Probably the most terrifying news for a parent is of a shooting at their child’s school. Is there any way to prevent the ever-increasing shootings at U.S. schools?
It would be wonderful if someone could wave the magic wand and make all such shooting incidents stop, or wave into existence a safety wall around every school to keep armed intruders out. That wand doesn’t exist.
There are many options out there for attacking this dilemma. Politically, however, as much ranting and raving about gun control as we see immediately following every school tragedy, NOTHING can be done regarding guns. The 2nd Amendment of the Constitution protects the rights of Americans to own guns. The U.S. Supreme Court in numerous cases brought by individuals, states, and non-profits through the years has on multiple occasions confirmed the right of U.S. citizens to own and bear arms. The ONLY way gun ownership could ever be made illegal would be with a Constitutional Amendment to do away with that provision of the 2nd Amendment. Such an amendment will NEVER be approved by the American public.
Anyway, guns are NOT the problem: the people that use them to shoot others and their ability to do so with very few — if any — barriers against their access to the easy “soft” school targets are the problem. Sadly, successfully attacking the people issues in this matter is not an easy task. But that task is well worth the effort and expense to ultimately achieve a successful security environment for students, teachers, and administrators at every school — private or public — within U.S. borders.
Even though since 1999 deaths on school campuses in America total “only” 98, losing 98 children — even just ONE child — teachers, and administrators in senseless gun violence is unacceptable. Political posturing by D.C. lawmakers has never accomplished anything in the way of solving school shootings problems. But they still turn into showmen as did Connecticut Senator Murphy (D-Ct) on the Senate floor yesterday when he said, “Turn on your television right now. You’re going to see scenes of children running for their lives,” said Murphy, who dealt with the Newtown massacre firsthand. “What looks to be the 19th school shooting in this country and we have not even hit March. Let me just note once again for my colleagues: This happens nowhere else other than the United States of America. This epidemic of mass slaughter. This scourge of school shooting after school shooting. It only happens here, not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible for a level of mass atrocity that happens in this country with zero parallel anywhere else.”
- Overcoming political hurdles. America must accept the fact that guns are here and will stay. Politicians need to stop the political posturing and begin developing and implementing plans for fixing this problem. Congressional narratives like that of Senator Murphy yesterday do nothing but illustrate the continual failure of not just Congress, but ALL elected leaders in the U.S., including those at state and local levels. How do we overcome those political hurdles? Demand and accept nothing less from elected officials than positive results.
- Find real and possible solutions, debate those, develop plans using the best of those, and implement those plans. Gee: that’s a novel idea! Rather than follow a centuries-old proven method of fixing a problem, we just sit around complaining about the problem. Good old American ingenuity needs to kick-in and takeover this process. Why hasn’t that already happened? Because not enough of the correct and capable Americans who could do so care enough TO do so.
- What are possible fixes that could be used in our schools to stop these senseless killings? Copying is the highest form of flattery. The United States is not the only free country on Earth, and certainly not the only country to ever face problems with gun killings. And there are free countries whose citizenry have done exactly what Americans are today crying for to stop anymore of these.
Let’s assume we together agree to fight through these barriers and together find, debate, refine and revise a process to successfully stop school shootings.
Why don’t we just look around and find a plan somewhere that already works and make it work here? Duh……
Here’s the perfect example of how to control school gun violence. The Israeli’s — not as politicians or police or individuals — as a nation of people who unify for the cause of protecting school children, have virtually eliminated instances of school gun violence. Why not take a close look at their methods, send U.S. experts to Israel to spend time investigating their methods, analyzing the cause and effect of their processes, identify the parts of their process that would work in the U.S., bring them home and implement them in U.S. schools?
