6 Troubling Signs That Gun Violence in Schools Isn’t Going Away

There have been 23 school shootings already this year, according to CNN. That includes three shootings just within the last month, killing 20 and injuring another three. No longer an anomaly, school shootings are an epidemic in the U.S. — and one that puts millions of lives in danger for the simple act of wanting an education.

Unfortunately, there’s no indication that gun rights enthusiasts have any interest in decreasing this easily averted health risk. In fact, it has become clear that the right is more than happy to continue sacrificing children’s lives in exchange for limitless access to guns and ammunition.

Here are five troubling signs that gun violence in schools is here to stay:

1. The Secretary of Education didn’t include guns in her school safety plan.

You’d assume that a newly assembled council on school safety would include some mention of guns. But Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has given a big “nope” to that idea.

According to CNN:

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said Tuesday that looking at the role of guns in school safety was not a focus of the federal school safety commission. “That is not part of the commission’s charge, per se,” DeVos said Tuesday during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing in response to a question from Vermont Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy about whether the commission would look at the role of firearms. DeVos said that the commission’s focus is “school safety and how we can ensure our students are safe at school.”

2. Students are getting bulletproof backpack inserts as middle school graduation gifts.

Nothing says “We’ve given up on trying to keep you from getting shot in high school” quite like giving a group of 8th graders some bullet defectors as a graduation present.

“Nationwide, graduations are an opportunity to reflect and savor accomplishments and to brightly anticipate the future,” The Root reports. “One Catholic school in Chadd’s Ford, Pa., in the spirit of preparing and protecting their graduating students, went a more macabre route: gifting eighth-graders with bulletproof inserts to help keep them safe in the event of a school shooter.”

3. Summer vacation means ”bereavement counseling” programs.

Kids used to look forward to summer as a chance to take a break from school, earn money from a job, relax,or take more classes. Now, it’s a time to stop worrying about getting shot in the classroom, and to deal with an post traumatic stress and grief that might bubble to the surface.

The Chicago Times reports:

Leaders [of the Parkland summer program] also are taking cues from high schools across the country that have gone through mass shootings, noting how summer provided both a challenge and an opportunity to heal.

In Washington state, community groups organized activities and the YMCA gave free memberships to students and staff. In Ohio, the community held dances and group yoga, and the school worked with a college where many graduating seniors were headed to set up a support group.

4. More schools are participating in lockdown drills.

Schools already prepare for other dangers with fire drills and tornado drills. But now even more are practicing their response to potential active shooters. One Wisconsin school district set up role-played mass shooter drills at local elementary schools, complete with school staff participation and first responders like local law enforcement.

5. “See something, say something” has moved into public schools.

In San Diego, students produced a public service announcement asking their peers and other community members to report suspicious acts in or near the school to local police. Of course, multiple students informed law enforcement that the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooter was dangerous before his killing spree — and that did nothing to stop the event from occurring.

6. Gun control activists are being terrorized. Yes, even students.

And in what may be the most alarming sign of all, David Hogg, a Parkland survivor and vocal activist for gun restrictions, was the victim of “swatting“ after anonymous callers claimed someone in his home had been taken hostage. That action is intended to bring active police prepared for a dangerous standoff to a person’s home — a situation ripe for violence and bloodshed. It’s also one of the most extreme measures used to terrorize someone into silence. Hogg was not home at the time, but a local school ended up on lockdown as a result.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W4 months ago

thanks for posting

John w.
John w.7 months ago


Ann B
Ann B10 months ago

and when they posted those little signs in windows in state buildings , schools, and work facilities, did they REALLY think anyone with a gun and violence in mind was going to stop and say"oh my i cant go in here "?????? geeezzz

Chrissie R
Chrissie R10 months ago

Let's not forget the almost non-existent availability of mental health services in many areas and an abysmal lack of parental supervision.

Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini10 months ago

Eric Lees
To use, appropriately, a gun metaphor I'd say you are getting it from both barrels, Karen S and I going at you in our different ways. I'm sorry if you feel isolated, beleaguered and embattled. It would be good, though, if you could see your way to admitting we may have a point. But I wouldn't blame you if at this stage you are maybe tired of the whole discussion? If so, I'll sign off and say thanks for showing me a whole new mind set and opening some interesting questions.

Karen Swenson
Karen Swenson10 months ago

@Erik Lees--all I said is you need a white cane--you said, " take your blinders off--Blind ignorance solves nothing." So Touche. Gun control is just that, not banning or getting rid of every gun. You talk about drugs and what it does to the minds of these shooters--Eric, Guns are a form of a drug and the attachment to them is Religious in Nature. Research indicates that owning a Gun, or even seeing one, does change how people behave. It's called "Weapons Effect," finding that just the presence of firearms in the room make people take more aggressive actions in a study. Another study showed that Gun interaction increased testosterone levels and aggressive behavior in Men. The Human Brain reacts to Guns as if they were Spiders or Snakes. But again, why would anyone listen to the experts--when yahoos with sixty guns strapped to their pickup trucks, know so much more! Just listen to what you are saying--you think owning a gun, or guns, actually make you think you could overtake the Government with Military might--remember Trump threatening to annihilate North Korea with the Best Weapons, or you could shoot down a drug lord and his gang, or any criminal who thinks killing is fun and games. Guns have already altered your mind.

Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini10 months ago

Eric Lees
Are school shootings carried out using guns?

Have the perpetrators managed to get hold of a gun with little or no difficulty?

How many more school shootings will take place while the U.S. sorts out the root causes?

Does it therefore make sense to limit the access to lethal weapons in the meantime?

Answers of one syllable accepted!!! Like 'yes', 'yes', 'many' (sorry, two syllables there) and 'yes'.

Nobody has a problem with good guys and gals having weapons!

Eric Lees
Eric Lees10 months ago

@Karen. What's with the insults, you can do better.

Your logic is highly flawed and not supported by facts. You and Annabel both admit that guns are not the root cause yet insist on focusing on them and not trying to determine what the root causes are and how they can be addressed.

Once again it does not matter how many guns a person has. No amount of guns is going to make someone carry out such a horrible assault on innocent people.

We arm good guys and gals with guns for a reason. It's not the guns but whom has them that is the issue. As long as criminals and the government has them then it is vital for our Freedom that good guys and gals also have them.

Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini10 months ago

Eric Lees
Can we get back on topic? The first sentence of this article reads 'There have been 23 school shootings already this year'. Are you claiming that all 23 perpetrators were suffering from extremely rare side effects of anti-depressants?

OK, Eric, take pot shots at the drone that comes to obliterate you if it makes you feel heroic.

As Karen S says, there's little point in trying to get through to you but I'm making one last attempt as follows:
a) I am NOT saying guns are the root cause of school shootings but they ARE the instruments used to carry them out;
b) I am NOT adovating a total ban on gun possession (I would be crazy) only tighter laws on who can buy what and how weapons must be stored in the home:
c) I AM saying that without easy access to guns these troubled youngsters would not, could not, have carried out school shootings.
Anything wrong with my logic?

I am extremely grateful that I live in a country where it's NOT possessing guns that makes us feel free and safe.