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This paper will examine the school shootings to establish a framework to avoid from such incidents. School shooting is a serious crime which affects the development of society and economy all around the globe. There is a significant increases in the school shooting incidents in US and it is a unique crisis which United States is facing. There are various factors behind school shooting like lack of family of supervision, family dysfunction and many more. School shooting is the hot debate among state and federal bodies as increased events of the school shootings raised question about the state’s performance towards securing the basic human rights of American citizens. Further, availability of firearms in United States is also high due to which incidents like school shooting have increased. This paper discuss in detail the key reasons behind this crisis, who are the victims and how such incidents can be controlled.
A school shooting is the problem of every society since the 19th century. The problem started when a student at the University of Virginia killed his professor of the law department. After that incident of school shootings at schools, colleges and universities have increased and incidents of the school shooting are happening all around the globe with greater frequency.
Like other countries, school shooting is also the serious crisis of the American society, in this so-called developed society, increasing events of a school shooting is the darker side of this society and its marks are huge on the American culture. A school shooting is considered as the poison which has embedded in the societies resulted in harmful effects on the general public such as there is a situation of distress and has affected the peace of the societies adversely (Fox & DeLateur, 144).
With the increase in incidents of a school shooting, the US education department is concerned about this issue as it affects the other students badly. US government is also concerned about this issue as it is the primary responsibility of the state to provide security and safety to its citizens. In the year 1996, Congress passed a Dickey Amendment to discourage the use of firearms at each level and started campaign against school shootings (Jonathan, 865)
After that certain measures from the American government has been taken to control the poison of the school shooting which has extended throughout America. Beside all these measures, incidents of school shootings have increased enormously which should be dealt carefully to make America a safe living place and to provide the basic rights of safety and security to the general public of America. However, this is not only the issue of the state, it’s the public in the end who suffers and incidents like school shooting hurt public badly, therefore, the use of gun control should be discouraged at each level of state and society and this report will cover the area that what are the basic reasons behind such incidents, who get benefits from such incidents and what are the measures that can help state, communities, and societies to overcome such incidents.
Shooting problem in America a brief history
American societies are considered the most developed societies in the world. Significant development has been happening in the American, culture, economy, and societies. Despite significant development in all fields, school shooting is also the sad reality of the American societies. School shooting all around the globe has increased as getting firearms is not the difficult task in the modern world now. Along with the global world, school shooting has also increased in America.
According to the research of Gerard et al, (25) in the last two decades incidents of the school shooting in America has increased greatly which is an alarming trend for the state, federal agencies, educational bodies and for the general public as well. Besides the increase in the incidents of a school shooting, the number of injured people and causalities has also increased which creates serious challenges for the state. These challenges should be addressed carefully by the American governing, judicial and regulatory bodies.
The causes of the School shooting in America
There are various causes of the school shooting in America and some are given below:
Family issues are one of the reasons behind school shooting. Child from the families of poor family structure and from the poor stable families mostly involved in such incidents. A poor family structure such as a single mother and single cannot handle their child in a good manner as they can handle while living together. Further the families where issues among husband and wife are un-resolving and they used to argue every time with each other, then the child of such parents show poor mental well-being.
As the incidents of school shootings are linked with the family issues, therefore the government has taken certain measures to resolve the family issues such as US federal body passed the PRWORA act (Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act) in 1996. The purpose of this act was to resolve the issues of husband and wife, but the divorce rate is at the increasing trend irrespective of such acts which directly affects the mental condition of the children.
Further, the families where financial problems are common failed to pay more attention to the growth of their child. As their maximum effort consumed in earning more to support the families. Therefore mental well-being of the child of such families also poor as compared to the mental well-being of the child who belongs to well establish families. It is expected that child with poor mental well-being commit school shooting as compared to the child with good mental well-being.
Parent’s supervision played a key role in the development and growth of a child. According to the research of (Fox & DeLateur, 144), it can be observed that the parents who pay less attention towards the growth of child have the less emotional attachment with their parents as compared to the parents who played close attention in the growth and development of their child’s.
