In the wake of what appears to be a trending manner for young men and women to resolve conflict, school shootings may end by these three means: raise the age of persons permitted to buy guns lawfully; install metal detectors in all schools across the US; and have each village raise all people under the age of 23.
The latter recommendation may sound absurd and maybe even exhausting when we think of the work involved in raising young adults who already should know right from wrong. Perhaps the two former recommendations, if completed right away, may be the means that end the ongoing trend of school shootings altogether, though even then it may not be so likely.
Arapahoe High School, in Centennial, Colorado, just saw on Friday the latest deadly assault by an 18-year-old gunman who freely walked into the school, bearing non-hidden firearm in one hand, a machete in the other hand, and a band of ammunition across his chest. On his person were two “Poor Man’s Grenade-Molotov cocktails,” one of which he set off inside the school. His gripe: he was looking for the librarian with whom he earlier had an issue. In the process, the gunman seriously injured 17-year-old student Claire Davis who clings to her life now, say reports, before turning the weapon on himself in the library. He also seriously injured two other people.
The gunman, identified as Karl Pierson, allegedly turned 18 on September 3, and this threshold granted him the legal right to purchase and own a weapon, such as the firearm he used in the school shooting.
Some say this shooting seemed like a copycat of the Columbine High School shooting, only 8 miles away from Arapahoe High School, and of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown only a year ago to the day; as well as the other 24 school shootings since Newtown. In all of these cases, the “open door” policy at the schools and relaxed access to firearms made it far too easy for Pierson, as well as the other school shooters throughout the nation, to carry out the massacres.
According to an investigation by The Daily Beast, Arapahoe High School is the 25th school shooting in the year since Newtown. That is equivalent to a school shooting in the U.S. on an average of every two weeks since the school shooting in Newtown. That is an extreme trend that needs to be interrupted immediately.
Of the investigation conducted by The Daily Beast, Brandy Zadrozny said:
Using data culled from media reports and collected in part by the gun-control advocacy group Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, we tallied 24 school shootings during 2013—that is, shootings that occurred on school campuses when students were present. Shootings that took place after hours on school grounds were not included.”
Unfortunately, school shootings may need more than three means to end the bloodbaths. School shootings in the United States actually date back as far as the 1760s. The first one of that decade, known as the Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre, occurred on July 26, 1764, on school property in Pennsylvania. According to various reports, four Lenape American Indians had gone to the schoolhouse and shot and killed Enoch Brown the schoolmaster, and up to ten children. Only three of the children survived.
The 1800s saw approximately 25 school shootings in the U.S. from 1884 through 1898. In the 1900s, the U.S. experienced a whopping 180 events of shootings in schools, on school grounds, or on school properties (such school buses.) In each of these shootings; teachers, students and assailants were killed or seriously injured.
In the new millennium, from 2000 to the current day, some 136 thousand U.S. schools in America, not counting Friday’s incident at Arapahoe High School, have seen shootings and massacres, and the killers have ranged in age from 6 to 36. In the case of the youngest-ever school shooter, in Flint, Michigan, Dedrick Owens shot and killed classmate Kayla Rolland in school on Feb. 29, 2000. In the case at University of Arkansas on April 28, 2000, James E. Kelly, 36, a Comparative Literature PhD candidate, shot and killed 67 year old Dr. John R. Locke, the director of the Comparative Literature Program, in his office at the college, for dismissing him from the program. Most of the other cases involved teens aged 13 through 19, and young adults in their 20s.
According to USA Today, President Obama endorsed 23 executive orders intended to constraint gun violence in the aftermath of Newtown’s massacre. In Congress, numerous gun control processes never even made it to the House before fizzling out in the Senate. Of the 1500 gun bills debated by the states, only 109 of them passed.
Given these reports, school shootings may actually only end by three means: installing metal detectors in all educational institutions across America, increasing education on this issue, and definitely implementing much stricter laws on federal gun control, rather than only offer the hype via lip service moments after the massacres has ended.
An Editorial By Christina L. Ibbotson
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