You’d have to be living in a cave to not be aware of the school shootings in Parkland, Florida. But what can be done about it to avoid such tragedies in the future is a hotly contested debate. This post will take a look at a few of these ideas.
* Arm teachers. This is undoubtedly the most controversial of the ideas proposed for reducing gun violence in schools. The idea here, according to proponents, is that since schools have signs indicating they are “gun-free zones”, shooters know all too well that no one at the school will have a gun, and so schools are highly vulnerable to attacks. No one (I don’t think) is saying that ALL teachers should be armed – nor should any law be imposed on anyone against the idea – rather, the intent, advocates say, is to provide thorough training for staff members (need not be a teacher) who might volunteer for additional training because they already own a gun. A weapon would have to be kept under tight lock and key, and virtually no one could know who a so-called “designated arms specialist” might be. The overall idea is for someone in the school to be trained well enough to help keep carnage to a minimum – wounding the individual until better trained people arrive like police, SWAT teams, etc. I am not saying this is necessarily a good idea – I merely report on what I’ve read.
* Improve school security. Most people I’ve spoken with seem to be for this idea. Many inner-city schools already have metal detectors – the rationale here would be to expound upon security measures in place in some areas – much like how the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has made airports safer for travelers. Not fool-proof, by any means, but certainly saf-er than they were prior to 9/11. How would a school pay for it? What should it all entail – hiring a security guard(s)? I would say leave it up to schools to decide on the specifics, but at the VERY least, the government should provide funding for metal detectors and cameras.
* Other measures might include things like improving and expanding mental health care, reducing the amount of violence in the media (the reasoning here is that many young people are increasingly desensitized to violence), and focusing on better parenting. The rationale here is that overprotective parents shield their kids from disappointments in life – therefore some of them lash out in the only way they know how, with violence.
One thing seems for sure: Preventing school violence is a complex problem that won’t go away through gun legislation alone. It might help, but other measures are also needed. What are your thoughts? What would you do?