School shootings

Nov 25, 2021 | 0 comments

Nov 25, 2021 | Essays | 0 comments

The United States have a very long history of school shootings. However, the shooting that took place in Columbine High School in Colorado is what brought the urgency to deal with this case. In this shooting, there were two shooters and they took 13 lives and after that, they ended their own. This shooting got a lot of attention from the media and motivated a national debate on matters relating to gun violence. This action made some schools to take extra precautions when it came to matters of security. Despite all these efforts, these shootings continued with lots of attacks taking place yearly. 2007 took a lead in the shootings but what caught everyone’s eye was the Virginia Tech shooting where 32 individuals lost their lives and then the shooter decided to end his own life after this. I started wondering what if they have been trying to stop the wrong causes which have not been the reasons for school shootings. Or what if they have been using the wrong measures for healing these cases? (Beknap& Greathouse, p.22).
Parents and school communities disagree with my thesis because they have the following beliefs; they tend to argue that the teachers are capable of observing the behavioural and emotional developments of the students on a daily basis. According to them, the teachers have a higher chance of detecting troubled behaviours and they can go as far as trying to find out the cause of the problem. Secondly, they argue that teachers can make good use of technology in identifying students who are troubled. The use of anonymous reporting systems for example the use of text messages- can ease the work of other students in alerting the law enforcement and counsellors about kids who seem disturbed. Thirdly the parents believe that schools should hire more counsellors and officers. Since schools are trying to cut budgets, they have a very minimal number of psychologists or school counsellors. According to them, the teachers tend to forget that these mental professionals are the very first defence line when it comes to matters of troubled students. Parents believe that as much as this action will cost a fortune, it is a way towards reducing the shooting incidents.
Considering parents and school communities are the major core groups to help in the creation of a healthy school culture and can help in the reduction of school shootings and leading to openness of students, I decided to dwell more on how they are able to help in the reduction of these shooting cases. Parents are at the fear and pain of losing their children and are losing trust with the school securities. This is because despite the efforts the schools have done in the security systems of the school, the shooting cases have not reduced at all. Parents and school communities are blaming the school shootings on gun control policy. This is because they believe that strict gun control rules is the most effective action to help in the prevention of school shootings. This proposal will benefit the society because the reasons for school shootings rely mostly on the parents and school communities. It will enlighten them and help them be in a better position to help in the solving of the headache that has been disturbing everyone.
Since this research was extensive, I employed a few methods in successfully completing the task. I chose to use already done researches to find out cases that had been found related to these shootings. Online news features proved to be very important sources for my research because some of them had information about reasons why many active shooters decide to take those actions. Magazines have done stories related to these crimes and they made very good source in my research. Non-governmental organizations which had also taken steps in attempts to end the violation of human rights and enjoy life were also greater sources in this research. I found out that they have come up with programs whose purpose is to find out reasons why assailants shoot and end student’s lives. These methods will be very helpful in completing my studies successfully.
When students are maturing, their relationship with their peers is a very important part of their psychological and social growth. If there is no good peer relationship, it might have negative effects on a student (Beane p.77). Negative relationships more so for those in their adolescents may lead to one having relationships with people with undesirable behaviours. Negative relationships will include things like bullying. Parents should be keen and find more about the friends their children have in school. This will help the kid if at all they were bullied and parents should look into the issue deeply before it is too late. If the bullying does not stop, it would be good if the affected student be taken to another school or even get home schooled to avoid such decisions. School communities should work hand in hand with the administration to fight against bullying in order to help reduce school shooting cases.
A strong view fighting against the current gun policy is brought about in the article of Eichenwald. He expresses the need to look beyond gun alone and people to start looking into other things like bullets that work in the guns. He offers 7 steps on the policies of gun control that would help in the reduction of the shootings in schools and any other public areas in the United States. The Supreme Court should ban accessories that have no use other than transform guns into mass slaughter weapons. Rules that do not allow the mentally ill and criminals to acquire weapons should be adopted. The Supreme Court should also outlaw the public display of weapons (Eichenwald, p.19).
After going through several articles, that referred a lot to Colorado shootings, I realized that each of the articles have a different perspective of the different preventive measures that could have been put into practice in order to prevent the incidents of shootings. The article on school shootings written by Greathouse, Tanya and Belknap looks more onto the shooters and it tries analyzing them and identifying the risk factors that face the shooters. Most studies that have been done and the study these authors took pointed out that very extreme rejection socially and bullying were the major risk factors. A kind of rejection that was found to be inflicted by the peers of the assailant was the romantic rejection which some of them do not take lightly. Bullying on the other hand took different forms including both physical and verbal which was emphasized that its intentions are meant to have humiliation effects on the victim. To some extends, bullying and rejection may lead to a victim having psychological problems. They further elaborated in their research that, other risk factors included the availability and easy access of guns to victims and violent media consumption by victims for example violent television shows (Greathouse and Belknap, p.8).
Newsom and Jennifer’s article gives a report on the initiative the Florida children took in the wake of the most recent high school shootings. The authors give highlights of the fact that the students demanded changes in the gun policies and this should act as a suggestion that those who do not agree with the gun policy amendments are very insensitive. These writers express their need for children to be safe in school which cannot happen because the shootings have become rampant. According to them and their research, they stated that women are more the victims of gun violence as compared to men. They feel that the National Rifle Association should act on and give best rules for the legislation of guns. They try to bring the political solution in the need to stop school shootings by having better and sober leaders. It illustrates in the simplest way the reasons why gun control needs more legislation than it is. It also points to the magnitude the mass shooting bring to the families of the victims as it tries to bring out the feelings the children had after the shooting.
