Arm the Schools
2 March 2017
Gun Violence is becoming one of the leading causes of death around the nation, and becoming a critical debate amongst the nation’s leaders. According to the Commercial Appeal’s Homicide Tracker in 2017, there has already been 24 murders committed with guns in Memphis alone. In 2016, gun violence claimed more than 180 people in Memphis. Of the 228 homicides in Memphis during 2016, 81% of the acts were committed with guns. Gun violence in America is reaching a high point, and people in the streets are not the only ones that have to worry about these problems now. School shootings are also becoming a habitual thing in the United States. People breaking into schools, students bringing guns to schools, and faculty snapping have led to mass school shootings in the past couple of years. However, these shootings can be easily avoided if the right precautions are taken. The amount of security on elementary school campuses should be increased because it will keep students safer, it is less dangerous than arming teachers, and it has proven to work in the past.
The tragedies of Newtown, Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary, Oikos University, and other schools and universities have paved the way for the topic of security in schools. With the rise in school and mass shootings in the United States, it is necessary to remember the safety of the kids is of the highest priority. Wayne LaPierre, the executive Vice President and CEO of the National Rifle Association, said in his speech, “What Should America Do about Gun Violence?”, “There is nothing more precious than our children. We have no more sacred duty than to protect our children and keep them safe”(501). The safety of the younger generation is the highest priority, and it can be best done by protecting the kids in school. LaPierre than goes on to say, “That’s why we asked former Congressman and Under-secretary of Homeland Security, Asa Hutchinson, to bring in every expert available to develop a model School Shield Program — one that can be individually tailored to make our schools as safe as possible”(501). With a program like the one described by LaPierre, students will continue to stay safe while at school, if not become even safer.
As previously mentioned the protection of students in school is the priority. However, that protection should be given by someone who is trained to do just that. The subject of firearm safety and knowledge is then brought into question when deciding who should be protecting these students. With other possibilities, such as: arming strangers off the streets, arming teachers, and arming other faculty members, the problems in doing so should be properly addressed. The lack of training these people have can hurt the safety of the students they look after. Again LaPierre states, “ The NRA has over 80,000 certified instructors who teach our military personnel, law enforcement officers, and hundreds of thousands of other American men and women how to safely use firearms” (501). It is not likely that one of these faculty members or strangers have received the same training from an NRA instructor like any of the law enforcement officers have. These officers know what they are doing with a gun, the faculty does not.
“If it ain’t broke don’t fix it” — Bert Lance
As shown in the quote above, one of the key concepts in life is, “ If it ain’t broke don’t fix it”, and that flows right along with the policy of having security in schools. Coming back to the main argument, security in schools keep students safe. It has proven to work time and time again. In “What Should America Do about Gun Violence?” LaPierre states, “It’s time to throw an immediate blanket of security around our children. About a third of our schools have armed security already — because it works” (501). Armed security in schools has proven to work; it has made schools safer and prevented events like the shooting in Newtown, Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech. Looking at figure X alone, it is clear that there are plenty of ways to update schools to help prevent the tragedies of school shootings. The video shows multiple tests of a small device called a Nightlock preventing the officer from breaking into the classroom. Adding more armed security to schools can do nothing but improve upon the current situation, helping prevent more school shootings and keeping students safe.
Now, there are many people who will disagree with adding more security to schools. Many believe that the addition of more armed security in schools will make the students feel uneasy or that they are being kept in, like prisoners. Others will say that the schools in Newtown or Sandy Hook had security and shootings still happened there. This is true though, both schools likely had security and those shootings did happen, and some students might feel weary or trapped if more security is added. However, adding more security can help prevent these shootings. LaPierre states, “Americans who support what works … the immediate protection for all — not just some — of our school children” (502). Increasing the armed security will help protect the students of any and all schools. Additional armed security works, and will keep these students safer.
All of this goes without saying that the increase of armed security on campuses will work because it keeps students safer, it is less dangerous than arming teachers, and it has been proven to work in the past. Keeping students safe is the main priority, and by increasing the armed security in schools, it becomes more unlikely that incidents like the shootings in Newton and Sandy Hook will never happen again. Parents and students cannot expect teachers and other members of the faculty to carry firearms and know how to safely use them, which can even put these students in more danger. School systems need to stick with what works, and that is the protection of student s through armed security. The prevention of incidents like the shootings in Newtown, Sandy Hook, and Virginia Tech can be achieved through the increase of armed security on school campuses. They are here to protect the children, and everyone wants their child safe.
— Works Cited —
LaPierre, Waynee. “What Should America Do about Gun Violence?”. Elements of Arguement: A Text and Reader . 11th ed. Annette T. Rosenberg and Donna Haisty WInchell. Boston: Bedford, 2015. 501–02. Print
Appeal, The Commercial. “Memphis Homicide Tracker — The Commercial Appeal.” Memphis Homicide Tracker — The Commercial Appeal. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.
Evon, Dan. “Ten Deadliest School Massacres In United States History.” The Inquisitr News. The Inquisitr News, 16 Dec. 2012. Web. 02 Mar. 2017
“Posts about Gun Fire on Sean Gallo Designs.” Sean Gallo Designs. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.
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Nightlockdoorlock. “Police Officer Testing Nightlock Lockdown Door Barricade for Classroom Doors.” YouTube. YouTube, 15 June 2014. Web. 02 Mar. 2017.