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From: Anne P., Tennessee; Deborah L., Texas; Mike T, Jr., Kentucky; Goeff K, Florida; Amanda, C., Kentucky; and Clark G., North Carolina.

Q. As noted above, several readers indicating concern about recent school shootings asked similar questions. Each wants our opinion regarding the highest priority to pursue.

A. The paramount urgency by decision-makers must be, KEEP WEAPONS OF ALL TYPES OUT OF SCHOOL BUILDINGS, NO MATTER THE COST AND EFFORT REQUIRED! Yes, other measures for increased safety and security should fit into a comprehensive plan (rather than wasteful, limited, fruitless approaches currently in congressional debates.

NOTHING, however, equals the importance of denying interior weapon presence! As for guns or other devices capable of inflicting harm on or near school property, but not inside the buildings, steps CAN be taken to reduce extreme violence. For instance, lessening distances between a secure entrance and how students and staff approach that key point will minimize dangers. All new facilities should be designed with this fact in mind.