One of the most pertinent issues in the United States’ schoolsystem’s is the conduct of the students while they are at school.Initially, bullying was the most contagious issue regarding thediscipline of students while at school. However, over the pastdecade, the problem of school shootings has placed the problem as oneof the most debated issues in the schooling system (Turvey 401).There have been a lot of school shootings that have claimed severalinnocent lives, students and teachers included. Following this, thedebate has been on the kinds of strategies to ensure that the menaceof school shootings is brought under control. Consequently, there isa section of disciplinarians and security strategists who hold theidea that allowing students and teachers to carry guns to school willhelp improve the security of the innocent (Spitzer 83). With thisconcealed licensed weapons, the gun proponents are of the idea thatthe criminals will be more afraid in using their weapons against theinnocent than they are now. However, there is more to it than justhaving people carry concealed weapons as a measure to improvesecurity in schools. The idea of arming the innocent to protect themagainst criminals at school is not viable, and it does not preventthe criminals from unleashing their terror on the innocent victims.
Allowing licensed gun carriers to the school to protect the victimsis an idea that is erroneous and based on misleading assumptions thatthe perpetrators will be more reluctant to shoot. With the basicthought that having licensed gun carriers entering the schoolcompounds to protect themselves against the criminals, theauthorities will be creating an environment of feat and dismay in theinstitutions of learning. David Skorton and Glenn Altschuler, intheir article “Do We Really Need More Guns in Campus,” argue thatarming people in schools guarantees them safety against the criminalswith guns (p. 628). However, Skorton and Altschuler go ahead torecognize the fact that the institutions of learning are by far themost secure locations across the country (p. 629). Based on thisfact, it is not right for the authors to think of the introduction ofguns to make the schools safer than they are. In actual sense, thefocus of the debate is eradicating the guns in the schools, which arethe single most significant reason why there are shooting-relatedcrimes within these apparently “secure” environments. Instead ofintroducing more guns into the schools, the focus should, therefore,be eliminating those that are within them. In their article, Skortonand Altschuler note the fact that there is no single violent crimethat has been prevented as a result of a defendant brandishing aweapon in the schools (p. 629). The only relatable cases where gunbrandishing has helped to minimize the fatalities is when anununiformed police officer does so. Therefore, taking this decisionwould only prove futile in the long run. Mathew Miller, DavidHemenway and Henry Weschler, in their article “Guns and Gun Threatsat College,” argues that despite the broad-based concern about thegun-related violence that is witnessed in American schools, lack ofin-depth knowledge about the nature of crime in schools is one of thereasons why control measures are not effective (p.57). As per thelogic of this argument, allowing the students to carry guns withouthaving in-depth knowledge about the nature of the problem is not aviable solution for protecting the innocent.
As of the moment, the authorities do not have a comprehensiveunderstating of the nature of violence in schools, gun-crimesincluded. There are many students that carry guns to schools, bothlegally and illegally. According to a study by Miller, Hemenway andWeschler, the students portray different characteristics, which arekey to determining their criminal tendencies (p. 57). The authors saythat most of the students who carry guns to schools havealcohol-related problems. This behavior is itself an indication ofthe probability of them misbehaving with their guns. Therefore,allowing more students to carry guns to schools, on the assumptionthat they are licensed, is not a viable solution, as this would leadto more students with even riskier behaviors being allowed to haveweapons. In the article “Why Our Campuses Are Safer withoutConcealed Guns,” the author argues that introducing more guns oncampus would create additional risk for the students (p. 636). Thesupporting evidence for this article’s argument is that acombination of drugs, alcohol and guns would lead to a dangerous mix,hence making it risky for the students and teachers while at school.Moreover, there are several students with suicide and mental healthproblems, hence allowing them to carry guns to school would only makeit dangerous for their counterparts. As such, lack of a detailedunderstanding of the students’ behaviors and conduct is reasonenough not to allow them to carry guns to school.
Allowingmore firearms into the schools would not make the criminals fear toshoot at the innocent, rather, it would increase the fatalities thatare involved in the school shootings. Instead of protecting theinnocent against the criminals, it would result in the creation of aphenomenon that can be best described as “state-sponsored crime”.Danielle Weatherby, in her article “Opening the ‘Snake-pit’:Arming Teachers in the War against School Violence and theGovernment-Created Risk Doctrine,” walks the reader through theelements of a situation whereby the State creates a risky environmentthrough implementation of gun laws (p.119). According to Weatherby,this approach is taken by schools who find the option cheaper thanhiring more security agents (p. 120). Therefore, the issue ofprotecting the innocent by virtual of instilling fear in thecriminals is not solved by allowing the students and teachers tocarry concealed weapons. In the article “Why Our Campuses Are NotSafer without Concealed Handguns,” the authors, Students forConcealed Carry, make it clear that the criminals will not bedeterred by concealed weapons holders (p. 642-53). Specifically, thedecision to carry out a shooting is determined by far more detailedmotivations, which cannot be stopped by the thought of their beingconcealed weapons. Instead, the shooters will ensure that theyimprove their target taking and brutality, given that at the back oftheir mind, there is a defensive thought. Instead, as Weatherbysuggests, focus should be put on empowering the teachers to take uptheir roles as leaders to instill morals among the students (p.125).Relying on the perception that the shooters will be scared ofconcealed weapons is not a constructive approach to the problem.
