Is This the New Norm? 

By Categories: Columns
Last Updated: August 29, 20232.6 min read

By Greg Swaim

Last February shots were fired outside of the Del City gym, following a high school basketball game.

Last week shots were fired during the 3rd quarter of a high school football game in Choctaw, where a young man lost his life and others were injured, one seriously.

Sadly, this seems to be the new normal around the country and people are getting shot for simply wanting to watch a high school sporting event.

So, what can be done about limiting or eliminating these tragic incidents?

Metal detectors are the obvious answers, and the larger inner-city schools are putting them in, but they are very costly and most small schools don’t have them as they’re cost prohibitive, but sadly they’re going to have to get them soon or see revenue drop from ticket sales.

When I was young my parents would take us to the local high school games on Friday nights and unless we needed money for concessions, we didn’t see our parents again until the end of the game, as we’d run around with our friends. And I did the same for my kids when they were young, but sadly I’m afraid those days of innocence are coming to an end.

Now I believe strongly in the second amendment, but those who would bring a loaded weapon to one of the most wholesome family events that still exist aren’t carrying weapons legally under second amendment protections.

So, besides metal detectors what can be done…or more likely the questions should be what has to be done to allow families and spectators to attend and support their local high school games?

I’m afraid we may be soon heading to a time where Oklahoma must take up measures to keep the bad folks away, as they’ve been doing in the major cities for years.

Many city schools around the country play games during daylight hours, with only students of the schools involved and their immediate family being able to attend and all of them have metal detectors, drug sniffing dogs and other measures to prohibit last week’s tragedy from occurring. 

Obviously, there will be reactions to this and other similar tragedies which will be other ideas to prohibit guns anywhere near the stadiums and gymnasiums and these limitations on who can attend will put a huge dent in the athletic programs, as tickets are what pays most of the bills for equipment, uniforms, coaches’ salaries, travel and more, but the cost of a human life is infinitely more.

Regardless of what measures are taken, I’m sadly afraid the Friday night light experience will be much different for my grandchildren than it was for my parents, myself and my children. And it will also be much different in schools, airports, churches and other places where people congregate.

I could continue with what should happen legally to any person who brings a loaded firearm to a place where children play games, but then again, I’m a proponent of capital punishment as well, but that’s a different subject for another day.

Follow Greg Swaim on Twitter @GSwaim

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