How can we protect our schools
Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge weighs in
- Duration 6:31
- Date Dec 16, 2012
Former Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge weighs in
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The shooting -- -- -- elementary school brings back painful memories of the deadliest school shooting in US history.
Less than six years ago the student went on a Rampage at Virginia Tech shooting and killing 32 people loading seventeen others and then he killed himself.
Former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge was on the panel charged with investigating that massacre any university's response to that also former governor thank you for joining us today.
-- -- junior under these circumstances but it's an important conversation you know we haven't.
Entire country has to have this -- -- -- -- And there are so many.
Different portions of the conversation to have found you and I talked a little bit during the commercial about the fact that a number of the most recent shootings there are so many common factors.
-- with those who carried out these crimes and maybe that's a good place to start.
Well I think it is and if you take a look at the horrific incidents themselves and then you kind of pull back and take a look at -- the actors first of all.
None of these were spontaneous events they were planned.
Many of them were planned in the knowledge of the planning was either known by a fellow students.
Where they talked about their -- suicidal tendencies or their desire to kill people to fellow students.
And so I think if you well it's predictable that we're going to be talking about some form of additional gun control legislation.
Is far more complicated in and -- not that we shouldn't but the fact of the matter remains.
-- multiple layers here -- if we're having serious conversation about reducing the risk of this happening again.
-- -- -- dealing with all those players it's about privacy it's about mental health counseling it's about identifying aberrant destructive behavior and getting these people -- help they need.
At the outset it's about students tell -- perhaps -- -- their parents or the counselors that they've heard these strange aberrant.
Mumbling self destructive -- it's it's real cultural problem and -- -- there's a lot of people who disagree with me but I happen I think violence begets violence and you have a certain.
Have an individual.
But the psychological problem perhaps didn't reject it has been vilified.
Believe it feels like part of the crowd.
They can lose themselves in the -- -- world they can lose themselves in the digital world.
Area there's -- reality is but nothing you and I could ever appreciate.
Do you think that there is a way to broach these conversations these topics because.
I would imagine every one of us has had someone in our lives whether it's a friend or coworker or neighbor.
-- you know something's not rights were still hesitant to get involved -- -- intrude on someone's privacy.
But it could make all the difference in and we know about another plot last week alleged plot that was busted up.
When officers got -- from students fellow students who said something's going wrong with -- student he's saying things that are you know potentially deadly.
Take a long time for us culturally.
To act when we see friends normally we -- individuals struggling with alcoholism.
And we do encourage them to get intervention we had to take that same mindset when we see this.
This behavior this distorted self destructive behavior manifesting itself in certain ways.
And get involved in -- you and I were talking.
To be a lot of conversations.
During the holiday season cocktail parties in the life and when one occurrences to another -- your -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- And we only respond to the mental health challenges after the fact we kind of ignored and frankly I think even some families ignored.
Or we put them on severe medication and one of the students in the column by and shooting was on severe medication and apparently there's analysis Centre and probably even contributed to his destructive aggressive behavior so.
We need do would take a 360 look at this SP five point -- senator -- we've been.
Remove Lieberman earlier today in a very thoughtful way typical listener and -- -- we better have a commission on this because it's far more than a press conference in the far.
Far more than a single piece of legislation -- really gonna reduce the risk of this ever happening again.
You investigate what happened at Virginia Tech you're talking about an elementary school since the settings are a little bit different but -- The commonality is at school you think you're going to be safe parents are gonna -- great education and.
And again you know it's it's it's.
It's a classic example of it you don't want to turn in the school -- fortress and this is as cool as I understand it did get -- -- conceivably possible.
And limited entrance and exit the end -- the got the buzzer this is a school fortunately the school gets great.
It's unspeakable tragedy but one wonders what happens if they didn't have -- down if that teacher's aide.
It didn't call 911 at the school didn't yell lockdown and in the heroine who put her kids in the closet protected the lives so.
There's just so much you can do and that's what I say we were in the crowd who.
Respond to these incidents is this we can't we want it we don't want to turn our schools and armed fortress is and I think it's like a lot of other things.
It's not just -- weapons who gets them -- why no is this I know this is this is basic and some people say this ridge really up.
Children are born evil in the -- one -- But they may begin with some psychological difficulties and a variety of influences.
And experiences in their lives taken in that path.
We have to accept that.
In and in hopes will understand.
The importance of culture importance of intervention.
Importance of mental health there are many lessons -- in Virginia Tech.
Privacy because we're confused.
Mental health system and -- this man -- -- -- and -- People knew about it.
And nobody responded to -- so this is.
It's -- -- -- more than -- senator Feinstein -- introducing legislation with regard to regulations and we're going to control as is predictable as the sun coming up tomorrow.
That should be part of the discussion there's a lot more to this thing.
That's just that -- single piece of legislation and a responsibility that we can all take any causal role players and I say that.
You know when security was -- federal department but it was a national mission will the safety executed very cute and -- school assistant commissioner of any one department and anybody individual which the country's -- and we have to think more we have to be clear in our thinking and we have to.
Get away from the notion that there is just a single way we can reduce this.
The threat of this continuing -- lot of lessons learned after every one of these incidents column by we talked about it.
Virginia Tech we talked about it.
Or Colorado we've talked about -- for -- is over which they have that natural national conversation.
And really try to address some of the endemic problems within within a culture.
Former Homeland Security secretary former governor Tom writes thank you lives they're -- we thank you very much.