In times of great tragedy, we pause to remember. Emotions stir in our hearts, causing us to hold our loved ones close and search for ways to protect and prevent. As a father, I can't begin to fathom the grief and sorrow felt by the families in Newtown, Conn. The loss of innocent life can never be fully understood or explained; no words or actions can reverse the course.
My prayer is this: May the Lord prevent a Newtown-like event from happening in an Oklahoma school. However, if we're ever faced with a potentially fatal circumstance, let's be ready. As parents, we expect our children to return home in the same condition they were in when they left our care. Proactive, preventive measures are crucial for the security of our most prized possessions — our children.
I recently joined Senate President Pro Tem Brian Bingman and House Speaker T.W. Shannon in announcing the formation of the Oklahoma Commission on School Security. The solution-based purpose of this commission will aid in yielding reforms the Legislature can approve.
My service as a special agent in the U.S. Secret Service provided me experiences in securing facilities of all shapes and sizes. While serving in the state Senate, I was the principal author of the Oklahoma School Security Act — legislation that increased school lockdown drills to twice per year and provided school administrators with positions on the Homeland Security Advisory Board. My background has set the stage for leading the commission and its members as we work together to forge meaningful school security policy.
Legislators won't serve as commission members. Those posts will be occupied by experts in the professions of homeland security, mental health and law enforcement, as well as local school administrators, teachers and, of course, parents. My hope is that this collection of invested minds will collaborate and agree on outcomes that will protect Oklahoma children.
Many have asked whether gun control will be at the heart of the discussion. I want to make one thing clear: The gun control debate is being waged on the federal level. As a statewide elected official, I have tasked myself and this commission with the strengthening and empowering of local schools, to provide them with the knowledge and resources to facilitate a secure learning environment for future generations. The Oklahoma Commission on School Security will focus on just that, school security. The task is crucial. And it is attainable.
Lamb, a Republican, was elected lieutenant governor in 2010. The 23-person school security commission will hold its first meeting at 1:30 p.m. Jan. 22 in Room 419-C of the state Capitol. For more information or to submit ideas, call Lamb's office at (405) 521-2161.