Active shooters in American schools

| April 10, 2018 | 0 Comments

Education experts are asking why school shootings seem to be a particularly American phenomenon.

Whilst gunmen in other countries have left their mark, USbased law enforcers, gun control advocates and other stakeholders say that since 2013, there have been school shootings once a week across the nation.

On 14 February 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were killed and over a dozen more were injured, making it one of the world’s deadliest school massacres.

Multiple news sources agree that this brings the number of gun-related incidents that have occurred at education institutions in America thus far in 2018 to over 18.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has examined active shooter episodes in the US between 2000 and 2013. It found that nearly one quarter of them occurred in educational environments, and that they were on the rise, says The New York Times.

Other research finds that few US schools have plans in place to deal with active shooters, and that fewer still conduct preparation drills. The Parkland incident resparked the debate over gun ownership and control.

When President Donald Trump said that he believed that one of the solutions was to arm teachers and other school staff members with weapons, David Barnett reported for the Independent newspaper, “The National Rifle Association galvanised thousands of young Americans to demand gun control, and the end of the widespread carnage wrought on the children of the Land of the Free by the ubiquity of high-powered firearms.

“Within a week of the shootings, rallies were being held, driven by young people. School and college walkouts are scheduled for 24 March, which will include a march on Washington, and 20 April, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre.”

Last year, the market for security equipment in the education sector was estimated at as US$2.68bn, according to industry analysts. Some companies go as far as advertising bulletproof backpacks or whiteboards.

School shootings have occurred in other countries. In Switzerland, almost as many citizens own guns as in America. However, in Germany (school shootings have occurred here as well) and Switzerland, gun owners are tested and monitored closely, and many schools have intervention and trauma teams on campus.

Category: Autumn 2018

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