Whileit is thought that having guns would make the shooters be morereserved while unleashing terror, past cases show that they aremostly well prepared, both psychologically and technically, by thetime of committing crime. Most of the attackers are not scared by theidea of meeting resistance while committing the crime. In the article“Why Our Campuses Are Safer without Concealed Handguns,” theauthor characterizes the attackers and paints them as murderers whoare out to cause havoc at any cost (p. 636). According to thearticle, “If multiple students drew handguns, just identifying theactual “shooter” or target would be challenging…the potentialfor collateral damage is enormous” (p. 639). This article holds astrong argument that it is unlikely that the shooters will bedeterred by the idea that other students carry licensed guns toschool. They are both psychologically and technically prepared forviolent shoot-outs. Moreover, the idea of having an increased numberof casualties drives their motives. For instance, Michael Kennedy,and 18-year-old student at Fairfax County Police Sully DistrictSchool, came armed with about six guns to school. He hadpsychologically and technically prepared to combat any armed personwho came out to defend the other students. True to his ambition, hemanaged to have a maximum number of casualties as he intendedearlier. As such, it is suggested that the authorities implement lawsthat prohibit and limit the use of guns, especially in public.Michael Lieberman, in “A Loaded Debate: The Right to Keep and BearArms in the Twenty-First Century,” discusses several of suchrelated articles. In a citation of one such article, it is concludedthat “enacting laws providing for an expanded right to self-defensemay prove harmful to the very tribal members for whose protectionsuch laws would be designed” (p.748). As such, while takingmeasures to protect the innocent against the criminals, it isimperative that the consequences of the decisions taken be carefullyconsidered. In this case, the potential impact on the innocent peopleis far more dangerous than the benefits that come with allowingconcealed guns in schools.
Findings of other studies indicate that the students themselves wouldnot be comfortable with the thought that there are people carryingguns around them. Amy Thompson et al., in the article “StudentsPerceptions and Practices Regarding Carrying Concealed Handguns onUniversity Campuses,” conducted an empirical study to determine theperception of gun handling among students (p. 243). According to thefindings of the study, most of the students, represented by 78%, werenot supporting the idea that concealed guns should be allowed oncampus (Thompson et al. 243). These students indicated that theirsense security while at school was worsened by the thought that thereare some students walking around with concealed weapons. Given thisfact, students with criminal intentions would not retaliate fromunleashing terror while aware of the fact that the fear-factor favorsthem. Timothy Wheeler, in the article “There’s A Reasons Why theyChoose Schools,” argues that “school officials typically baseviolence-prevention policies on irrational fears more than real-worldanalysis of what works” (p. 657). Despite the fact that the authorgoes ahead to support the idea of arming the innocent, it is clearfrom his initial assertion that some decisions are ill-advised.Primarily, the problem is brought about by the presence of guns inschools. Therefore, by allowing more, the only probable situation ismaking the environment right for fiercer gun-battles, hence morebloodbath. It is therefore not logical that allowing concealed gunsmakes it hard for the criminals to shoot at the innocent.Fundamentally, it increases the fear among other students, whileinstilling thoughts of more violence among the perpetrators.
Asper the psychological aspect of school shooters, implementing lawsthat allow students to carry guns to school is a wrong approach. Thelogic of the proponents of allowing gun owners to roam around schoolswith concealed weapons is to instill fear among the attackers.However, the attackers are motivated by far-reaching psychologicalfactors. Frank J. Robertz, in the Scientific American Journal, wrotethe article “Deadly Dreams: What Motivates School Shootings?” Inthis article, he cites psychological motivations through elementssuch as violent media (p. 1). The pictures that violent contentcreates in the minds often to-be shooters is mental, and becomes moredetailed as they continue being exposed to it. Given this, theydevelop counter-attack strategies when they are aware that there aresome individuals ready to kill them in self-defense. This thereforenullifies the possibility of the situation being less violent whenthere are killers and concealed gun-holders within the same space.Carolyn Wolf and Jamie Rosen, in the article “ is notthe Cure for What Ails the U.S Mental Health System,” say thatcountering the mental preparedness of the criminals needs morecomprehensive approaches than allowing licensed gun carriers (p.851).Therefore, the psychological aspect of the school shooters makesallowing concealed guns in schools an unsustainable solution forprotecting the innocent.
In conclusion, not allowing having guns in campus does not make thestudents potential victims. At the same time, the notion that havingguns on campus makes shooters hesitate and gives the victims a betterchance at survival is wrong. The essay demonstrates clearly thatallowing more guns in schools is creating a “State–sponsoredterror” environment. Instead of helping to protect the victims fromtheir attackers, allowing more guns motivates the attackers to useeven more violent means, and guarantees them that the bloodbath willbe maximum. As well, there are more complex factors, such as thebehavior and psychology of the perpetrators, which makes the solutionby gun proponents an illogical one. While they are preparing fortheir crimes, and as they unleash their terror, they are often wellprepared psychologically and technically, hence nullifying theeffectiveness of the gun proponents’ solution. Therefore, thispaper maintains that concealed gun holding should not be allowed inschools, and this solution is not effective for improving thesecurity of the innocent victims in American schools.
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