“Arm the teachers!”
“Hire armed guards!”
Are we talking about schools or prisons here? Because, in all honesty, it sounds like the first instinct to combat school murders is to turn those same schools into fortresses.
I had the good fortune to grow up in a different time–when it was inconceivable that someone might come into our school and literally blow us away. Unfortunately, those were the good old days. Children today live with the fear–no, make that HORROR–that such a thing can happen. And it does. Again and again. It’s unconscionable that we allow these shootings to continue in America. What will it take? Does 51% of America have to lose a son or daughter before enough votes are cast to force a change?
Like all complex problems, this one will take a complex solution. And some of the suggestions so far are rather simplistic, not to mention ineffective. Let’s look at them.
1–Full background checks and longer waiting periods. This will be an important and needed first step, but it isn’t enough. (It wouldn’t have prevented the Las Vegas shooting.)
2–Raising the legal age requirement for purchasing automatic rifles. Another important step, though there are already millions of these weapons floating around. It might not prevent a determined shooter from simply taking their parents’ weapons.
3–Better mental health assessments, and flagging those with issues. Won’t stop the idiots who carefully avoid the appearance of their craziness, or those who slip under the radar in other ways, but another important step.
4–Better reporting of aggressive and threatening language on social media. A slippery slope, if you ask me, for there have even been times I’ve been known to lose my cool on social media. But on the other hand, I haven’t directly threatened to shoot up a school, which actually happened with the Florida case. All in all, probably needed as well.
5–An improved approach to bullying. Though not always the case, too many of these shooters were victims of bullying. Did we have bullying in our day? Hell, yes, we did. But we (fortunately) didn’t have the idea to shoot kids in retribution. Or, if we did we didn’t act on it.
6–Arm the teachers. There might be some instances it would prove effective, if the teacher is in the right place at the right time, has their weapon locked and loaded, and is mentally and physically prepared to shoot a student. Think about that for a second. I’m sure there are thousands of educators who will balk at this idea.Continue reading