The first known school related shootings happened January 30th, 1968 at Miami Jackson High School. There were four shootings that year; five people were killed while 29 were wounded. In 2015 we saw 15 school shootings occur, along with nine deaths and 26 wounded. In 2018 there has been the most frequent amount of school shootings from january 1st, 2018 to May 18, 2018, there have been 11 school shootings with 33 deaths and 55 wounded (Jason Cato). The question that the federal and state governments have been asking is how to fix the issue of school shootings in America. I do not believe that there is an ultimate solution because 60 percent of mass shootings are done by people with mental illnesses (Metzel and MacLeish), but there are definitely ways to bring that number down and arming teachers within schools is a good start.
A large occurence that has stressed the people to care more about policies regarding guns is false reporting of gun violence. An organization called Everytown for Gun Safety reported that in the first 18 weeks of 2018, there were 18 school shootings – there were five (John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich). Many Americans believed this statistic to be true, including Bernie Sanders, Cher, MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, The New York Daily News, and almost every other news channel you can think of. The reason they can get away with this is by their view of what school shootings are, they say that any discharging from a firearm in the school property is considered a threat to that schools safety, and therefore a school shooting. At a Michigan high school someone fired several rounds during a basketball game from a gun in the parking lot after school hours; no one was injured, but it was labeled as an incident of a school shooting on their website. There is no need to exaggerate an already horrifying statistic. The amount of incidents reported on their website makes people either think that this is a normal occurrence, or think there should be a ban on all guns. Neither of these is what the country needs.
The idea of arming teachers was thought in 2012 after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown Connecticut, but wasn’t looked at very closely as a solution or a way of preventing school shootings. Once America saw the peak of school shootings in 2018 a sheriff investigating the Parkland Florida high school massacre said that as a last line of defense teachers should be allowed to carry a firearm. Many gun activists have been supporters of the idea, including President Trump who said “A teacher would have shot the hell out of him before he knew what happened” (Education Week Staff). Contrary to popular belief this movement was not supposed to force teachers into becoming police officers, it’s supposed to be used as a last resort for teachers that feel comfortable protecting their students that have training and experience with firearms. The idea of this is to have one or a few teachers centralized in the school carry a firearm in a locked drawer of their desk in case there is a school shooter, in which case if anyone is in serious danger they can take the role of a police officer in protecting that student. Some Texas schools are already trying to implement this.
Nearly all mass shootings have taken place in gun-free-zones, in this case schools. This is because if the shooter is the only one in a group of people with a gun, he/she doesn’t have to worry about repercussions of someone else firing back. This is portrayed very well in switzerland; the country has about 2 million privately owned guns in a nation of 8.3 million people, but one of the lowest gun death rates in the world. Their last mass shooting was 17 years ago, this is because the country teaches citizens when they are very young to respect guns. Switzerland wants gun knowledge to be implemented early, and they do that by holding shooting contests for kids aged 13-17 and they have a mandatory military service for men, so most men learn how to use guns safely and effectively. A cool thing about this is that having an armed citizenry has helped the swiss keep neutral in war since 1815 (Hilary Brueck). Obviously this exact solution would take generations to perfect, but some of the ideology can be implemented, like putting guns in knowledgeable peoples hands to protect people in gun-free-zones.
In conclusion, the problem with gun violence is that there aren’t enough guns in the hands of knowledgeable people that could protect students. Giving guns to teachers that would feel comfortable with guns and knows how to use them and is trained on when to use them could be a way to shut down the deadliness and frequency of these school shootings. At this moment in time, this is the best solution to an unsolvable problem in the United States.
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