Parents wait to pick up their students in line at the Memorial Gym in Sanford on Nov. 15, 2022. The students had been bussed in from the high school after a false report of a shooting threat. Credit: David Marino Jr. / BDN

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In response to the recent school threats in our state, and the threat of gun violence in our schools and communities across the nation, this shouldn’t be the world we’re forced to deal with or live in. As a parent, I shouldn’t have to live in fear of sending my children to school. No parent ever should. Students should feel safe at school and we should all feel safe in our communities.

We make seatbelts a requirement. We make licenses a requirement to drive motor vehicles. How should gun ownership be any different? Laws are made to protect people and to help save lives. It comes down to this; changing our gun culture. We can’t catch or identify all those who mean to do harm, but we can limit the amount of guns and create stricter laws to make them harder to access. We need to create better laws for gun safety and common-sense gun regulation needed to keep our communities safe. We also need to leave our trust and the protection of our communities and schools in the hands of trained law enforcers, not in the hands of our teachers or our neighbors.

When I see a police officer in front of our school, it leaves me with some comfort, but it is no comfort to know that it may only be a matter of time before real gun violence reaches too close to home.

Lea Cassidy