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Bless his little heart. In Duwane Rager’s letter to the editor [“Put politics aside to move forward from school shooting,” Dec. 21, The Calvert Recorder], he misunderstands a recent posting I placed on my Facebook page.

In typical liberal fashion, Mr. Rager lifted only a portion of my posting where I support forceful deterrence to counter loss of innocent lives, and then attacks using wild exaggerations such as turning “our schools into a military state” and “Forcing our children to live in fear,” without even offering a tangible solution.

For completeness, my entire quote is provided: “Why do Liberals insist upon having innocent children in defenseless schools making them prime for slaughter? Notice that since pilots became armed in cockpits and increased presence of armed sky Marshalls no hijackings have occurred in the US? Trained and armed authorities in schools will minimize the loss of innocent lives. Liberals just refuse to protect the children.”

Multiple solutions could be applied, from individual responsibility in the use of tools and technology to greater mental health awareness. To help Mr. Rager maintain focus, this response will stay focused upon the need to ensure a safe environment for innocent school students. Until mental health officials can accurately predict who will commit such an act as multiple-victim shootings in “gun-free zones” and when, we need appropriate policies. That is what elected officials should advocate.

Contrary to Mr. Rager’s view, it is appropriate for elected officials to discuss policy, from which is derived the word “politics.” Unfortunately, as the leader of the young Democrats, Mr. Rager is the one who brings in partisanship. This is not the time for partisanship. In fact, it is more appropriate for bipartisan discussions.

During tragedy, some individuals panic, hide or run away while others refuse to take a position. Yet, there are a few who remain clear-eyed, identify problems and lead efforts to correct those problems. Elected officials need to remain clear-eyed to ensure they support only policies that are truly effective.

I swore an oath (to God, no less) to defend and support the U.S. Constitution — not just parts of the Constitution, but the entire document. I did not say I would be squeamish over parts of the Constitution when circumstances cause others to question portions of that profound document. Liberals see that document as something to “progress” from, while I subscribe to the conservative view of ensuring policies are consistent with it.

Of course, those who support the liberal view of the Constitution are advocating policies that, like the gun-free zone policy, do not work, but do make them feel good that they are at least trying something. Don’t expect these individuals to advocate for the only public policy shown to reduce the death rate from such crimes: concealed-carry laws.

I call for the Calvert County Board of Education to compare its policy with what was in place before the killings in Newtown, Conn. I also want someone to explain the rationale for the senseless gun-free zone in schools policy. Such a “feel-good policy” was once again proven to be a complete failure.

As a stepfather to an innocent mentally challenged individual, I am keenly aware of ensuring a safe environment, employing various tools and technology that deter others from harming innocent life. Why would any parent be comfortable with the gun-free zone policy that essentially leaves their children vulnerable?

So, I care about saving innocent lives by reducing the number of mass public shootings and associated deaths. Gun-free zone policies have proven they don’t work.

Evan Slaughenhoupt (R), Dunkirk

The writer is a Calvert County commissioner.