New school security laws needed
Published: Monday, October 28, 2013
Updated: Monday, October 28, 2013 23:10
The echoes of gunshots once again reverberated through the heart of America with the 13th school-shooting incident since the one at Sandy Hook Elementary last year.
It happened at a Nevada middle school last week, where a student shot a teacher, two students and himself.
For a country that is still recovering from the horrors of Sandy Hook, it should make sense that the nation’s lawmakers are doing everything they can to prevent further tragedies.
But besides increasing school security, which admittedly has helped, laws are not actually being changed for the better. Even though the reduction in school shootings and gun-related tragedies in the last two decades has slowed, it has clearly not stopped gun violence.
If changed laws were to correlate with the increased school security, then it would dramatically decrease, and hopefully end gun violence in schools.
According to the Youth Gun Violence Fact Sheet released by the National Association of School Psychologists, the past two decades have witnessed a drop in incidents of school violence, including homicide rates and violent crime. This positive trend mirrors the expansion of school resource officer (SRO) programs around the country. As more SROs have been assigned to schools, school death rates have decreased. These numbers support the notion that the presence of armed officers positively impacts the school environment.
The SRO program is making a positive impact, but it is clearly not enough.
According to the Youth Gun Violence Fact Sheet, there is a strong, significant relationship between gun availability and homicide.
A study published in the American Journal of Medicine in September found that the U.S. has the most guns per head in the world, and has the highest rate of deaths from firearms; compared to Japan, which has the lowest rate of gun ownership and the least deaths from firearms.
Opponents of stricter gun laws maintain that gun violence occurs most where guns are actually not allowed, such as schools, which makes the people inside easy targets.
To prevent future shootings, security that is not so obvious should be added and be more prevalent in schools. Numerous school districts around the country have had added security features such as school-wide cameras, fences and closed off all but one entrance to its schools.
However, the best solution would be for more training for school administrators and teachers on how to handle an attack such as this. If this training were to expand, it could reduce the rates of gun violence in schools.
The more adults are trained to handle real-time gun violence in an educational setting, the better; it will lead to less fatalities and injuries.
Schools are filled with innocent lives and those lives deserve to be protected.
There is no telling when the next person with a gun will show up to a school, but until the law mandates administrators and teachers be trained and added security to keep dangerous people out, those innocent lives will continue to be lost.
Akshita Sathe is a sophomore majoring in psychology and elementary education.