Lower supervision from parents may isolate the child and in the state of isolation, a child can attract to the bad things greatly as compared to the child who has strong bonding with his or her parents. This isolation is the common factor among the school shooter and poorly supervised child’s. it is expected that in the state of isolation a child often led to the detailed planning which may result in a deadly school shooting. Research also shows the fact that school shooters used to love in isolation wither by choice or by the poor supervision of parents. Therefore, poor supervision is also the reason behind school shooting incidents.
Bullying is the common practice in schools, colleges, and universities. Senior students use to bully the new students on their first day and sometimes bullying went wrong and affect the mental position and confidence level of the victims. According to Raitanen, Jenni, Sveinung Sandberg & Oksanen (12) bullying victims become aggressive during the bully, sometimes they hit-back without thinking about the consequences while the major victim remains quite at that time and respond later on with greater aggression.
Such students may have behavior issue, depression problem, low self-control, and poor skills, therefore, bullying such students make them the victim and such victim never want to be humiliated again by the same person. Therefore, if students with poor social skills, low self-control, and behavioral issues humiliated through bullying, then he can become a school shooter. According to the research of Raitanen, Jenni, Sveinung Sandberg & Oksanen (12), bullying play a key role in becoming school shooter in the lives of such students who have behavioral problems. Because such students are normally known as injustice collectors. Injustice collectors are such people “who never forget, never forgive and never let go before they strike out”.
There is a continuous debate in the social circles, communities and federal bodies about the degree of mental illness which contributed to the school shootings. The people with poor mental health are generally soft and non-violent. While their behavior becomes unpredictable some time and they become violent. As the thinking ability of poor mental health people is low and they cannot think about the consequence of a bad deed, therefore, the chances of becoming a school shooter mentally ill student is high.
As per the study of Metzl, Jonathan, Kenneth & MacLeish (248) most of the school shooters have symptoms of mental illness which mostly remain undiagnosed and untreated. However, it is also true that most of the mentally ill school shooters do not display violent behavior in routine matters, there are some specific incidents which make them violent and school shooters.
Violent video games
Violent video games have been the long-debated topic among the American societies, communicates and federal bodies as an increase in the violent incidents and the school shooting in American educational institutes has raised serious concerns among all stakeholders. Ferguson (35) elucidated that there is a direct relation between the behavior of school shooter sand the kind of media they used to watch or consumed. He further explained in his research about the behavior of a school shooter who was fond of playing violent video games.
Although, many types of research rejected this stance of the researcher while this fact cannot be denied that media has a great impact on our lives and we are living in the age of digital media which has developed great connection and attachment with the consumers. He supports his research by highlighting the fact that most of the school shooters are young male and most of the users of violent games are also young males, therefore, he illusory develop the correlation between the school shooter and violent video game players.
Further, it also noticeable that aggression of the violent video games players is normally high as compared to the aggression of the normal students, therefore the probability of becoming the school shooter among the violent video games players is high.
Who benefits from the problem?
School shooting creates distress among the general public, students, educational institutes’ governments, state bodies, and federal bodies. In a society, various forces work to disturb the peace of the societies and communities and against the state as well because such incidents distract the attention of the state from key areas. Further, students are considered as the asset of any nation and students play an important role in the development of a nation and of a country as well. Therefore, in order to stop students from taking part in the development of country and nation, enemies of the state support such incidents. Hence, enemies of the state receive benefits from such incidents and they remain always in search of such events to disturb the peace of the region and to create a bad impression of a country at the global level.
According to the research of (National Rifle Association) Steidley, Trent, Cynthia & Colen (610), the mainstream media is also the culprit behind mass shootings and school shootings. Media is considered as the pillar of the state and also played a great role in building a good image of a country. While there are black sheep’s are also operating everywhere so in the mainstream media. According to his thoughts, mainstream media loves to get up in front of camera and mass shooting & school shootings provide them the opportunity to these black sheep’s to earn money by getting greater ratting with the coverage and reporting of such incidents.
These black sheep’s also do this to create a bad image of the companies (Toole, Megan, Mark & Fondacaro, 150). In most cases, enemies of a state provide funds to mainstream media to do such cheap acts of brutality. However, due to strict media regulation of US media regulatory body, these media channels did not play their role openly but they and the enemies of the state do this silently.
