According to USA Today, there have been 182 school shootings in the U.S. since the infamous Columbine High School attack, and the numbers are continually increasing.
It seems as if it’s becoming a trend. One school is attacked and others follow. This was showcased in recent weeks with the shooting at a community college in Oregon. There have been two follow up attacks in Arizona and Texas, both on the same day, Oct. 9. With the alarming increase of violence in schools, it begs the question, How can we protect ourselves?
With so many variables at play, it can be hard to pinpoint what we can do to reduce the number of mass shooting in this country. There are signs if you know what to look for, such as behavioral changes.
Over half of previous assailants were interested in books, movies, video games or especially their own creative works, like poetry or journal entries which had an association with violence. They usually have some objective in mind, whether it be revenge, attention, fixing a problem or suicide. Attackers might post disturbing messages online before they strike. The recent Oregon shooting had speculation that there was forewarning to certain students on 4chan.org.
The message thread began the night before with, “Some of you guys are alright, don’t go to school tomorrow if you are in the northwest.”
Not all precautions are based off indiscriminate or arbitrary detective work. We can also protect ourselves physically. All schools need to have a procedure in place to deal with attacks, or at least put in place some sort of barrier in the classrooms. As of now, some classrooms only have flimsy desks to keep the door from being shot open.
No, teachers don’t need to open carry. They should not have the responsibility of shooting someone on behalf of the students if an attack were to happen. Taking a life is emotionally scarring, and that will more than likely affect their teaching as consequence.
We don’t need to go crazy, the school doesn’t need to feel like a prison just so we can be safe. There should just be some sort of action plan or even better, an action plan and some protection for our doors so we can keep an attacker out.
Personal freedom is important, but so are our lives.