The normalization of school violence has ruined the nation


Police outside the Nashville school

As we begin the fourth month of 2023, we are entering yet another month of preparation and risk for school violence. According to the Washington Post Database there have been 17 school shootings, 39 incidents of gun fire on school premises and 18 deaths in the U.S. 

As we begin the fourth month of 2023, we are entering yet another month of preparation and risk for school violence

The most recent school shooting in the U.S was the Nashville Presbyterian private school shooting. The shooter was identified with the name Audrey Hale and later after the shooting was conducted, it was found that they had planned it for months and their manifesto was found.(CNN) Three students and three teachers were killed in this brutal attack. Audrey Hale was reported by local police to have had emotional disorders and distress. Hale had purchased seven firearms and conducted a thorough plan to enter this school and shoot at random. 

Though this act of violence has been reported by several news sources, not a lot has been said about the personal lives of the individuals involved and affected. So many young lives have been affected, lives have been taken away and the lives taken have been justified; saying Hale’s action at the school was an act of oppression. 

After the horrific aftermath of school shootings it is common for the perpetrator to be harassed but there is also the question, “why did they do it?”. According to The American Psychological Association, the answer is unclear but they say there is extreme pain within the mind of the shooter and oftentimes characteristics of school shooters are; Narcissism, sadism and they can experience hallucinations and delusions. 

School violence has been normalized and students are now expected to understand and cope with the risk of attending school. As a student you are expected to participate in lockdown drills and you are given speeches on what to do if you suspect evidence of a shooter. Schools have been modified to ensure protection from the outside world but what is there to protect students from within. 

The motives of the perpetrators are being accepted and nothing is being done to stop them from purchasing weapons and conducting plans to go through with the shooting. This isn’t a new issue; although in recent years gun violence has significantly increased. According to BBC News, in the last three years there have been more than 600 mass shootings, almost two a day on average.

A court case that is brought up often regarding gun reform is, “United States V. Lopez, 1995”. This supreme court ruled that congress had exceeded its constitutional authority under the commerce clause. Which means that weapons are in fact allowed on school zones if they are kept concealed. Though those who bring guns are campuses have a high possibility of using it for destruction rather good. Especially when guns should be used as “protection” rather than a device for taking young innocent lives. 

There have been mass shootings across the nation and there have been many gun violence scares here in the state of Montana. In late January a suspect that remains unidentified was taken into custody for planning to conduct a shooting at Sleeping Giant Middle school. Through an investigation by local police, it was found that the suspect had told their classmates that they had an AK-47 Rifle. Along with the investigation they found that the student had told their classmates that “Her plan was to target the SGMS front office and administrative staff first so they couldn’t call for help right away”. (Livingston Enterprise News)

The major concern regarding this Montana case is that minors are able to be in possession of firearms. Not just hunting firearms but AK-47’s  which are weapons used to kill humans in war. There is no need for assault weapons to be accessible for anyone to buy. Here in Montana residents are able to purchase firearms and all they have to show for identification and proof of residency is a license along with a background check. 

Two weeks ago, all of the MCPS schools and other school districts were put on soft and strict lockdowns. This was due to an incident at Hellgate High School where a student had posted threats online. These threats scared many of the staff and students of the school and the photos that were shared on the internet appeared to have a realistic firearm. After that the student had posted other images showing that they were outside of school and they had a clear plan of what they wanted to do. Shortly after the threats were shared, HHS entered a strict lockdown which lasted a few hours. Students had to stay in their classrooms in full preparation for an active shooter. Local Police and SWAT rushed to the school as soon as threats were made and shortly after surrounding schools went on soft lockdowns. 

Allowing firearms in school zones is not a risk the United States should allow anymore. Though schools have done their best to keep their students safe, the federal government allowing assault rifles to be purchased for one’s joy is not promoting safety in schools. The Education Law in the U.S requires students to attend school till the age of 16 but, it’s hard for many families and students to justify school when schools are in danger. A frequently made comparison is the similarities of risks being in a car and going to school; car accidents are a leading cause of death in the U.S and every time you get into a car you are putting yourself in danger which is similar to students attending school on a day to day basis. Students know that they have to attend school, even with the risk of an active shooter entering at any moment. 

In order to stop violence in the future, action has to be made now to stop the normalization of gun violence in schools.