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School Shootings: An American Trend

Updated on August 10, 2014

School shootings have become an epidemic in America. Americans' no longer fear the "what if?" But now are in fear of the "when?" After every school shooting, there is a sudden urgency to pass stricter gun laws. However, Americans' have seen what little effect these laws have. When there is a will, there is a way. Student's seeking to kill in mass numbers hardly worry about gun laws. There has been very little evidence to show that gun laws have actually prevented any school shootings. Guns don't kill people, people kill people and sometimes they use a gun. The real issue that needs to be addressed is mental health. “Most people who commit mass murder have at least one major mental disorder, specifically some form of delusion, and the symptoms get worse over time. This mental decline has noticeable effects on the person's life, and peers and others who interact with that person know something isn't right.” (Hillshafer 25).

Americans become so wrapped up in trying to change the laws and regulations that we fail to realize the shooter is a troubled individual. Most troubled individual’s show warning signs of a mental illness long before they enter a school with a gun. If parents and school officials knew what to look for, these kinds of tragedies might be prevented. The home of these individuals is where the first initial eye brow should have been raised. However, it is also the responsibility of the school, law enforcement and society as a whole to look for signs and step in when necessary.

US Mass Shootings

What Americans’ are told by the media, law enforcement and “public” record is usually only partly true. For example, The Columbine shooting had nothing to do with bullying, trench coats, or being “Goth”. During the chaos, confusion and extremely poor communication a lot of false reports generated. These “rumors” were never publicly corrected and are still believed by most people even today. Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris were polar opposites, yet both suffered from depression and mental conditions . Both boys received straight A’s, had girlfriends, went to parties. There was no bullying. While Dylan and Eric both killed, they killed for entirely different reasons. Eric killed because he wanted to hurt people.. He wanted to go down in history as killing the most people in a bombing. Eric was in fact a psychopath, while Dylan suffered from manic-depression. Dylan was consumed with sadness and despair which was the motivation behind his role in the Columbine shooting. While both Dylan and Eric suffered from two very different mental conditions and were different as night and day, yet they somehow completed each other.

The number of school shootings is staggering. After each shooting there is always a demand for action and tougher gun laws. Many schools around the country have taken every precaution to help prevent school violence altogether. “An Education Week analysis of school safety measures proposed since the Newtown shootings showed that, while proposals that involve arming teachers or adding armed police at schools are getting national attention, they are gaining ground in only a few states. “ (Shah 15). Schools are supposed to be a safe haven for students, to learn and grow. Students should not have to go to school in fear each day, or give up their education because of fear either. Society cannot blame guns for the violence in our schools. Parents need to wake up and involve themselves in their children's lives. It is a total collaboration of parents, and communities to ensure the safe and healthy upbringing of our children. Our children are our first priority. If we are not able to see the warning signs in our own children, then sadly there is not much hope of ending the senseless cycle of school shooting and violence in our schools.


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