I am "the proud mother of a deployed American paratrooper," and because of that fact I have, perhaps, a unique perspective on the massacre at Virginia Tech. As a mother I, of course, thought about how horrendous this whole nightmare is to the families of the victims as well as all the emotional damage to the survivors. From listening to the reports on this heinous occurrence, I heard repeatedly that the shooter had to reload several times and went from classroom to classroom. As a military mom, I immediately wished that our young people had the same obligation and experience that all young folks in Israel have: two years of military training and service. Those reloading and trolling periods were windows of opportunity that only young folks trained militarily would have been able to use to subdue or terminate the perp and save many lives. Just in case you're saying, "Well, this doesn't happen that often and is not a substantial reason for universal 2-year training," I've got a further reason to support such training. Radical Islamists and jihadists are already here in the United States. While we have, for better or worse, focused their attention on Iraq and Afghanistan... they will be using their tactics of mass murdering of innocents right here next. It is going to be important that our civilian population have sufficient training and know-how to protect their homes and communities. The following quote came from an Associated Press (April 17, 2007) article entitled,
"Taliban Using Indiscriminate, Iraq-style Tactics, Killing civilians, Rights Group Says."
"I lost my son, brother and nephew because of the Taliban. They say that they are fighting for God and Islam, but they are not; they are killing good and innocent Muslims and Afghans who have done nothing wrong," one man was quoted as saying. I believe every household should have at least one person trained and certified to shoot a gun. I believe every young person between 18 and 20 years of age should be required to receive compulsory military training. Over 70 nations in the world require some level of compulsory military service on the part of their young citizens including countries such as Austria, Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Israel, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland. Why shouldn't the United States be as prepared as these countries? I believe we as Americans should be equipped mentally and physically to protect ourselves, our family, and our Country.