It’s time to protect our children

After witnessing on television the horrible massacre in Newtown, Conn., on Dec. 14, I felt compelled to do something in our community so that school-age children, their parents and teachers will be safe.

I have two children: A 9-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son. Having seen this type of attack happening for some years now in the U.S., I have been concerned for several years for my children's safety at school.

Newtown is a small town. If it can happen there, it can happen anywhere. I do not want to pick up my telephone one day and hear that a lunatic has walked into one of my children's schools and killed dozens. To me, and certainly to thousands of other citizens of Asheville and Buncombe County, the safety of our children is a primary concern. We can no longer be complacent and believe that our children are safe when at school.

They are not, and we as a community must join together and insist that immediate action be taken, as an agenda priority in our City Council and county commission to "Protect Our Children," that the children, parents and teachers can live their lives in peace and comfort knowing that our public schools are safe and protected.

I composed sent an email to Mayor Terry Bellamy and all City Council members, as well as to Buncombe County Board of Commissioners, suggesting [ways] to start moving toward a long-term solution. I have started a petition asking our community leaders to take immediate action.

I know that this problem is attributed to multiple issues and it is complicated. We have to change many things in our society. In the meantime, our children deserve to be protected. I don't want to receive that call one day and know that I did not do everything in my power to prevent it.

May we not become complacent again, and may we do whatever it takes to "Protect Our Children.” To sign the petition, visit

— Mark Fields


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2 thoughts on “It’s time to protect our children

  1. Tycer

    I suggest we start by ceasing to force our teachers, administrators and staff to use only their bare hands and maybe a ruler to defend our defenseless from madmen. Utah has not ever forced defenselessness on their schools and there have been no negative repercussions. I would wager that there are hundreds of trainers in NC willing and able to train (at no cost) our educators that desire the training. Add the local sheriff, FBI and mental background checks already in place for concealed carry permit holders and the level of safety experienced in Utah would be the same or better here.

  2. boatrocker

    There are no easy answers as to how to keep America’s students safe- that is a given.

    I’m all for the 2nd Amendment, but consider the NRA guilty of bullying America’s lawmakers by throwing their well funded weight around by refusing to back down on any sort of restrictive legislation (high capacity magazines, “cop killer” bullets, increased background checks, eliminating background check-free purchases at gun shows, etc.).

    I do have a question though I’d love to throw out there- If we as a nation are willing to arm teachers and school staff, who pays for it? Will Americans be willing to pay higher taxes for schools to purchase weapons to arm their staff?

    I only ask as NC’s decidedly anti education stance has been apparent since the 2010 elections (you know, comments like “Teachers have it so easy, they don’t need salaries that keep up with national norms”, etc).

    At the end of the day, if teachers are asked to purchase supplies for their own classrooms (without compensation) for budget cuts, where oh where will these firearms come from to arm school staff? The Gun Fairy? Or will it be more likely another operating cost forced onto school staff.

    Consider for a moment the cost of a handgun, all the paperwork to make it legal as well as a training course and maybe even some practice time on a shooting range so the owner doesn’t accidentally hit an innocent bystander if it comes to that.

    Where will this $ come from to arm America’s teachers if we as Americans can’t or won’t even pay a decent wage for teachers or buy them basic classroom supplies? Just wondering.

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