Measures to Prevent School Shootings

By: William Huffaker

The number of yearly school shootings increases with every passing year.  More and more lives are lost all the time.  At the time of the Columbine shooting in the ‘90’s, school shootings were practically unheard of.  Sadly, today it’s almost a common thing.

Every month there’s another school that will experience this tragedy.  It leaves high schoolers in fear.  That was not what school was ever about.  Students should be allowed to enter a campus and never have to worry about what’s going on in the outside world.

With this has come a swarm of ideas about what will or won’t fully fix this problem.  There are completely radical ideas from both sides of the political spectrum.  Democrats push for further gun control to prevent the purchasing of automatic rifles.  Republicans push for armed security on or around campus as well as possibly allowing teachers to be armed.  Unfortunately, both of these options offer severe downfalls.

With the last major shooting in Florida, armed guards were in the area yet chose not to respond.  They had the opportunity yet chose not to act.  Who’s to say this wouldn’t happen again?  Aside from the campus officer, most security guards on campus serve little purpose aside from opening and closing gates.  Even if they were well-trained, would they be prepared or willing to rush in on or defend against an armed shooter?

Most teachers are blatantly against being armed… and that’s fine.  If a teacher was well-trained in shooting, had a secure background check, and were willing to, what’s wrong if they wished to be armed?  This would offer some protection for students of his/ her class.  A few problems arise when it comes to how students would react.  Would some students feel safe having a class with an armed teacher?  What if a student got a hold of the weapon, even if it was well hidden.  Also, if it was a student that was the shooter, would they even be willing to fire at their own students?  Would they be willing to shoot a kid they had in their class?

Some have argued it would create a militarized and unwelcome feeling on campus.  The problem with that is that who wouldn’t be willing to trade campus atmosphere if it meant potentially saving lives?

Many problems would also arrive with enacting strict gun control.  The argument for the second amendment never was about hunting.  It was never even about self-defense.  It was for protection against government tyranny.  What could we do if one day the government began on an oppressive path?  How could we fight back if we no longer had rights to automatic rifles?  With muskets?  With shotguns?  With handguns?  1940’s Germany wasn’t expecting their government to become tyrannical until it did.  Jews at that time no longer had any way of fighting back for their freedom.  All the useful guns were in the hands of the Nazis.

Also, many times, the guns in school shootings are acquired illegally.  This is the case as well on the streets of Chicago and Detroit.  Now how would any law abiding citizen have any protection in a case like this?  Shooters on the streets could be unstoppable and school shooters would be free to act without prevention.  So increased gun control would have seriously dangerous effects.

The truth is… there really is one major solution.  Why not just keep your doors locked?  Why not enforce that teachers lock their doors at all times?  It really doesn’t take that much to knock on a teacher’s door and it doesn’t take all that much from the teacher’s perspective to get up and open it.  A shooter isn’t going to bust open a closed metal door.  They have a limited time and are extremely frantic as they are trying to kill as many people within that short period.  They perhaps could shoot through the wall but shooting at something you can’t see usually ends up extremely inaccurate.

This still does leave the students out of class but shooters are extremely unlikely to check bathrooms and since most shooters have inaccurate, rushed aim, if students don’t run away in a straight line, they have a good chance of making it.  Also, we could create a system of passwords to know if it’s a student or an intruder.

With all these shootings lately, two things are very clear.  People are scared and people genuinely are trying to do what they find to be the best solution.  Until this madness begins to die down, it’ll be very unclear what course of action is best.  For now some easy protective measures, like having a locked door policy on campus definitely could have some benefits.

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