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Mass Shootings at Schools

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There have been 348 fatalities caused by shootings in schools between 1992 and 2010. Most people don’t realize that gun violence is so common; especially in schools. Mass shooting in schools can happen because of many reasons. If a student at the school is the shooter, he or she may be angry at other kids because they are being bullied by them. They could also be mad at some teachers or deans for not helping them when they needed help. There are many reasons why a student would want to shoot up a school but sometimes, they have no reason at all to why they are doing it. They may just feel like shooting up a school. A big problem is students have access to weapons in their homes. If they didn’t have access to these weapons in their home, students would have a much harder time accessing the weapons needed to commit mass shootings in schools. There would also be a decrease in the frequency of mass shootings in schools if there was better security at schools. Mass shootings in schools have a big impact on individuals, especially the ones that are involved in the shootings. Students may never go back to school because they are traumatized, they can get PTSD, and they can lash out in different ways. If we don’t stop mass shootings in schools more people will die and schools will never be a safe place for children to go. Mass shootings in schools is at an all-time high. Events like this are detrimental to everyone involved mentally, emotionally, and physically. Although some are concerned about their gun rights being in jeopardy, to eliminate or at least decrease the frequency of mass shootings we must have better gun control laws and better security in schools.

Mass shootings in schools is an incident involving multiple victims of gun violence in school. Typically, four or more victims. Mass shootings in schools can take place at different types of schools. According to Every Town Research, between the years 2013-2015 every town identified 160 school’s shootings across 38 states. Nearly 53% of school shooting took place at K-12 schools and 47% of school shootings took place at a college or university. The first mass shooting in a school was on July 26, 1764. It is known as the “Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre” (K12academics). Four American Indian men entered a school house near Greencastle, Pennsylvania. In the school was a teacher named Enoch Brown and young students. They shot and scalped Enoch Brown and eleven children. Ten people were killed and only two children survived this attack. On May 6, 1940 Verlin H. Spencer shot and killed 5 faculty members at South Pasadena Junior High School because he was dismissed for having conflicts with other staff members. He accidently wounded himself with his gun. He survived his wounds and was sentenced to five consecutive life terms. He was released in 1977. On August 1, 1966 at the University of Texas, 25-year-old Charles Whitman killed seventeen people and wounded thirty-one during a shooting rampage that lasted 96 minutes. Earlier he murdered his wife and mother at their homes. It was one of the deadliest shooting on a U.S. college campus. On March 24, 1998 at Western Middle School, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden killed a teacher, four students, and wounded 10 others. It happened while everyone was evacuating school because of a fire alarm that was pulled by Andrew Golden. On April 20, 1999 at Columbine High School, Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 12 students, one teacher, and wounded 21 others. The shooters then committed suicide. On April 16, 2007 at Virginia Tech, Seung-Hui Cho killed thirty-two students and faculty members and wounded another seventeens students and faculty members before committing suicide. This is the deadliest shooting on a U.S. college campus. On December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary school, 20-year-old Adam Lanza killed 20 children and six adult faculty members. Before going to Sandy Hook, he shot and killed his mother. He later committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. A more recent mass shooting took place on October 1, 2015 at Umpqua Community College. Christopher Harper-Mercer opened fire in a hallway killing eight students, one teacher, and wounded nine others. He then committed suicide (K12academics). Even though there were many more mass shootings in different schools, these are the ones that had mass casualties. Mostly every shooter I mentioned wouldn’t have been able to shoot up a school if they didn’t have access to guns and there was better security at these schools. If there were metal detectors to get into school, they wouldn’t have gotten into the school because their guns would make the metal detector go off. There are so many ways to prevent a mass shooting in school and yet no one is doing anything to stop it. Mass shootings in schools are so controversial because children and faculty members are being killed. Everybody in the building at the time of the shooting is tremendously affected. Some children may never want to go to back to their school because they are traumatized. Also, the children and faculty member’s families are affected by these mass shootings that are taken place in schools because they’re losing their loved ones. People’s lives are altered so drastically by a mass shooting. Back in the 1700s mass shootings in schools were not as deadly as they are now. At Virginia Tech in 2007 thirty-two people died and in 1764 at Pontiac’s Rebellion school massacre ten people died. This is a big difference in the amount of people being killed in mass shootings in schools. Mass shootings are also occurring more frequently and something needs to be done before other people are hurt.

Many people who have been in a mass shooting in school develops some mental health problems. A big mental health problem children and faculty members go through after a school shooting is post shooting PTSD. PTSD is the development of characteristic symptoms following exposure to a traumatic event that arouses "intense fear, helplessness, or horror," or in children, "disorganized or agitated behavior" (American Psychiatric Association 428). According to the National Center for PTSD 10% to 36% of people that has witnessed a mass shooting has PTSD. The National Center for PTSD did a study at different schools that had a mass shooting occur. They sent out surveys and interviewed people involved in the mass shootings. A lot of people admitted to having PTSD, very few said they had no symptoms. PTSD is very common after mass shootings in school because the people involved in mass shootings witness a traumatic event. Another mental problem students and faculty members go through after a school shooting is depression. Depression is collection of psychological symptoms including sadness; unhappy thoughts characterized by worry, poor self-image, self-blame, guilt and low self-confidence; downbeat views on the future; and a feeling of hopelessness (Black’s Medical Dictionary). Depression can lead to suicide and many never go away. Some people see their friends and people they know get shot and killed right in front of them. People involved in mass shootings in schools become depressed because there traumatized and went through a traumatic event. The study the National Center of PTSD also shows that some people that were in the building at the time the shooting occurred later developed depression. There are many different mental health problems that can happen to children and faculty members after a mass school shooting. The study of National Center of PTSD also says they can have anxiety and dissociation. School shootings cause major mental health problems to people that are involved in school shootings. We need to eliminate or decrease the frequency mass shootings in schools so people don’t get these mental health problems.



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