Gun violence is prevalent in our communities, thus affecting innocent students. Are they safe to be taught education away from home? Imagine sitting at home watching TV and receiving a call saying that the school where your child attends is under threat of an active shooter.
A variety of legal measures have been debated and proposed to address school shootings. These include: the enactment of tougher gun control laws throughout the different branches of law enforcement from federal to local public safety, the proposition of laws imposing criminal liability on the parents for their child’s violent behavior and establishment of specialized courts and prosecution strategies for handling juveniles who are charged with weapons offenses.
The Disabilities Education Act facilitates the expulsion of students for weapon violations and makes a greater use of alternative schools as placements for students who are charged with these violations. Only 5% of the 120,000 gun-related deaths between 2001 and 2010 involved a shooter with a diagnosed mental health disability, this study was mention by Jonathan Metz you can read more information here.
The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) believes it is time to broaden the focus of the gun debate to include the social, emotional, physical, and mental health impact of those traumatized by gun violence, especially children and youth. It is time to take into account the mental health of our youth. More than 25% of children are witnessing an act of violence in their homes, schools, or community. It has been proposed that this is due to physical assault, bullying, and sexual victimization of these children. The statistical patterns collected by the National Survey of Children’s Exposure to Violence for various topics are demonstrated below:
- Physical Assault: Among 14- to 17-year-olds, nearly one in five (18.8 percent) have been injured in the past year in a physical assault.
- Bullying: more than one in five (21.6 percent) children report having been physically bullied during their lifetimes.
- Sexual Victim: 14 to 17 were by far the most likely to be sexually victimized adding up to nearly one in six (16.3 percent).
Commentator Anne Coulter provocatively proclaimed that “Guns don’t kill people—the mentally ill do.”
A study conducted by the U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation reported that most shooters were males acting alone. Only 2 (1.3%) of the 160 incidents had more than 1 shooter and only 6 (3.8%) involved a female shooter.
Research by the Safe School Initiative shows that revenge was a motive for more than half of the attackers. Other motives included trying to solve a problem, suicide, desperation, attention seeking, and desire for recognition. More than half of the attackers had multiple motives for their attacks.
In addition, the effects of school shootings go beyond the schools and impact not only those in attendance but also the staff. Regardless of whether a shooting occurs in a community with high crime rates or in a community that has historically demonstrated to be safe, school shootings have lasting ramifications for families and impact relationships among community members and our institutions.