School, police authorities have a duty to report in detail their preparations for an active-shooter scenario.

It’s hardly surprising the political nutjobs are fuming and fulminating at each other—and, of course, making it about themselves—with their notions of the easy fix after the latest school was turned into a slaughterhouse.

From the left: If only there were more thorough background checks and age limits to buy semi-automatic weapons.

From the right: It’s a mental health thing, along with the tired old sing-song about a good guy with a gun stopping a bad guy with a gun.

All black. Or all white. No room in politics for the gray.

News flash: Two or more things can be true at the same time.

In the wake of yet another senseless murderous spree, there’s no doubt tens of millions in the often missing-in-action American middle just wish both extreme sides would shut their traps and work together. Fat chance.

So here are two suggestions, for our own community, that can and should be done immediately.

First, each local school board should demand an immediate report from administration about hardening every building and what security measures will be in place to confront any active-shooter situation. These discussions should take place in public view. Certain details, understandably, may be withheld in order to keep would-be killers guessing. But parents need to be assured that concrete actions are being taken here to protect their children by keeping intruders out and, if someone does slip through, preserving life until reinforcements arrive.

Second, all area police departments should issue their own reports to the public. The shock of the shootings in Texas is incalculable. But it’s so much worse after learning how terribly unprepared law enforcement was to meet the challenge. How they stood around in the hall while children bled out. We want to believe local law enforcement would react very differently. But belief isn’t enough. The public deserves to be reassured, with full transparency, that any threat can be met with deadly force within moments.

Earlier, the School District of Beloit hemmed and hawed about keeping campus police liaisons in place. Let’s hear no more of that kind of talk. If anything, more responders should be placed in school buildings. Who cares what it costs? Find the money, in Beloit and across the region.

America needs no more proof. School children are targets. The time to prepare is now. Harden the buildings, including force options in cooperation with law enforcement. And if the worst case scenario occurs, law enforcement must be prepared and ready to respond with speed and deadly efficiency.

Fact: Yes, it could happen here. Accept it. And address the community with complete transparency.

Underlying it all is a relatively new and nauseating kind of American exceptionalism. What happens with regularity here is extremely uncommon in other democratic societies. There’s a sickness, a societal breakdown breeding domestic hate, terror and criminal violence without regard for innocent life. If there’s a fix for that—and it’s an open question if there is—generations may pass before change occurs.

Right now it must be about prevention. And putting attackers down hard and fast.