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Here's How School Shootings Can Be Stopped

Updated on February 22, 2018
Leland Johnson profile image

Leland is a student of history, religion, politics, and current events. He wishes to respectfully engage readers on those focus points.

Is There Common Ground To Be Found Between Political Parties?

The short answer is yes. Yes there is common ground but it will take us a moment to get there. Lets begin.

Whenever gun violence is reported in our society both political parties rush, not to the defense of current and future victims, but to the defense of their own partisan positions. In the spirit of truth I want to begin this article by informing readers that my political views are conservative. I read articles where writers try to appear to be politically neutral while in reality they are either left or right leaning. I am right leaning. I hope that in revealing my political preference I am not alienating readers with left wing political beliefs. I want everyone to read and assess the points I attempt to make in this article for one specific purpose, and that purpose hinges on a personal belief I have regarding the issue being discussed in this forum. I believe that regardless of our political associations, Democrat or Republican, Conservative or Liberal, even Socialist or Capitalist, no reasonable American wants to continue seeing classrooms attacked by psychotics with automatic weapons, or any weapon for that matter. However, and please hear me on this point, to engage in discussions with friends and co-workers you would never know that people on opposite political sides actually do agree on this issue. Conversations about this emotionally charged issue almost always descend into accusation and name calling. The day after the Parkland Florida Shooting took place a colleague said to me, "17 kids are dead but at least fundamentalist Christians get to keep their damn guns." How do you respond to that? "Well if you liberal crazies would allow teachers to carry a gun then the gunman could've been stopped by the teacher!" And so the conversation goes. My observation, I think of it more as an epiphany, is that once the conversation goes there, once I retaliate against the one who insulted me or blamed me, then the focal point automatically shifts from "what can we do to keep our kids safe?" to "how can I make myself look smarter than the person who just insulted me?" At that point there is truly no hope of moving the conversation forward. Pundits, politicians, news anchors, and in fact most people in general have been regurgitating the same arguments for 20 years. "Stronger firearm laws! Gun control! More money for mental health!" The fact is these are all peripheral issues that have nothing to do with protecting our kids.

This issue came to a head under the Clinton administration. There had been a 2 year rash of school shootings culminating in the grizzly Columbine massacre on April 20th (Hitler's birthday) 1999. 20 years have passed and all that has been happening is an escalation in gun violence in our schools. This is unacceptable and it is time for the citizens of our communities, indeed of this whole country, to hold our politicians accountable and to demand real measures to be taken that will protect our children. There is a truly bi-partisan answer. I've been researching the issue and have found logical reasoning and historical evidence to make the case. At this time I would like to lay it out for your consideration point by point, step by step.

Cafeteria Security Camera At Colombine Highschool Captures Harris And Klebold 12 Minutes Prior To Thier Suicides.

Eric Harris (White T-Shirt) Dylan Klebold (Black T-Shirt)
Eric Harris (White T-Shirt) Dylan Klebold (Black T-Shirt)

Point #1

1. Discussions drifting into putting more funding into mental health, gun control, establishing grief counselors as President Clinton mentions in the video below, are all irrelevant. Focusing on the idea of stricter gun laws- if a law were enacted tomorrow completely forbidding the sale of any kind of gun, assault rifles, hand guns, shot guns, et al- it simply would not matter. The genie is out of the bottle. The FBI estimates that there are some 200 million privately owned firearms in the U.S. Those guns are out there and there is no way to round them up. Are we talking about gun restriction or gun confiscation? This simply will not happen. The state trying to disarm this nation would result in a civil war. Again, politicians have been talking about this for years with no progress whatsoever. It will not happen and even if it did, more life would be lost in the ensuing citizen resistance than in all the gun violence in the country. This is simply not viable, not realistic. The whole discussion is a distraction that wastes valuable time and resources that could instead be used for the one measure that truly would make an impact, a measure we will come to shortly.

