School shootings in the last 20 years: What has really happened, and what can we do?

Over the last 20 years there have been 229 cases documented as “incidents in which a firearm was discharged at a school infrastructure or campus.” This is a pretty vague qualification, so I have analyzed these cases and have attempted to categorize them more meaningfully.

First of all, out of the 229 cases, only 27 (as if 27 isn’t enough) would be recognized as what we would consider a “mass school shooting.” These then can be broken down by the type of school:

General school/tech. school                        3

Elementary school                                         3

Middle school                                                 1

High school                                                    11

College                                                              9

 

I broke down the remaining 202 cases as follows:

Personal disputes (2-3 people)                   51

Internal (student on student)                     47

Outside of school, unrelated to school      16

Outside of school, parking lot                     14

After school, HS sporting event                  13

On college campus                                        10

After school, outside of school                     9

College dorm incident                                   9

On college campus, crime related               8

After school, outside of sporting event      3

School bus related                                          3

Accidental                                                        2

On college campus, sports related              2

Playground                                                      2

Outside sporting event, during school       2

Personal, outside of school                           1

In my opinion, 159, or 69% of these cases could have been easily avoided if the school had one main gate or entrance, on the perimeter of the actual campus or school, which was monitored by security personnel along with metal detectors. This would equate to saving hundreds of lives and avoiding hundreds of injuries.

The remaining 70, or 31% of the cases, occurred in areas around schools that are not easily controlled.

During his speech on February 15, 2018, President Trump said, “It is not enough to simply take actions that make us feel like we are making a difference. We must actually make that difference.”

I couldn’t agree with you more Mr. President. We need to take politics out of this issue and do something that actually helps.

Based on my analysis, the best and most effective thing we can do right now would be to have an outside perimeter fence, before you even get near a school, that has one main gate or entrance. This gate should have armed security personnel that only admit individuals that should be there.  Metal detectors would also need to be installed.

Simultaneously, we can work on changing how we do background checks when purchasing a weapon or ammunition. Our checks need to be more extensive and more comprehensive.  Social media should be checked and the community where the purchaser lives should be canvassed for input as to whether anyone has objections to this individual owning a weapon.

Access to mental health resources has to be greatly enhanced as well. When people are experiencing issues or are aware of others with issues, assistance needs to be available right then, not a month or two, or three, down the road when a psychiatrist’s or a psychologist’s schedule has an opening.  Mental health, in general, has to be just as much of a consideration as physical health.

Then finally, the President should establish a component agency that would fall under The Department of Homeland Security and deal solely with the issues that affect school security.

Again,

If we don’t begin to take real, effective, steps towards dealing with this problem we will be doomed to watching and experiencing the reoccurrence of these horrible shootings again and again. It may be your family that is directly affected next time.  I pray that isn’t the case.

Praying for God’s help and God’s comfort for the victims, their families, and all of those involved is good, but they say that, “God helps those who help themselves.”

Let’s help ourselves and praise God for giving us the wisdom to do so.

school metal detectors

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