Who is affected by the problem?
A school shooting is a global issue and serious crisis of American society as in last 18 years incidents of a school shooting has increased greatly. A school shooting is an ongoing danger for society, schools, universities, and colleges. With the happening of such incidents, the environment of the educational institutes gets disturb which also affect their performance as well. According to the study of (Fox, Alan, Monica & DeLateur (130), educational performance of the institutes in which school shooting incidents are frequent is less than the performance of an educational institute in which such incidents are not common.
In addition to this society in which such school is present which have faced school shooting frequently affected. They feel unsafe and insecure, due to which they remain in the state of mental distress. Moreover, schools, colleges, and universities are considered as “safe haven” for students. Incidents like school shootings affect the behavior of the students. If the students survived in such incidents or students those who witnessed the school shooting will feel its effects even at the workplace.
Further, teacher of such institutes who have experienced school shootings affected and it may also result at the end of the career of teachers as they feel that educational institutes are not safe working places. In the end, incidents like school shootings create tension among the parents, educational institutes and law and enforcement agencies. For the peace of community and society relationship among the parents of students, educational institutes, local government, law, and enforcement bodies should be good and in case of school shootings relationship among all above-mentioned parties affected.
How can this School shooting be prevented from continuing and who is in a position to stop it?
America is facing the problem of school shootings as recent incidents of a school shooting like Santa Fe and Parkland school attack raised serious questions about the law and enforcement condition of the country. Such incidents are increasing continuously as the most school in the country lack appropriate security measures. These incidents can be controlled and minimized by taking certain measures which are given below:
Proper security measures and trained guards
In order to overcome such issues, security of the educational institutes should be improved and every educational institute should have a trained guard who may retired army personnel. Further, every educational institute should have a walk-through gate so that no student or no other person should take a gun or other fatal instrument in the school or college territory. Hence, with the increase in security measures chances of school shootings could be reduced. Israel did the same practice as it is mandatory for the school to hire at least one retired army personnel as a guard for every 100 students. With the help of this security practices and by keeping the close monitoring of the entry and exit gates of the educational institutes, Israel control the issue of school shootings.
Train Students and Teachers
School shootings mostly affect the students and teachers. Therefore, giving the necessary training to the capable teachers and students such incidents could be reduced. Because they will get the idea to control the situation in such a condition and can save others and themselves from being attacked by a firearm or gun. Moreover, army officers could also be hired as teachers or as admin staff to increase the defense of the school.
Government and law and enforcement agencies are responsible for maintaining the law and order situation. Gun control is their primary responsibility and they should assure that gun should be provided to only those residents those who need it and have a license as well. The process of getting gun should be tightened in order to discourage the use of a gun because If there will be a low supply of guns then use of the guns will also be minimum. Hence, by controlling gun use, school shootings could be reduced.
Proper education for mentally ill student
As many school shooters are mentally ill students, therefore by giving them proper education and by working on improving their mental health such incidents could also be reduced. It is the responsibility of educational institutes to deal with the mentally ill students with utmost care so that they could not become shooter in future.
State and educational institutes have the power and resources to control such incidents of school shootings and they can work collectively for this common cause as it is for the greater interest of society and for themselves as well.
This paper examines the school shooting incidents globally and in the US to establish a framework to control such issues as a school shooting is a serious challenge for the develop societies and economies which is hurting the society badly. There is a significant increase in the school shooting incidents in the US in the last two decades due to a poor family of supervision, the poor mental health of students, poor social skills and behavioral problems. School shooting incidents have raised serious concerns among the state and federal bodies. There are various methods through which incidents like school shooting can be controlled like improving security measures in school and colleges, giving education and training to students and teachers about handling such situation and by hiring ex-army officers as a staff or guard, and through the gun control procedures from the government. However, no party can single-handedly tackle this situation, all stakeholders like government, educational institutes, parents, teachers, and students should play their role to eradicate this serious issue.
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- Steidley, Trent, and Cynthia G. Colen. “Framing the gun control debate: press releases and framing strategies of the National Rifle Association and the Brady Campaign.” Social Science Quarterly 98.2 (2017): 608-627.
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