Israeli School Process for Elimination of Gun Violence
- There is a military service requirement for all Israeli young people — men and women. Those with physical impairments and those with religious objections to military service are exempt. All others serve a stint in the military. They therefore have intense firearm training that follows them after leaving the military. This does NOT mean they own or handle guns. It means they KNOW how to use guns in the proper circumstances. They to own a gun must receive government approval to do so and only with a reasonable reason for having that gun.
- School buildings are extremely secure. They all are fenced — some with fences extremely tall to prohibit bombs from being tossed over into a school facility. (Remember: Israel is bordered on all sides by the ocean and countries with terrorist elements whose constituents do not like Israel and occasionally conduct terrorist acts against Israel)
- Almost all schools do not provide school buses as in the U.S. Students use public transportation — primarily commercial buses — which contain armed guards who are hired and are trained in self defense and defense against a shooter or shooters.
- Schools each have a guarded entry gate. All those who enter are stopped and questioned by a professional armed guard. Those entering must have valid identification, a verifiable reason or appointment to enter school grounds, and must be accompanied at all times when on school property.
- Emergency incident response for all types of emergencies are devised, implemented, and practiced at periodic scheduled intervals. They include all personnel and students who are regularly on school property. Every type of catastrophe is planned for.
- Some teachers and administrators are armed. Their being armed is visible so that all know who is armed. All teachers participate in a gun shooting and self defense class, but teachers are not forced to carry a weapon. Doing so is voluntary.
- Guards are not all armed. But those who are answer to either local police authorities or military authorities who specifically handle Israeli school security.
How successful is Israel’s School Security at stopping School Shootings?
In 1974, Israel endured the Ma’alot Massacre in which “Palestinian” terrorists took 115 people hostage at Netiv Meir Elementary School. Twenty-two children and three others were killed and 68 injured. After that tragedy, Israel implemented the school protection plan detailed above. Since 1974, there have been two incidents. Both were initiated by terrorists. Only 4 deaths occurred — of students. More than 20 terrorists were killed during those incidents — all but two of those came at the hands of armed school guards, administrators, and even a couple of students. Such a plan works in Israel.
Could this or a Similar Plan Work in the U.S.?
There is only ONE way any plan for school security here will work: ANY plan must be highly investigated, structured at the “10,000 foot level” by federal authorities so as to assure sufficient laws and/or regulations are put in place to support and manage such a process, and implemented on the local level with cooperation from federal, state, and local authorities. And the general public will obviously have to sign off on its implementation.
That being said, just as in Israel, variations will be necessary based on nuances of individual school’s unique challenges. Considerations like exact location, facility structure, access, layout, and proximity to interstate highways, waterways, law enforcement headquarters and medical facilities all must be taken into consideration when planning and implementing this program locally.
The U.S. Justice Department would necessarily take the lead in such a program, but it would be imperative for law enforcement at the local level to assume and maintain every part of the program in conjunction with the Feds.
No doubt such a program on a national level would be costly. But how much money spent is too much to stop such incidents? Honestly, when considering the cost of trying to implement and maintain some type of gun control in the U.S. — even if legal and possible — would cost tens of billions of dollars and would never be successful. (Google Australia’s program for this and you’ll see it doesn’t work at all)
Washington: It is time to stop the pontificating in front of the House and Senate, in press conferences and on television talk shows. It is time for action. Some member of Congress needs to offer up a specific plan structured similar to that in Israel to allow America to take control of the security environment of its schools. Stop making gun control a liberal cause that is correct, simply because it sounds important and good. Stop making efforts to stop school gun violence an anti-gun political policy. Politicians from all parties need to come together for a change and put a plan for all of America in place to eliminate these tragic killing at U.S. schools.
Washington: Do you REALLY care about gun violence in America? Do you REALLY care about kids getting shot at school? If you REALLY care, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT INSTEAD OF TALKING ABOUT DOING SOMETHING.
Give Americans a plan and implement that plan to stop these killings. Do something — or resign your office to allow someone who WILL do something to take your place.
Do Something NOW. Doing nothing or waiting is Unacceptable!