President Clinton's Remarks Regarding Columbine Shooting- 1999. On Multiple Occasions Reporters Ask What The Government Can Do To Protect Students Moving Forwa

Point #2

As I said earlier, conservatives and liberals actually agree on this issue. Neither wants to see children harmed and both want to see SOMETHING done to curtail if not outright end school violence. This truth is lost when accusations fly and name calling replaces legitimate discussion. Both groups need to accept the fact that they BOTH care about the well being of our nation's children. Having said that, it is my opinion that there is one important group that does not care as it ought. That group will be named in point #3.


The group that does not care. I dread sounding like a radical conspiracy theorist, but I really believe that our politicians either do not care or that they do not care enough. I don't want to be divisive by hurling verbal firebombs, I know that is a drastic statement, but consider the facts. This has been going on for 20 plus years with no progress. I believe democrat politicians use these tragedies as a vehicle for promoting gun control bills in order to please their constituents all the while knowing gun control measures will do nothing to stop gun violence. I also believe republicans like to use the issue to further their careers by pleasing their constituents as well. These tragedies give them the perfect platform to give lip service to their dedication to the 2nd amendment and Americans rights to bear arms. Neither side makes progress in regard to protecting our children! How can both sides say they care yet do nothing to improve the situation for 20 years? They are either stupid, ignorant, or not interested. I opt to believe the third option. See why in point #4.

But First, Two Questions For The Reader:

When was the last time you heard about a senator or member of congress losing a child to a school shooting? Is it never? Yes, never. Know why that is? It's because they send their children to private schools with armed body guards and the schools themselves have armed security.

When was the last time you heard about a crazed or mentally ill gunman attacking a police station? Is it never? Yes, never. The reason is that so called mentally ill gunman aren't stupid. They attack soft targets. They attack "gun free zones" because they know they will meet no resistance. I think that neither you or I are naïve enough to believe that our government officials aren't privy to that information. Our government knows exactly what it would take to all but halt gun violence and not only won't they do it, they won't even talk about it. We have an example, a model that we could copy and see the same results- a school system where gun violence is all but obsolete. That example is discussed in point #4.

Point #4

Israel suffered the Ma'alot Massacre in 1974 wherein 22 children were slain by Palestinian terrorists. Israeli's have a penchant for a "never again" mentality. They quickly created and implemented government actions directed at establishing safe schools. Practically over night 1 armed guard was installed for every 100 children and have seen solid results ever since. Gunmen simply do not attack places where they know they will meet resistance. This is a matter of history and of fact. Why couldn't our government enact similar protocols immediately under the auspices of a national security issue? They could. The issue of whether or not citizens should be allowed to carry guns can be kicked down the road and discussed later. It's BEEN discussed for 2 decades, isn't it time for our politicians to stop discussing and actually DO something?

In Summation

I am sympathetic to those among us who raise the valid point: "Do we want our children growing up in a policed environment where armed guards patrol the schools? Do we want them in a war zone?" I have heard these questions and I think there are reasonable answers. Have you ever been to a concert, amusement park, or professional sporting event? If you have you've seen armed security. Does it make you feel in danger? Of course not. We feel safer when we see armed, trained professionals present for our protection.

The only thing worse than being in a war zone is being in one and not realizing it. This is where we are today. Our children are at risk and we need to protect them. Liberals and conservative agree on this. It's the politicians that need to get their act together.

We need to do what works. We need to have armed professionals guarding our schools. Here's what you can do to get the ball rolling.

1. Call your local school and inquire about what security measures they have in place.

2. Volunteer. Most schools have parents, clergy, and police officers that come in to greet students and keep an eye on things during busy morning hours.

3. Call your elected officials and tell them that as a concerned citizen it is your expectation that they will support immediate legislation granting funding for armed guards to protect our schools. Be nice, not critical like I've been in this article. I'm much more diplomatic when I deal with these people. They won't read this article anyway. I realize we get more with honey than we do with flies.


President Reagan Survived An Assassination Attempt And Still Defended Americans 2nd Amendment Rights.
President Reagan Survived An Assassination Attempt And Still Defended Americans 2nd Amendment Rights.

