Opinion: School Shootings – What’s the Answer?

Jordan Windham, VOX Reporter

There are two ways to go about securing schools, and both involve firearms.

The Florida shooting has triggered yet another wave of attacks on firearms. The media is portraying the only solution to school shootings to be gun bans.

The first solution has already been implemented. Removing guns from campus has long been the policy of most schools. This is because of a 1990 law, which made schools gun-free zones.

We have statistics about the frequency of mass shootings in gun-free zones, as compared to places where citizens may carry firearms. Strangely enough, these statistics do not support the “get rid of guns” agenda being pushed.

Crime Prevention Research Center found that from the 1950’s to July 10, 2016, over 98% of mass shootings have occurred in gun-free zones. Conversely, only 1.6% of mass shootings occurred in places where citizens may be armed.

This is the hard research behind the gun control agenda being pushed. This is the deadly reality behind the “gun-free ” policy that is being pushed to “protect” students. It clearly has not worked very well, considering the results of Sandy Hook and the Parkland shooting.

These results make sense. After all, if you’re a bully would you choose to pick on Captain America or a scrawny nerd? It’s like do you want to be crushed by an iconic part of American pop culture, or be able to do what you want to someone defenseless? “That’s simple”, you may say, and you’d be right. You’ll always get better results from picking on someone who is weaker than you.

Now, think again about removing guns from a school. Guns that would be used to defend students from anyone who wishes to do them harm. This makes a school weak and defenseless. The weak and defenseless are always the easiest targets.

We’ve tried the no guns solution. It’s time for something new.

This brings us to part two: armed defenders in schools.

Security guards and sheriff’s deputies are great security measures, but they can’t be everywhere. It’s unrealistic to expect schools to have armed guards in every corner of every school.

You know which authority figures are actually in every room on a campus? Faculty. Teachers, lunch ladies and coaches permeate schools. They would have the best response time to threats, and are invested in their own safety, as well as that of their students.

The idea of arming school staff is not new. Now, the Parkland school shooting has given it new life.“#ArmMeWith” has trended across social media, pushed by teachers who want to be able to defend themselves and their students.

Speech bubble: “People want to be safe, and it’s easier to carry a firearm than it is to carry a cop.” —Dana Loesch

President Trump has suggested that teachers should be armed. 

The most popular plan, which has been proposed by President Trump and Former Speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, involves offering bonuses to school staff who volunteer to be trained to concealed carry in their school. This has already been implemented in many schools

For those who argue that arming school staff, and placing veterans and retired law enforcement in schools is dangerous, I’d like to ask them a question. Do you mean dangerous like when Nikolas Cruz was shooting teens in a high school, and there was no one around both willing and able to neutralize him before he killed 17 kids and wounded many more? Or perhaps you mean dangerous like Sandy Hook, where several people heard shots fired, and saw the school but their only recourse was to call 911 and wait?

Aaron Feis ran toward the shooting, shielding students with his body because there was nothing he could do to defend them. How would this tragedy have played out if the heroes had been armed and ready to fight back? How many lives could have been saved if Aaron Feis could have not merely protected, but defended his students?

If you need more evidence of the efficacy of arming school staff, look to the Maryland shooting that took place recently. A student started shooting, and was met by an armed school resource officer. The officer ran toward the danger, and was able to neutralize an active shooter. Two students were wounded by the shooter, but further casualties were prevented.

Maryland could have been another Parkland, but for an armed school employee. This is a choice example of how school staff should be prepared and able to react to school shooters.

These ideas: arming teachers and increasing armed protection in schools are not the policies of those “crazy alt-right extremists” that you’ve heard about in the media. Normal citizens support these proven protection measures, because it is their children’s lives on the line every time a school is attacked.

It has also been suggested that military veterans and retired law enforcement be hired as an extra security measure. They would, of course, need to pass mental health checks. Veterans On Watch Facebook page has a petition on change.org, requesting that the Senate employ veterans to protect schools.  

 In the wake of the Parkland shooting, these measures have been called for by a Florida sheriff. These are the people that we, the people, trust to protect and defend our country and our lives. This is the security which guards the lives of politicians, celebrities, and federal monies. Why should America’s children deserve any less?

School security is being presented as a black and white scenario: pass gun control laws, or you endorse and encourage the murder of children.  

Yet, the world is rarely so simple.

How about this: support a statistically proven solution to school shootings, or consider the idea that your agenda might really be gun control.