locking ourselves away and hiding all the sharp objects to. In defense.

I'm sorry but

why does having several high powered assault weapons need to be a right? Much more important free speech rights continued to be rolled back yet all we hear about is MUH GUNS. This country has completely lost its sanity on guns.

What's an 'assault' rifle?

What's an 'assault' rifle? It's a made up term. When most people think 'Assault Rifle', what they're really thinking is a military grade full automatic rifle/carbine [carbine is simply a rifle with a shortened barrel, designed for close combat, especially urban use.] These are illegal already in most places, and in places that do allow their private ownership you need a special license. What this Lanza character used was a simple and very popular hunting rifle, semi-automatic [single shot], maybe it kinds looked like an 'assault' rifle, but it's just a simple semi-auto Bushmaster hunting rifle. Is it 'High Powered'? Of course! Any firearm mi nus say a blunderbust or musket is 'High Powered'. Police, prosecutors, media, those with an anti-firearm agenda, etc., use terms like assault rifle, semi-auto, high powered, etc., because they know most people are ignorant of firearms and it's makes them sound scary.

In any society, at the end of the day, those who are armed and have the ability to defend themselves against assault ultimately are the ones with the power. If our society for example should collapse at some point into chaos or a really nefarious government should manage to take control over us, are you saying the only people who should have the means to defend themselves [firearms are the ultimate equalizer] are police and the military? And why do some people think a women [for example] who lives alone, maybe in an unsafe neighborhood, shouldn't have the right to own a firearm to protect herself? Politicians often have armed bodyguards, celebrities generally have armed body guards and they themselves often carry firearms, in fact the few people in NYC who can legally obtain a firearms permit and a permit to carry are corporate executives, politicians, media personalities, celebrities, and pro athletes. The average person with no connections is routinely denied. I guess their lives are worth less.