Point/Counterpoint: Shooting prevention

By Mackenzie Meadows

Many Americans have strong opinions on school safety. On Feb. 23 President Donald Trump proposed we arm teachers to combat shootings.

More armed security needed 

Mackenzie Meadows

Principals, deans and other office staff in every elementary, middle and high school in the country should be trained to handle a firearm to protect their students. This is not to say that allowing school officials to carry weapons could end school shootings in their entirety, but this change has the potential to lower death counts if a trained official carried a gun.

Teachers already carry many jobs in the classroom and tacking on another job by arming them with a firearm should be out of the question, however there should be guns in schools that are concealed and carried by office staff.

In Texas, at Callisburg High School, a “Guardian Program” was started where a group of trained firearm professionals are allowed to come in to the school and monitor the halls and classrooms in case of emergencies, according to a Feb. 23 Caller Times article.

The Guardian’s staff go through mass shooting training once a year and also participate in weekly and monthly training at gun ranges, said Steve Clugston, the superintendent of the Callisburg school district in a Feb. 23 CNN article.

Out of the roughly 1,000 schools across Texas, there are 172 that have a policy that allows teachers or administrators to carry a firearm on campus; no shootings have occurred at any of those schools since the program began, according to a Feb. 23 CNN article.

In regard to the Parkland shooting that just took place in Florida, armed officer Scot Peterson remained outside instead of entering the school to face the shooter, according to a Feb. 23, CNN article.

In regard to the Parkland shooting that just took place in Florida, armed officer Scot Peterson remained outside instead of entering the school to face the shooter, according to a Feb. 23, CNN article.

In regard to the Parkland shooting that just took place in Florida, armed officer Scot Peterson remained outside instead of entering the school to face the shooter, according to the Feb. 23, CNN article.

When a trained, armed police officer chooses not to go inside a school where there is an active shooter, there needs to be someone on the inside to protect the students. We can no longer rely on outside help to protect schools, rather the administrators must be able take action if necessary.

President Donald Trump also agrees with the arming of school staff and urges those who are trained to start carrying guns to protect students.

“I want certain highly adept people, people who understand weaponry, guns to have a permit to carry concealed firearms in schools,” said Trump Feb 22, during a Conservative Political Action Conference that followed the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

I am not saying let’s strap every teacher and every administrator with a gun. Whenever civilians hear the word gun they panic, because that word it seems to be paired with death and danger. However, guns can and should be used as a tool to protect the young lives of children trying to get an education.

No matter what gun laws or gun control restriction that would be in place, bad and mentally unstable people can and will still get their hands on guns illegally, it’s just a matter of time.

We as a nation need to stop blaming the weapons and start blaming the people who misuse them. Kids need to start feeling safe again, and the only way for that to happen is for people to start taking action instead of sitting around trying to make the issue of student protection political and do nothing. Sitting around and hoping for change will not create change. It will not create more safety. It will only give horrible people more time to plan more mass killings. Start taking action instead of talking, and start saving America’s children.

Prevention by mental treatment 

Godwin Thomas

Teachers who are working in schools should not be trained to use firearms for the protection of students. No matter what the situation is, we cannot fight violence with violence.

Instead of taking steps to stop shooting incidents when they arise, we should make sure the situation doesn’t arise in the first place by properly treating mental illness among students, which may influence erratic behavior. This is a long-term solution and needs a lot of time to be implemented, so as a temporary measure, more security guards should be present within a certain parameter of high schools.

There is no certainty teachers who are trained to use firearms have complete control over themselves or their firearms.

“The teachers can go crazy as well, so I can’t trust the teachers trained with rifles,” said graduate computer science major Devesh Reddy.

Teachers can also lose control of themselves and act erratically. On Jan. 6, a video of an English teacher yelling and throwing chairs in a classroom became viral at Edison Public School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. The teacher was removed from the school afterward, according to a Jan. 18 official statement from the school’s superintendent, Deborah Gist. If teachers are able to lose their temper, it is in everyone’s best interest if guns aren’t allowed near schools.

Instead of making gun reforms, we need to take into consideration why a student may become a mass shooter. There are common mental health factors and motives that define the mind of a mass shooter, according to Alan J.Lipman, director of the center for the Study of Violence in Washington.

One of the factors that can contribute to a student becoming a shooter may be undiagnosed or untreated depression. But depression alone doesn’t tend to make a person violent. It is depression coupled with a triggering event which has the potential to transform the person into a mass shooter.

Mental disorders effect a large amount of adolescents in the united states, 20 percent of children suffer from a mental, emotional or behavioral condition, according to the 2016 Children’s Health Report published by the Child Mind Association. The government should put more emphasis on schools to treat mental health problems in students. High schools should put more resources into counselling students.