As school shootings across the United States continue to become more commonplace, school and community leaders scramble to find answers to this growing epidemic. On one hand, you have gun right advocates who are staunch supporters of the constitutional right of Americans to bear arms. On the other hand, you have parents, school administrators and leaders who fear for the safety of this country’s children.
According to a May, 2018 CNN news story 288 school shootings have occurred in the U.S. since 2009. To further bring home the severity of this problem, 23 schools shootings occurred during the first 21 weeks of 2018. That equals an average of over one school shooting a week.
When compared to school shooting in other countries, the numbers are horrifying. In Canada and France, only two such shootings have happened in the same time period. And that is on the high end. Germany has only had one schools shooting since 2009, while countries such as Japan, Italy, and the U.K. have had zero.
So, what is the answer to this growing problem? Schools can’t wait around for politicians to enact laws to protect students, so they have taken matters into their own hands in the form of active-shooter drills at schools across the country.
Active Shooter Drills Have Become Commonplace
Active-shooter drills have become the new reality for many schools across the country, with two-thirds of schools practicing the drills. Some schools in an effort to make the drills even more realistic and get the point across to students, have even asked some of their pupils to volunteer as dead bodies. These drills in turn have incited fear among student bodies across the nation making them fearful of going to school.
Reactions to Active-Shooter Drills in Schools
One teacher wrote about her experience with an active-shooter drill. In the post, she talks about the petrifying fear experienced by her students, a mix of 1st through 5th graders, both before and after the drill. She expressed her concern for her students and the fact that she didn’t want to carry a gun, as some have suggested.
One woman’s son even expressed his concern for his fellow students, many of them friends during a discussion about active-shooter drills at his school. During the conversation he mentioned how he and three other boys would stand in front of their classmates. When asked why he got picked for that particularly dangerous job, he told her he didn’t get picked, he volunteered to do it.
When she asked him why he volunteered to put himself in danger, her son answered that he would rather be the one who died protecting his friends than have the entire class die and he is the only one that lived. This is a harsh reality that many students face, whether they are going to die or not when they go to school, but what are the alternatives to active-shooter drills?
Possible Solutions to the School Shooting Problem
Gun rights advocates say that taking away firearms will do little to prevent school shootings and might actually lead to more deaths. The reasoning behind this view is the thought that the best way to stop someone with a gun is a person with another gun. The debate is still open on this line of thinking.
Gun control advocates, on the other hand feel that restricting gun ownership in this country might provide the key to safer schools. The answer probably lies somewhere in between, with Americans maintaining the right to bear arms while making it harder for the people who do not need to own guns kept from doing so through more comprehensive background checks and by enforcing laws that already exist.
Regardless of which side of the gun ownership argument you come, the fact remains that something needs to be done about the growing trend of shootings in our nation’s schools. The video below shows the stark reality that many students face every day in schools across the country.
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