Hipocrisy Of Anti-Gun Politician

Controlling Guns

I know the above photo of Clint Eastwood is just a meme, but I think it is a fitting way to conclude this hub. Thank you for reading. I hope we can all work together by putting pressure on our elected officials to do what is needed for the protection of our students in the classroom. The Israeli's have figured this one out. Surely they don't love their children anymore than we Americans do. Lets prove it by doing everything we can to get our schools guarded and protected.


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    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      11 months ago from Midland MI


      thank you for reading and for leaving such insightful comments and thoughts. You may have just heard about the shooter that opened fire in a Texas church and was gunned down by parish members in literally 6 seconds! Two innocents were killed, and four wounded, but imagine the carnage had the shooter not been stopped by gun carrying citizens!

      Thanks again,


    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      11 months ago from Midland MI


      I'm not sure either, but it rings true to my ear!

    • KC3Lady profile image

      Kelly Ann Christensen 

      11 months ago from Overland Park, Johnson County, Kansas

      I'm uncertain who said it, but recall the quote that the only way a free society willingly gives up its rights is out of fear.

    • profile image 

      11 months ago

      What an interesting fact that I did not know, but I am not particularly surprised by, that the Columbine shootings were on Hitler's birthday. I think we would do well to keep the lessons learned from the experience of enduring Hilter in mind today.

      There is distinctly an agenda regarding "those damn guns." It is so consistent on the news that it has begun to sound like propaganda. There are damn good reasons why the right to bear arms is a basic fundamental right. I hate to say it, but does the police presence in the schools appear to be effectively protecting our children?

      I don't think these shootings are random or that people are just "freaking out" more today than they ever have before. As horrific as it is, I think these events are being orchestrated.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      Wow! You actually lived there! That must've been a horrendous time. Thanks so much for reading and for your insightful comments.

    • Annkf profile image

      Betty A F 

      2 years ago from Florida

      Very good article,

      I actually lived in Colorado when the Columbine incident took place. My children were very young at the time, but it left me, (and I'm sure many others) with a concern about sending them to a public school.

      You made some very good points. I hadn't considered that politicians send their children to private schools that are protected by armed guards.

      I've always said that politicians should be subject to the same policies that we, the people are subject to. From school safety to medical insurance. It seems to me that if they were, we would have far better laws, protections, and healthcare. While our insurance premiums sky rocketed, politicians received generous healthcare benefits. Legislators receive free healthcare, and other politicians have very low premiums.

      There does have to be some reform, as those in office represent us seem more set on representing themselves.

      I look forward to reading more of your articles. This was very informative, and now I'm researching to see what laws are in place to keep politicians in check. I think term limits would be a good start.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      Ruth- thank you for commenting and sharing your concerns. I think we all agree that what we want and need is to get to "Safeburg." We're just not able to agree on how to get there. I'll take a look at the safest school in America.

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      Ruth Coffee 

      2 years ago from Zionsville, Indiana

      We probably don't agree on some things but we do agree on others, as you said. Doing nothing is ridiculous; we all need to push for answers. I believe this isn't an either-or kind of situation. Some reasonable gun control, addressing mental health issues, and improving security in vulnerable areas are all reasonable measures in my eyes. Few complex problems have single answer solutions. If I chose the safe environment of my choice I probably wouldn't identify Israel (nothing against Israelies at all) it just doesn't seem to be the quality of life I prefer. But the point does make sense. I saw a piece on NBC about "the safest school in America" and it seems more "fool proof" than arming teachers or having a lot of armed guards in schools. (You can Google that if you're interested) Not cheap of course. Anyway, thanks for your point of view.

