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Fire Arms in School
Dear Editor,
Several colleges in the U. S. are faced with the challenge ensuring all people within the school compound are safe from gun shootings and other forms of unprecedented attacks. For this reason, various options are available for security enhancement such as the arming of teachers and staff, or employment of law enforcement officers. The Valley Community College has a security loophole because there are no measures in place to prevent the likelihood of a shooting incident; the implementation of a screening policy in that entails employment of a few law enforcement officers would assist in the enhancement of the college’s security.
Colleges are areas for learning which should guarantee all individuals security to avoid incidents of people carrying knives and guns for fear of their own security. Hence, the school takes proactive steps that prevent the occurrence of violence in school and aim at ensuring that the school compound is a weapon free environment. In addition, the school should increase focus in the identification of individuals who are emotionally disturbed; in the future, they might opt for armed violence; if not identified early enough and given timely attention. In addition, the limitation of situations that cause distress on students such as bullying would help in reducing incidents of armed violence, as well as the establishment of a teachers and parents initiative that aims at monitoring students emotional needs.
A solution for managing armed violence in school is the training and arming of teachers as a measure for increasing security. This exercise alone does not guarantee individual security in the school compound because guns can still be carried into the school at will. In addition, the occurrence of an attack is very unpredictable because the teachers do not have all the necessary gear for protection such as body armor that reduces injury and ammunition. Moreover, few hours of handgun training are not enough for effective neutralize defense against an armed individual. In some of the past school shootings, the shooters had shotguns and automatic rifles, which are superior to the teacher’s handgun. The other downside of the teacher arming initiative is that only few teachers are armed, and their identities are not disclosed; a shooting incidents can probably be contained within are that the armed teachers are present. In the case of a shootout, both the shooter and the armed teacher can end up injuring and killing many students as compared to a situation whereby a law enforcement officer is in charge, because of the lack of sufficient experience in handling shooting scenarios.
The other problem is that the teacher arming exercise equips a few volunteer teachers who receive training for about 54 hours. Three days of armed training cannot be compared to the vigorous law enforcement training and experience; law enforcement officers have the capacity to handle shooting incidents better. Another situation to consider is a case whereby all teachers refuse to volunteer.
Most of the shooters have emotionally bruises and anger that has been harbored over a long time to a point that they resort to the use of a firearm for payback. The best way prevent shootings from taking place is through increased attention to the emotional needs of the students; this requires the teachers and to parents to cooperate in monitoring students’ behavior and in the creation of an atmosphere that encourages students to express their needs and problems.
Having armed teachers in school is very unpredictable, because it does not guarantee safety in case a shooting takes place. Hence, the school should opt for a screening policy whereby all individual are checked for weapons as they enter the school compound. This exercise will ensure that the school compound is weapon free, and it will enhance the learning atmosphere because the elimination of the fear of shootings.
The screening policy will require the employment of the services of law enforcement officers’ services, and their resources. The officers need to be adequately equipped so that they can neutralize any attack efficiently. In addition, they should also install metal detectors at points of entry to ensure that no weapon gets to the school compound.
The screening policy will mean that the schools spends more on security to pay for the law enforcement’s services, but prevention is better than cure and life is precious. A weapon free college environment reduces that chances of a shooting taking place, and it is a better solution for increasing school security as opposed to arming teachers. However, it is still paramount that measures are formulated and implemented to handle the emotional problems that lead to shootings, to avoid cases whereby the disturbed individuals would consider injuring others inside or out of the college compound.