The School-Shooting Epidemic
Since the tragic Columbine Massacre in 1999, 141 people have lost their lives because of school shootings in the United States, according to ABC News report statistics from the FBI. No one can deny that school shootings are a problem in the United States, and we need to come up with a long term solution. With such a sensitive issue being discussed, there needs to be a rational approach.
With correct enforcement, school shootings in the United States can be prevented by promoting proper gun safety education, allowing licensed and armed personnel on campuses, reporting potential threats to authorities, and promoting a healthy home life to stop violence at the source. To actively fight against gun violence in schools, society as a whole needs to educate our children about guns. Once they understand how to properly handle and use firearms, they will understand how potentially dangerous they can be. Ridding guns would not teach respect that the education of firearms would provide. It would only make kids more curious and uninformed about their dangers.
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The article “”Promoting Gun Safety: Sharing Knowledge of Child Development to Support Informed Decisions”” by Sarah Erdman, explains how educating our children about firearms promotes their safety. Children have to develop self-control when it comes to firearms. The presence of a gun is usually very tempting to kids; even those who have been trained in gun safety may pick them up and play with them (Erdman, 2018).
Teaching self-control in programs at a young age could definitely decrease incidents at home in the present, but it could also prevent an incident in the future years of high school. Teaching gun safety can be compared to preparing a child to cross the street on their own: the parents have to lead and help their child for years before they can “”cross”” by themselves (Erdman, 2018). In order to ensure that the next generation understands the essentials of gun safety, instructors need to observe the children’s behaviors and improve them to support kids in the real world.
Allowing licensed and armed personnel on school campuses can also prevent school shootings. Though many think that the reducing the quantity of guns reduces violence, they are simply mistaken. Numerous states also agree because, “”nine [states] have already implemented 11 bills of legislation to regulate the presence of firearms or weapons on school grounds, including two bills specifically about higher education campuses”” (Wixom, 2014).
Tennessee added legislation in 2013 that allowed licensed and trained school employees to carry a firearm on school grounds. After the legislation was adopted, the last five years have shown the number of school shootings drop by 83 percent, the number of school shooting deaths have dropped to one, and no additional injuries have been reported (Wixom, 2014). Seeing the effects of this implemented legislation shows that this works.
The other 41 states just need to get on board. Adding the presence of licensed gun holders do not make schools more dangerous, they actually help keep children safe. Students and school employees can also help prevent school shootings by presenting potential student safety threats to local or state authorities. Instead of waiting for the next school shooting incident to occur, students and district employees should go out and track the data and perform what is called “”threat assessments”” on potential risks in the community and in the classroom (Kamenetz, 2018). If a serious threat is found, contact the authorities so they can respond and determine if a threat is prevalent.
A proactive in community is very important, and it is crucial to both educate and protect for the future of America’s children. This teaches students to have responsibility and be aware of their surroundings. Real life applications tend to lack in schools, and this skill could just save their lives. This simple concept of reporting suspicious activity will not only help prevent school shootings, but help teach the students how to contribute to society as adults by helping law enforcement with potential leads.
Though it is effective to reach out in the community to stop school shootings, it is the family’s job to prevent school shootings by doing the best they can in the home. Unstable home lives have shown to create unstable children. What kind of stability in the home do children need? A father. Absentee fathers can cause a world of hurt for a child. “”On CNN’s list of the 27 Deadliest Mass Shootings In U.S. History,’ seven of those shootings were committed by young males since 2005.
Of the seven, only one—Virginia Tech shooter Seung-Hui Cho—was raised by his biological father throughout childhood”” (Venker, 2018). Fatherlessness does not only cause heartbreak, but an unstable state of mind that can ultimately cause them to not only harm themselves, but others as well. Others blame violence on the sense of “”masculinity””, by boys trying to prove themselves to become “”dominant””.
That is not only wrong, but an insult to all the men who are stable and understand their roles in society. Masculinity is not defined by pronouncing “”dominance””, but standing up for others when they cannot, being brave in the darkest of times, and reaching out to those that need the most support. The best way that children can experience this is through the strong father figure in the home. Not only will our society reap the benefit, but also all of the children concerned.
Though our society continues to advance in many areas at an accelerating rate, one prominent issue is the meaningless slaughter of innocent school children. School needs to be a place for kids to learn and feel safe. The most reasonable principles are simple when it comes to the protecting the nation’s kids, but they still need to be implemented. Adopting these simple principles can help save children’s lives and promote the wellness of our representatives of tomorrow. Most, if not all, can agree that they want a better tomorrow, so I would argue that America needs to start working toward tomorrow by protecting the children of today.