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School Shootings Annotated Bibliography

3657 words (15 pages) Essay in Social Policy

08/02/20 Social Policy Reference this

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The United States has experienced more school shootings between 2009 and 2018 than multiple other countries combined.  Kids all over the country have been in situations with guns in their schools.  School shootings have increased over the past years and affect more and more kids each time.  Many schools have been trying to keep their campuses safer after the multiple attacks happening in 2018.  A current snapshot from recent attacks, causes, and people and organizations who care provide some information about the school shootings in America and how people are affected by it. 

According to the Everytown for Gun Safety Organization, as of October 4, 2018, 65 shootings have been recorded in the United States.  Their organization classifies a school shooting as “anytime a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds”.  Many parents were scared to bring their child back to school after all the gun incidents that happened in the past school year, 2017-2018.  On February 14, 2018, Marjory Stoneman Douglas School in Parkland, Florida were involved in a shoot ing that had 17 deaths and 17 injuries.  Santa Fe High School in Santa Fe, Texas shooting had 10 deaths and 14 injuries including the shooter himself.  There were also smaller incidents of shootings in Marshall County High School, Huffman High School in Birmingham, Alabama, Great Mills High School in Great Mills, Maryland, and many more.  Some schools like Italy High School, Salvador Castro Middle School, and Forest High School were involved in shootings that fortunately did not kill anyone, but injured few.   For the school year 2018-2019, schools such as Stoneman Douglas School and Santa Fe School spent a lot of money on new security systems, locks, and guards to be prepared if they were ever to be attacked again.  On the Global News Website, it is said that more people have died in school shootings than people who were involved in combat-related deaths as of May of 2018 taken from the U.S. Military data and media reports of school shootings.

Next, a lot of people assume a big cause of school shootings is people who have mental illnesses.  According to US News, out of the people who have committed violent acts on schools, only 22% have been diagnosed with a mental illness.  Although it is not one of the bigger causes, people still need to focus on the mentally ill.  The gunman, Nikolas Cruz, who was responsible for the shootings of the Florida School, Stoneman Douglas, had thrown out many red flags of violence, however, nobody caught on to his actions before he attacked.  Another problem is gun ownership.  US News also explains that the states that have higher rates of gun ownership also have higher rates of suicides, homicides, and accidental gun deaths.  One gunshot is seven times more likely to kill someone than a stabbing.  Gun control is also a huge cause because, in a lot of places, there are not enough strict rules to prevent things like school shootings.  A lot of people have private ownership of rifles, pistols, etc. and may use it to harm someone.  Guns being exposed to different social media, such as video games, is said to be a cause of violent behaviors.  In some games, young kids have the freedom to use different guns and have the ability to shoot and kill people.  In 2010, a study has been found that media violence was linked to criminal violence.  Texas Lieutenant Governor, Dan Patrick, has also argued and said that young people are “desensitized to violence” when playing games. 

Lastly, the issue of school shootings matters because kids should not have to experience traumatizing situations at that young of an age.  Different kids act different ways and some might not get affected at all and some might be affected for their whole lives just from thinking of it.  Seeing your friends and teachers getting shot at from a random person should not be happening on school campuses, a place that is supposed to be safe.    It is said that gun issues have peaked in the 1990s, however, there are still many incidents till this day.  Since gun violence in schools and gun violence have been increasing over the years, it is crucial to try to stop the problem now.  Letting the problem get worse is not healthy for communities because many people have died from these countless attacks and nobody would want their other family members and friends in school to lose their lives as well.  The consequences of solving or partly solving this problem are that if we keep schools safe and implement stricter gun laws, then kids would have to less likely worry about active shooters on their campuses.  There still could be a chance that shootings will still happen in the future, but it would hopefully not be as bad as it is now.  Getting rid of guns completely is out of the picture, but restricting unworthy people to obtain guns is better than nothing.  Some organizations that have stepped up to try to lessen school shootings are the Sandy Hook Promise, National School Safety Center, Committee for Children, Everytown for Gun Safety, and Students Against Violence Everywhere.  In general, these organizations have made a promise to do what they can to keep kids safe.  For example, Sandy Hook Promise supports solutions that create safer homes, schools, and communities.  Their approach is to build a national movement of parents, schools, and other organizations that deliver gun violence prevention programs.  A few people who have spoken out about school shootings are BJ Campbell, Chelsea Handler, Joseph W. Gauld, and Christina Sappey.  These people all protest and argue about how school shootings should be put to an end.  For example, Christina Sappey talks about her personal life and how her brother was affected by the shootings, and she does not want their kids to experience that as well. 