    • Jessie L Watson profile image

      Jessie Watson 

      2 years ago from Wenatchee Washington

      "Have you heard this incident described as evil? I haven't and I think it's because people are afraid to just come out and say it"

      Amen, brother. What's even more disturbing is the fact that this particular brand of evil has become infectious.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      By sympathizers I mean those who feel the need to delve into the personal lives of the shooter. It is a subtle overture, but the fact that we know that the Parkland shooter was adopted, parents were deceased, had mental health problems, etc, suggests, at least to me, that the attention that should be directed at the heinous nature of the act is re-routed to the sad life of the shooter. There were no such sentiments regarding UT shooter Charles Whitman in 1966, who was found later to be truly disturbed. I wouldn't try to discount the need for mental health considerations, but at the same time there is such a thing as evil in the world and these actions are evil. Have you heard this incident described as evil? I haven't and I think it's because people are afraid to just come out and say it. I don't think now is the time for me to sound that trumpet either, maybe another time, but that's because right now my focus is on getting our kids protected, our schools more patrolled, etc. I have a very liberal friend who would focus on the role preventative mental health could play in stopping future violent incidents, but even she agrees that until that time comes, if and when we're all on the same page regarding mental health, we can-right now- step up security in our schools and stop future incidents that way.

    • Jessie L Watson profile image

      Jessie Watson 

      2 years ago from Wenatchee Washington

      Well if people can't control their own impulses or emotions then they will try to control other peoples behavior. The extreme end of that stick happens to be something like a "final solution". We begin to see how malevolence always starts out as small festering resentments. It's the story of cain and abel.

      I have yet to see any sympathizers for the shooters but their name will certainly go down in the record books. Their story will carry on for nearly a century, at the very least. Sometimes we can find answers to why people do certain things by looking at the outcome, which happens to be that it's all everyone's talking about. It's an impactful contribution to the bigger picture albeit a dark and foreboding one.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      yes, you know I was just reading some of the journal contents from Harris and Klebold before they shot up Columbine. It was very self oriented "pity party" monologue. "You didn't invite me to the party because I'm weird looking- you're all going to pay and we don't care because we'll be dead..." Since when does being rejected by SOME classmates warrant killing over a dozen that didn't even know them??? I feel a little cliche' using the term "snowflake" but i think it captures this weakness of character, this inability of young people to cope with what you and I would consider normal hurdles in life. Rejection, failure, disappointment. It comes to us all. We have to handle it. I also agree that there is a certain romanticizing that is going on with the type of attention and sympathy the shooters receive. If these acts were consistently described as heinous acts of terror and cowardice copycats might be more reluctant to emulate.

    • Jessie L Watson profile image

      Jessie Watson 

      2 years ago from Wenatchee Washington

      I got derailed after "Part of the solution is also not giving these shooters such notoriety.". I meant to follow up with the fact that these shooters likely believe they're carving out a legacy for themselves in response to a life of nothing but failure. Be it personal failures, social failures, emotional failures. Only weak people act this way.

    • Leland Johnson profile imageAUTHOR

      Leland Johnson 

      2 years ago from Midland MI

      Great insights Jesse and thanks for sharing. I agree that getting to the bottom of all the issues you mentioned is extremely important. It sounds like we agree that until that time comes for now we can all come together and stop the common enemy- the shooters. Thanks again.

    • Jessie L Watson profile image

      Jessie Watson 

      2 years ago from Wenatchee Washington

      You're right. Politicians only use these tragedies as a tool for furthering their political capital as do most people on social media. It's patently self-centered. I abandoned social media a long time ago but I would imagine Facebookers are floundering with the same, run-of-the-mill gun control arguments as we speak. So, good on you for coming to a platform like this and attempting to formulate a civilized, coherent argument even if many of these points have been argued to death, decade after decade.

      I, too, am conservative but only by default since the authoritarian "social justice" tribe entered the arena because my natural temperament is classic liberal or libertarian.

      Part of the solution is also not giving these shooters such notoriety. I would wager that most of these troubled individuals are bereft of any value system whatsoever and the number of those who feel that way in this country is growing rapidly. These shootings are likely a symptom of a much wider problem of Americans hating each other. I don't think that's an oversimplification either. We should be asking ourselves why we have our hands around our neighbor's neck. People act like the political polarization, general loss of perspective and shootings are somehow separate from one another.


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