School Shootings vs Gun Control
In the past few days and weeks things have gotten crazy. Our children are not safe in schools, our government is not providing guidance to change the environment in the schools, and our constitution and our second amendment are under attack.
I decided to do a bit of research to determine what is happening in our schools and what can be done about it. I have taken a look at the basic facts on school shootings since early 2015. What I find is alarming.
We need to do a major relook at how our schools are protecting our children. We need to find ways to get ahead of the learning curve on school safety. Let’s look at a couple of things America is already doing. We secure our airports, military bases and even our prisons with common sense and simple procedures that could very easily be implemented in our schools.
- Enclose our schools and playgrounds with security fencing (walls), using a single point of entry equipped with stationary metal detectors.
- Equip our schools with trained and armed school security personnel (resource officers) who are either on duty or retired law enforcement, prior service military personnel or in some cases teachers who are trained and certified in fire arm safety.
- Enforce dress codes and see thru security back packs.
- Look closer at school bullying and conduct education and counseling when appropriate.
- Equip classrooms with low cost security tools to stop an intruder.
- Adopt active shooter drills and instruct teachers and staff on proper active shooter drill procedures and actual active shooter reactive actions.
This list is not all inclusive, but gives one a sense of what can be implemented immediately, and over a short period of time.
In my research I excluded institutes of higher learning (colleges and universities) as these institutions are comprised of adults and carries totally different school responsibilities.
Over this 3 year period (2015 – 2018) there have been 38 school shootings (4 – 2015; 14 – 2016; 7 – 2017; & 14 – 2018), with only 2 Mass school shootings both in 2018. In most cases the shooters are between 12 and 18 years of age, well below the age limit for lawful gun ownership. Some cases involved bringing a firearm to school and either showing it off or using it to settle a score. Where the shooter was over 19 years of age involving domestic violence finding its way onto the school campus or at after hour’s extracurricular events
The first mass school shooting was the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL on February 14, 2018 where 19 year old Nickolas Cruz walked into the school he had been expelled from carrying a semiautomatic rifle. After activating the fire alarm he began shooting, in the end he killed 17 people and wounded 14 others. Then as students began exiting the school he simply walked out and away without being stopped or questioned. He was later arrested by Coral Springs Police.
What was apparent was that the Broward County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school as a resource officer simply stood outside the school until the shooting stopped, as did other sheriff’s deputies who arrived on scene. Because they had not secured the scene they prevented EMS personnel and other first responders from entering the school to provide aid to the wounded and dying.
What became clear in the aftermath was when a signed contract surfaced between the Parkland School Board, the Broward County Sheriff’s office and the Florida Attorney General’s office where students who committed crimes in the county would not be charged in order to maintain the flow of state and federal school grant funds into the school district.
Immediately there was a cry out beginning with Parkland and echoed across the nation in the media and among the leftist Democrats about Gun Control and subsequent confiscation of guns from lawful gun owners and against the National Rifle Association (NRA) inferring they are behind the gun violence.
That is like having a newly licensed driver go on the road and when involved in a traffic accident. Investigators uncover the newly licensed driver recently completed driver education training, so the cry goes out to ban all driver education courses nationwide. Doesn’t make sense does it?
My research has discovered that the second Mass school shooting was on May 18th, 2018 at the Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas where 17 year old student Dimitrios Pagourtzis walked into the school carrying a concealed shotgun and a handgun and after activating the fire alarm began shooting in the arts department killing 10 and injuring another 10 before being placed into custody by one of the school resource officers. The other resource officer was shot while engaging the student and counted among the 10 injured. A teacher was among the dead.
What is strikingly similar in both Mass shootings was that the shooter walked into the Parkland school without raising suspicion while carrying a large duffle type bag to conceal his weapons. One shooter walked into Santa Fe while wearing a trench coat to conceal his weapons in 90+ degree weather.
An interesting side note was reported in Santa Fe that 3 months ago the school received a threat about a mass school shooting. Although nothing happened the school practiced emergency drills with an active shooter scenario. The fact that both shooters activated the fire alarms indicating to the students it was just another fire drill, whereby the shooters simply selected their targets of opportunity.
A major difference in this second Mass school shooting was that school resource officers reacted immediately and ran toward the shooting to engage the shooter at the risk of their own lives, something not seen at Parkland. Once again the cry goes out to ban weapons and blame is placed on the NRA and on President Trump for not doing enough after Parkland.
Of the other 37 school shooting incidents some schools had resource officers who engaged and neutralized the shooters, many others did not and only one school recommending the introducing and use of stationary metal detectors.
There is a lot of talk about legislating “assault weapons” when in fact assault weapons were banned some time ago.
There is talk about legislative changes speeding up the process for background checks. Speeding up background checks is not the answer either.
School shooters have largely been minors who don’t have jobs that would allow them to spend hundreds of dollars on legal gun purchases. Often they have obtained their weapons by way of other crimes (larceny and robbery). And legislating gun control aimed at stopping them from obtaining firearms is really dumb.
I think instead of demonizing the NRA, one should work out a plan of gun safety classes beginning in middle school and educating our children about safe handling of many types of weapons as we did in schools not that long ago.
Identifying and counseling students who are involved in school bullying can also go a long way to help both the bully and the victim. Self-defense classes are a great way of building up self-confidence and enhancing self-esteem.
We need educators, law enforcement personnel and legislators who can think “outside the box” and find creative ways to make schools safe and child safety a priority (not just words).
Just remember if you are not the solution, you are the problem! – I am the Real Truckmaster!