After the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, President Trump proposed a solution to arm teachers with guns to prevent more school shootings.  According to the website, The Guardian, Trump claims that “An attack has lasted, on average, about three minutes…If you had a teacher who was adept at firearms, they could very end the attack very quickly”.  His point is possible and the shooting could end earlier, however, it is not a realistic idea that should be taken into action.  Every single teacher would have to get trained on how to use a gun properly and effectively.  A teacher who once stopped shooting with a gun at a Mississippi high school told the New York Times that he experienced nightmares and stress up to six months after.  This says that if teachers do not feel comfortable enough to use a gun, they should not be forced to at an event of an attack.  Jay Kirell, a combat veteran, spoke out and admitted that it is “extremely difficult” to shoot and aim under stress.  People who use guns daily for their job sometimes even have a hard time using it.  Teachers can easily fire the gun and potentially hurt or even kill a student if they are not aiming properly.                          

To add on, more guns on campus can cause a lot of problems and could kill more people. Instead of fighting violence with violence, more safety precautions at schools should be enacted.  A partial solution that could work is installing emergency door locks in every classroom on campus.  To implement, schools would be provided lock devices from companies, like “NIGHTLOCK”, to install on their doors.  These locks will act as a barricade between the shooter and the people inside the class.  Like a fire alarm, there would also be an emergency pull lever placed somewhere that is convenient, like a teacher’s desk, for anyone to easily pull and not get too close to the door.  Depending on how many classrooms there are and how many people would help, these locks could be installed in a year or less than a year.      

At a lot of schools, in an event of an immediate lockdown, teachers would have to lock the door from the outside.  At that point, the door is the only thing blocking the shooter from the people in the classroom.  Since the teachers have to physically walk outside and then lock it, this allows the shooter to possibly get inside the classroom.  If classrooms were to have an emergency lock system, there would be no need for the teacher to go outside and could instantly lock the doors with a pull of a lever.  It would work because it adds more protection for the kids more quickly and efficiently.  Some might oppose that this solution is not the best idea because there is always a possible chance for the locks to somehow not work.  However, this is a better idea than arming teachers with guns because adding more weapons and violence into the situation could make the problem worse.  Safety for the kids should always be the main priority and with more secure doors, shooters would have a harder time to get to anyone. 

    In conclusion, school shootings have been an unfortunate trend in the United States over the past years.  Kids should not have to experience shootings at such a young age and worry if they are going to come out alive.  Because many people have been affected by school shootings, more proposals and solutions, such as emergency door locks, should be made to keep students and faculty safe on their campuses. 

Works Cited

Ahmed, Saeed, and Christina Walker. “There Has Been, on Average, 1 School Shooting Every Week This Year.” CNN, Cable News Network, 25 May 2018. Web. 23 Oct. 2018. This website talks about the school shootings in America in 2018.

This website provides the recent school shootings in the year 2018 and gives details on the attacks such as who was involved and how many people got killed or injured.  I can use this website for the current snapshot because it is data within a year and is current.  It talks about the worst shootings such as Stoneman Douglas and Parkland High School and also the smaller shootings.

Amos, Owen. “Six Radical Ways to Tackle US School Shootings.” BBC News, BBC, 20 Feb. 2018. Web. 31 Oct. 2018.  This website talks about possible solutions to the school shooting problem in America. 

