Another school shooting. Our hearts hurt.
Let the latest round of political posturing begin. Left and Right—pointing fingers. Everybody is shouting solutions, which are nothing of the sort.
Let me be clear: I’m not leaning left or right here. With a situation as severe as this, I believe all of the ideas being shared are worthy of consideration. But none of them—let me say that again, louder: NONE OF THEM—will ensure school shootings never happen again.
Not tougher gun laws. Not better mental health screening. Not arming teachers. Not renewed emphasis on “see something, say something.” Not outlawing violent movies or video games. Not better parenting. Not bringing the Bible or prayer back into schools.
Truth is—neither side really wants to do what it would take to stop school shootings. Both sides want a political victory. No give.
I will tell you what would work. It’s so simple. Do you have the stomach for this?
If you really want school shootings to end—never to happen again—treat it like 9/11.
After 9/11, the entire air-travel industry changed. Immediately. Do you remember? All airplanes were GROUNDED until the cockpit door was reinforced. I’m not sure how much the price tag was to outfit how many ever tens of thousands of airplanes … DIDN’T MATTER. It got paid.
Security at airports changed forever. I’m not sure what the price tag was for all the extra TSA screeners, armed security and screening equipment upgrades at every commercial airport … DIDN’T MATTER. It got paid.
We all experience the added inconvenience, long lines, the invasion of privacy, the rollback of traveler’s rights. DOESN’T MATTER. We deal with it. Or else we DON’T FLY.
Here’s the solution: Schools are soft targets. Make them hard targets. PROBLEM SOLVED.
Build a fence around our schools. Put armed guards at the entrance. Search everyone entering school grounds—even the principal! EVERYONE. No guns on school grounds (other than the officers manning the gate) means no shootings on school grounds.
Of course—this will be costly. Education already suffers from a lack of funding. SHOULDN’T MATTER. How serious are we about stopping this?
Of course—this will be unsightly. No one wants their cute little local elementary school to resemble a penitentiary. SHOULDN’T MATTER. How serious are we about stopping this?
Of course—it will mean an inconvenience for everyone coming onto school grounds, to be searched, screened, wanded, take off your shoes, bring lunches in see-through lunch boxes … whatever. SHOULDN’T MATTER. How serious are we about stopping this?
If I were president—especially one with a talent for pulling off construction projects “ahead of schedule and under budget” and with a particular fondness for walls …
And if I were a master at the art of the deal, with a rolodex full of wealthy and creative corporate friends …
And if I were able to move masses to contribute tubs of money with a tweet…
And if I were a Hollywood star/activist with more money and a bigger platform than most, who has lots of Hollywood star/activist friends with more money and a bigger platform than most …
Imagine how quickly—and how affordably—we could do this!
Shoot, I’m a taxpayer. There’s a few hundred million of us, right? Let’s all kick in a buck. What about this? Ask every household in America for a donation of one dollar ($1) or more. Obviously, if you can give more than a buck, awesome! Brag about it. Tell your friends, “I sent in twenty!” Whatever. With the surplus, we can buy every kid in America a clear lunchbox! Better, a ‘Made Our Schools Safe Again’ hat!
I just paid for the wall around every school in America, and STOPPED SCHOOL SHOOTINGS. See how easy it was?
But no. We’ll keep debating all these other solutions that aren’t really solutions–and we’ll be back here again. Grieving.
3 thoughts on “How to Stop School Shootings”
Great points made Darin. I’ve been thinking all day how to stop these killings. Having taught for 24 years I’ve seen kids that have been bullied, dysfunctional families, kids addicted to violent video games and I know that will continue. As extreme as your idea is, it would work. But it would take a complete change in our thinking in regards to what a school campus should look like. It would be more like a jail, but if it stopped these children from living daily in fear of being next, and making sure there isn’t a next ….it would be worth it.
I’m curious what “sensible gun regulation” would have impacted today’s shooting. But I do know that keeping the guns off this campus would have been effective. Your point is well taken, if not this soft target (schools), people will (and do) find others. But keeping children safe in schools is my emphasis here. It would stop the shootings. This is why I ask, repeatedly in the post, How bad do you want this to stop?
This is insane. It was our fearful (and hateful) response to 9/11 that created the nightmare we’re grappling with now. After schools, grocery stores? Look to the countries with little or no gun violence to solve the problem of gun violence. You’ll find that the sensible regulation of guns is the common denominator.