Paradice and David’s paper gives a very descriptive analysis and data construction from the events of school shootings in the United States. It shows that there have been more than three hundred and forty shooting events in a span of 175 years in the history of the United States education (Paradice and David, p.135). The data acquired from this book indicates that the shooting incidents majorly occur in the high schools of the United States and the frequency in which these shootings occur has been very rampant in the last 50 years. According to these two, mass shootings are premeditated and they do not just happen overnight. They explain that the assailants always think about and plan this for awhile before they decide to take the shooting action. The article of Westfall Sandra et al gives a report of high school shootings in Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School located in Parklands. It gives the accounts of the incidents of shooting regarding to the survivors, the emergency personnel and parents while putting into considerations such as communication via texts during these attacks, parent’s reunion with their kids after these incidents and the deaths of the family members.
When talking about one of my research questions, why the shooters do not open up and talk about their troubles to adults, this article was very important in helping me find the answer to the question. This is because; the article gives the background of the shooter which apparently the school had knowledge about. The school was aware of the students’ mental issues but decided not to act upon it. What if they had sought medical health for this student? Would it have helped him? Would it have prevented the shooting incident? This shooter was very in disciplined and had violence signs while he was still in school. These signs were seen in homework assignments, his drawings which included one he wrote in reference to President Obama’s death. This source helped me realize how teachers and parents choose to ignore the violence signs they can see from a particular student which if followed up on, would have maybe led to opening up of the affected student, admitting to having a problem or accepting to seek mental health. Parents should therefore be keen with their children’s behaviours and should leave none ignored.
Superville, Denisa and Evic talk about the aftermath of Santa Fe High School shooting incident. Students’ opinion on the rights to own guns and supervision of parents is main talk in this article. When parents pay attention to their children, they will definitely know when they are troubled, stressed or when they are not at peace. This will help them seek help when in the early stages to avoid the damages they cause. These authors also evaluated the psychological effects the shootings have on the students. It causes trauma, fear, stress and many more to the victims. They keep wondering what if they were the ones who were shot; the friends lost in these shootings leave open wounds in the victim’s hearts. It takes time to get over such experiences and some might need to seek medical health by seeing a psychiatrist in order to get over such trauma. This article further touches on Florida shooting. This makes was very helpful because it gave an overview of the parent assailant relationship and therefore this information is important in highlighting why the assailant chose not turn to family members when dealing with stress. The importance of this article is further seen as it tries to explain how the effects of poor parenting led to and triggered incidents of violence among children and to severe cases, caused school shootings. This can be avoided when parents do a good job and try having relationships with their children.
The most important idea in this particular article is that, the shooting rates in schools have not changed for years now and the rates seem to be increasing per annum. In this article, the author used statistical evidence to elaborate her point that despite the efforts, the school shootings have not reduced for years now. She used statistics from reliable sources like the National Association of School Resource Officers, Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the Senate Health Chairman, Education, Labour and Pensions Committee. The fact that she used statistics and people from places that were directly involved with the topic indicates how much work and dedication she put on her research and hence makes the evidences she has very credible. Putting this into consideration, I realized this would be a very good source to use in the introduction of my paper when discussing why I was drawn to talk about school shootings.
Ellen Delisio talks about improving a healthy school culture in her article. She discusses how school communities can have benefits from a school culture that is very positive and work on how they make improvements on their culture. In this article, she uses the opinions of experts on matters concerning her topic to give support to her ideas and she gives examples relating to her topic. The focus on my research is to discuss about reasons why the assailants find it hard to open up about their problems. In this case, the first reason i would mention for the increased rate of school shootings is lack of a healthy school culture in most of our school communities. Therefore, I am going to use this article as a resource to show my audiences that not having a healthy school culture can be a major reason for assailants not being able to open up about their problems.
From the article of Belknap and Greathouse, they discuss about the history of school shootings, the factors that leads to one becoming a school shooter, the races of the school shooters, their class and genders. They talk about the different reasons that lead to school shootings and how the reasons can be a push for one becoming a school shooter. This source’s credible will be extremely high because, these authors make good use of statistical evidences and various articles from researches done by organizations to support their claims. I am going to use this resource when talking about causes of school shootings and the facts behind the shooter and also use this resource to show how these school shootings increase in America.
Works cited
Beane. The Trauma of Peer Victimization. *Children of Trauma: stressful life events and their effects on children and adolescents.* Madison CT: International University Press.
Belknap & Greathouse, T*. School Shooting*, 2018,
Bonanno, Levenson and Jr. L. School Shooters,2014,
Eichenwald, Kurt. *The Bullet Initiative. *(Cover Story). Newsweek Global, vol. 165, no. , 24 July 2015, pp, 36-45).
Newson Jeniffer Siebel. *Kids Advocating for Gun Control, Florida School Shooting*. Time, Time, 22 Feb 2018.
Paradice, David. *An Analysis of Us Shooting Data (1840-2015).* Education vol. 138, no.2, Winter 2017, p.135. EBSCO*host.*
Superville, Denisa R., and Evic Blad. *Another school in anguish*. Education week, vol.37 no.33, 30May 2018 p.10. EBSCO*host*
Westfall, Sandra Sobieraj et al. *Florida School Shooting HEARTBREAK and OUTRAGE*. People vol.89, no 11 05 March 2018 p.48. EBSCO*host.*