The website talks about one solution that people wanted is for teachers to carry guns because outside help is not enough when lives are on the line.  Buckeye Firearms Association is a group where they train teachers on how to respond to mass shootings.  So far, this program has trained 1300 staff members, with each course being three days each.  Another solution that came to mind was installing two doors in each room.  The logic was, if a shooter were to go through one door, the students could escape from the other.  Although it would not prevent the shooting to happen, it could save more lives.  This website could be used for solutions to solve shootings at school.

Auerbach, Michael P. “Counterpoint: Lockdown Systems and Other Building Protections,

Coupled with a Focus on Behavioral Health, Can Help Prevent School Shootings.” Points of View: School Security, June 2018, p. 1. EBSCOhost. Web. 1 Oct. 2018. This website gives proposals to school shootings.

In the article, the author talks about ways the school systems are trying to prevent shootings.  For example, some of the ideas are that they want to get doors that lock from inside the classroom, bulletproof windows, and safe rooms so students and teachers can hide in a possibility of an active shooter on campus.  Overall, they want to make the school more secure and know that the students and faculty are in the safest environment they can be during school. Schools also want to monitor students more carefully with them knowing of psychological issues and mental illnesses.  Then they would be allowed to keep an eye on the more troubling students, which could prevent an attack. I can use this website for possible solutions.

Bump, Philip. “The NRA’s Solution for School Shootings: Making Schools Battle-Ready.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 23 Feb. 2018.  Web. 29 Oct. 2018. This website talks about a solution to keep schools safe from possible shootings.

The National Rifle Association proposed a solution focused on keeping schools from threats of shooters.  Their idea was to fence the perimeter of the campus and trees should be planted away from the windows to prevent climbing.   The ballistic glass was also proposed to be put in for interior windows and steel plating for entry point desks.  To also strengthen security, they want teachers to hold guns in their classrooms for self-defense.  The NRA is opposed to gun restrictions on weapons, but it has to propose some solution.  Infrastructure investments in thousands of schools in the United States might help keep down death toll during a possible attack.  I may use this source for a possible solution to school shootings. 

Cox, John Woodrow, and Steven Rich. “Scarred by School Shootings.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 25 Mar. 2018. Web. 14 Oct. 2018. The website explains how many students have been exposed to gun violence at school in the past years.

Over the past two decades, there have been many school shootings across the country that have killed many students and faculty.  After Columbine in 1999, more than 187,000 students experienced a school shooting during school hours.  Every day, threats have been made to schools that cause schools to be in lockdowns.  Schools are not safe nowadays with the numerous attacks recently.  One of the many organizations that students participate in is “March For Our Lives” to protest against gun violence.  It has been discovered that schools of color have been more likely to experience gun violence on campus.  There has been an average of 10 school shootings per year since Columbine, and 2018 has been the worst year so far with 11 in the first three months.  I can use this website for background research.   

Driscoll, Sally Geier, Denise B. “School Violence: Overview.” Points of View, 2013. EBSCOhost. Web. 1 Oct. 2018. This website provides an overview of school shootings in the United States and how it has been increasing in the past years.

In this article, it gives an overview of the history of school shootings.  Public school started to have problems when bullying, fistfights, etc. first started.  Years passed and in the 20th century, juveniles started to get ahold of guns.  Growing media of violence and mental issues were said to be the causes of the school shooting trend in the United States.  These incidents of guns in school were getting a lot of attention from people and increased over the years.   It was said that these gun issues were at its peaked in the 1990s.  However, there are still incidents today.  From 2006 to 2018, there have been many incidents and threats in America of school shootings and has killed many young people because of it.  I can use this as a background for shootings. 

Kamenetz, Anya, et al. “The School Shootings That Weren’t.” NPR, NPR, 28 Aug. 2018. Web. 14 Oct. 2018. The website talks about an overview of school shootings in the US.

