Why School Shooter Drills Are Terrifying Nonsense

You live in America: gun violence absolutely and without qualification is “an unavoidable natural occurrence instead of a problem [you] can address.”

Everywhere else in the English speaking world do you know how many incidents like Sandy Hook it takes to radically change everything? One. That’s right, one. There have been dozens of episodes in the USA since Aramoana or the Port Arthur. Dozens. And every year the amount of change that the episodes produces lessens.

Sure, New Zealand and Australia are quite different to the US. They have much more modern state apparatus. They have more modern electoral systems. They haven’t got a clause in their constitutions about guns. Or even one that you can read as being about guns. Nor do they make thrice daily sacrifices to their constitutions… even if Australia’s is actually really difficult to change (just like yours… NZ’s is literally the easiest constitution in the world to change). But these differences are actually my point.

In the US there is no reason to ever expect anything is going to change about gun violence. From top to bottom your institutions are set up wrong. Hell, when records of guns do exist the only way to find them is by hand. It is literally easier for American government to set up a satellite dedicated to spying on your house than it is for them to find a gun they have a record of. That’s perverse. And it’s compounded by incentive issues relating to how elections at local, state and national levels happen. It’s compounded by the complete indifference to the issue. You know, I can’t name a single well-known film about school-shootings in the USA.¹ You just don’t want to talk about them at any level in any context.

I would say that having drills for gun violence, no matter the unlikelihood, is important. You’re not going to somehow find some way of changing minds. In fact, raising a generation of children terrified of gun violence might be the only way of actually inducing change. At least it’ll challenge some of the other ideas out there that act as a barrier to change. And if it turns out it doesn’t really do much… at least the kiddies have a slightly better idea of what to do if the a school shooting happens at their school. After all, once you’re in an active shooter scenario, your chance of being killed is a heck of a lot higher than 1 in 17 million.

¹ It was pointed out that Bowling For Columbine is an important film. I did mean non-documentaries though because I don’t usually call documentaries anything other than documentary (or doco).

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