I Spoke With A Family Friend, And Former Law Enforcement Officer, In Order To Gain Insight On The Recent Carnage
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I Spoke With A Family Friend, And Former Law Enforcement Officer, In Order To Gain Insight On The Recent Carnage

Interview in regards to the recent school shootings.

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I Spoke With A Family Friend, And Former Law Enforcement Officer, In Order To Gain Insight On The Recent Carnage
Matt Popovich

Recently, I was enrolled in an Intro to Journalism class here at SNHU. Throughout the course, we built up towards our final project, which would consist of an article in which we interviewed someone. The caveat; it needed to be someone that was newsworthy.

With that in mind, I figured that my usual movie review would not be a topic that was really newsworthy or worth speaking with someone about, at least not in the sense that the course was looking for.

Thus I reflected on the various podcasts I listen to while at work, and many, at the time of this assignment, were focused on the recent school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Typically, these sorts of scenarios lend themselves to the debate of gun control vs. Second Amendment rights. Initially, I thought that was how I should frame my article. However, my professor advised me not to approach the subject under that guise.

I did approach the subject with my interviewee simply so that I could possibly gain more insight on the subject. However, the conversation evolved naturally on its own and found itself on the subject of school shootings organically. And therefore, the article never goes into that debate.

My interview was with a family friend, who has served in law enforcement and currently works night security. He has worked with guns for the majority of his life, and I felt his opinion was one of relevance for several reasons.

To begin, he has more respect for guns than the general public does and he understands how to handle them on a deeper level.

During the interview (a detail that didn’t fit within the narrative of the article) he admitted that there is vigorous training that an officer goes through, something that the average person cannot really understand unless they too went through it. It is for that reason I wanted to hear his thoughts; that, and because an officer’s (or former officer in this case) opinion is one that is seldom heard in regard to this subject. And I sought to change that.

With that in mind, I want to add the disclaimer that I am not dis-sensitive to the tragedy that these shootings create. I was seeking to bring a voice to a demographic that I believe is ignored, and I was seeking a better understanding myself, hoping to bring a clarity to those also seeking the same. I know this is a sensitive subject, and I do not take that lightly.

Additionally, this is not the interview in its entirety. We spoke for little over an hour. However, for the basis of the class, this was the narrative that made sense for the assignment. This is the article in its entirety, however, it holds the nature of the interview within its entirety, and the message is summed up in the articles closing. Unfortunately, these events occur. This is just one person’s thoughts on how the carnage could be limited.

For respect to my family friend, his name is being withheld from this article. With that, here is my article:

Retired NYPD officer 'John Doe,' who now works night security throughout Long Island, New York, opened up about the current atmosphere involving school shootings.

“And all you can do is limit the carnage…you can’t stop it.”

'Doe' took the test to become an officer just after high school and spent his days patrolling. He acted as a first respondent to various 911 one calls.

His day to day saw providing assistance with car accidents, pregnancies and in some cases, shootings.

With regards to the current school shootings, he expressed “I don’t know what the answer is… [but] I personally think every school should have armed guards in there.”

The reason schools tend to be targeted for these attacks, he stated, is because it is illegal to carry a gun in a school unless you’re security or an on-duty officer and have a reason for it. Even despite being a retired officer, 'Doe' is not allowed to enter his child’s school with his gun on person.

It is considered a crime to be armed on school grounds unless you’re law enforcement, and one needs to be 1000ft away from the school if their gun is on them. The exception to being a licensed carrier while on a school is that the gun needs to remain in the car, unloaded and locked in the glove compartment or another locked container.

“I said this since the first school shooting, there should be one or two guys walking around in a school, getting paid with a gun in their pocket… [but] that’s why they target schools, nobody’s got a gun in a school.”

The solution to these mass shootings in not something that is easy to answer. Banning certain guns doesn’t stop someone from causing the same carnage with another.

Perhaps increased security is a step in the right direction. As 'Doe' states, “a good guy is going to stop a bad guy.”

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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