This website talks about how there were about 240 schools that were involved in shootings in the year 2015-2016.  161 of them have reported that no school shootings have occurred.  Reports have shown that it is difficult it is to track school-related shootings by the lack of data on gun violence.  In 2018, there have been 53 new school laws that were passed to keep schools safe with new security equipment.  These schools paid billions of dollars to make sure that their kids and staff are safe.  Kids have also been spending class time running active shooter drills and parents have been buying them bulletproof backpacks.  I can use this as background research and current snapshots.

Pasquantonio, Victoria, and Elis Estrada. “How Teens Want to Solve America’s School Shooting Problem.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 5 Mar. 2018.  Web. 30 Oct. 2018.  This website provides ideas that were come up by teens to solve school shootings.

Teens around the country have been coming out to talk about the shooting earlier this year at Parkland, Florida. They believe that the adults have not been doing anything to help stop the shootings, so they are trying to step up in their communities.  One teen believes that they should raise the legal age of buying a gun to older than eighteen.  Another teen believes that there should be a designated time to center themselves during school because some of them deal with mentally exhausting and traumatizing experiences at home.  A girl suggests that it should be harder to buy a firearm and have more regulations to prevent people from harming themselves or others.  This website can be used for possible solutions.

Saidi, Nicole. “10 Ways to Put Brakes on Mass Shootings in Schools.” CNN, Cable News  Network, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 1 Oct. 2018.  This website provides possible solutions to school shootings, such as arming teachers and strengthening gun laws.

This article was published after the shooting in Connecticut in 2012, one of the deadliest shootings in the United States then.  Readers posted responses to CNN giving possible solutions for this tragedy.  People gave ideas such as to strengthening the gun laws, arming teachers for defense, improving security, cutting down violence on social media, health care improvement, focusing on the families and not the shooter, parenting, building social skills, and watching out for one another (“empathy for every side”). All the proposals regarding the school shooting just want to keep the kids and faculty as safe as possible on campus.  I can use this website for solutions that people have talked about.

“Sandy Hook Promise.” Sandy Hook Promise. Web. 16 Oct. 2018.  This website is about Sandy Hook and the promise that they have against gun violence.

Sandy Hook Promise is an organization to protect all children from gun violence by supporting solutions that create safer and healthier homes, schools, and communities.  The approach is to build a national movement of parents, schools, and organizations that deliver gun violence prevention programs that follow sensible state and national policy.  I think that this could be a solution because it brings the community together to fight for something that a lot of people are against.  I can use this website for organizations who want to end school shootings. 

Simon, Caroline. “Our Kids Are ‘Worried about Getting Shot’ in Classrooms as Back-to-School Season Starts.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 23 Aug. 2018. Web. 4 Oct. 2018. The USA Today website’s article provides information on how more schools and parents are taking action to protect schools and kids.

This article talks about how students are worried about going back to school due to the school shootings that have been happening in the past year.  Parents are also concerned for their child’s safety because school shootings have been recently at an all-time high.  After the shooting at Stoneman Douglas, students have been campaigning for changes in gun laws and other schools have been ramping up their security systems.  Families are even buying bulletproof backpacks for their children.  Children growing up now have to deal with the threats of guns.  This is something that can distract them from their school work and education.  I can use this website for possible solutions. 

Smith, David. “Trump’s Solution to School Shootings: Arm Teachers with Guns.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 Feb. 2018.  Web. 29 Oct. 2018.  This website talks about how Donald Trump wants teachers to be armed during school hours.

Trump’s idea to help with school shootings and defense is to arm teachers with guns.  He uses the example of Marjory Stoneman Douglas’s teacher, Aaron Reis, who used his body as a shield for the students.  Trump said that if he were to have a gun in his locker, he could have saved many lives and shoot the attacker before he had a chance to do anything.  He also claims that an emergency responder takes about eight minutes to arrive and an attack lasts about three minutes.  If a teacher were to have a gun, the attack could end much sooner.  I may use this source for a possible solution that our president has come up with. 

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