Our View: The best effect might be the visual deterrent
In Yuba County, 48 percent of 11th-graders who took the California Healthy Kids Survey "agree" or "strongly agree" that they feel safe in their schools. In Sutter County, it's 63 percent.
That is probably not bad, comparatively.
But it might never get better. The "Leave it to Beaver" days are gone for good.
So we're glad to have read recently that local school districts do an array of things to make schools safer. They're replacing and adding to their security camera systems, checking locks on doors (many of our buildings were built in an era when it didn't seem so important to have only as many doors as could be properly secured and monitored), they have periodic reviews of emergency contingency plans, and they're looking at installing fences around perimeters to give them more control over access.
We have no numbers to back this up, but we feel that, even though it's likely the most expensive piece of the defense system, armed resource officers might be the most cost-effective. They're there, adding another monitor of those coming and going; they're walking around the grounds, through the building, ready. They're plainly armed and mean business.
Al Ortega, resource officer at Yuba City High, in a recent report noted all the resources he has available on site: His Glock, baton, pepper spray, handcuffs, a squad car with more equipment kept in it — all that stuff to react to serious situations, but primarily serving as a visual deterrent.
It's not the number that counts, it's the national defense trend
Out of some 4,000 personnel connected to Beale Air Force Base, the addition of just a dozen full-time staff and a couple hundred reservists might not seem significant. But we think it is.
Sure, the additional payroll and effects on the local economy are minor (though sweet). But it's the thought that counts, not the present. The 583rd Red Horse (Rapid Engineer Deployable Heavy Operation Repair Squadron Engineer) squadron will be just the sixth US Air Force Reserve squadron to specialize on moments-notice skills: Putting in a runway, drilling a well, engineering what is needed by other military operations whenever and wherever.
Rapid response to anywhere in the world is the trend for US military operations. Beale is part of the trend. This bolstering of their response capabilities leads us to believe there is a lot of stock placed in our base, and that indicates to us that the thousands of personnel already engaged here, are more secure.
According to our story last week, the 583rd Red Horse will have a stand-up ceremony sometime this summer. It was also announced that many of the 940th Civil Engineer Squadron will join the 583rd and that they will be looking to be more involved in the community.
There is a lot always at risk in a free market economy. It's nice to have a couple things locally that can be more or less relied upon: Agriculture and military.
Leave local cops latitude in issuing of gun permits
We should always strive for local control.
So we read with interest a sidebar to the gun ownership and concealed weapon permits story last week. That chunk of the package was mostly an overview by our county sheriffs of how things work. We think explanations and reasoning make a good case for giving great consideration to local control as any sort of gun safety legislation is being considered.
Try to craft some state or federal law or regulation that actually means something on the personal level, and it's likely to be overly generalized or needlessly restrictive. Our elected sheriffs and locally hired officers are in a position to know what needs to be considered here on our own streets. Should the law allow a concealed weapons permit to be issued to a local who just "wants it for safety reasons?" The sheriff can issue it or not, depending on what he knows about that applicant: Good citizen, yup, issue the permit; gets in a lot of bar fights, nope, no permit.
We should try to leave things, as much as possible, that way.