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How Safe Are Our Children?

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Security Guard Companies Aid School Safety

Many schools and colleges are turning to private security guard companies in an attempt to make campuses safer. It’s no wonder when we look at the statistics for school shootings in the United States.

There have been 45 school shootings across the country this year. If we include all cases where a firearm was discharged on a school or university campus, there have been 160 school shootings since 2013. The shooters students are often minors who shouldn’t even have access to guns.

So what is being done to combat this epidemic, and what other steps can we take?

Private Security vs. Local Police
As noted, many institutions now hire security guard companies to help manage campus safety. But you may wonder why local law enforcement is not responsible for this.

In fact, private security and the police have different roles to play.

Security guards on campuses are typically unarmed. This does not mean that they are ineffective. Rather, bringing more guns onto school campuses is not the solution. This could inadvertently promote further gun violence, making children feel as though it’s normal for everyone to have a gun all the time. Instead, security companies offer preventative measures, like metal detectors, patrols, and vigilance. This supporting role allows teachers to be educators without having to manage safety concerns.

With private security keeping an eye on school safety, local police can be called promptly when situations do occur.

Safety Procedures
Each school, college, or university should have an emergency procedure for school shootings. Just as we have evacuation procedures for fires or bomb threats that are practiced regularly, safety protocol for school shootings can help students and staff to remain calm, and follow the safest possible course of action.

Private security and police should also be included in educating students and staff about gun safety, school shootings, and safety protocols.

What About Gun Control?
Every US citizen knows about our second amendment right to bear arms. This is what makes gun control such a controversial issue in our country. It’s becomes more complicated by the fact that each state has its own gun laws. But where are school children getting their guns?

According to Everytown – an initiative for gun safety – two-thirds of school shooters get their guns at home. This implies that at least some responsibility lies with family members who have guns in the home.

Even the NRA – America’s largest gun lobby – recommends storing guns, unloaded, in a lockbox or safe. However, many states have no legislation requiring gun owners to follow these important rules for gun safety. Stronger laws to ensure responsible firearm ownership could help prevent school shootings in future.

Are School Shooters Just Crazy?
The media often focuses on cases like Eliot Rodgers or Dylann Roof, highlighting their mental health issues. But this is not a productive approach to tackling school shootings.

By framing school shooters as deranged lunatics, we forget that many of these shootings occur when children take guns to school – often to look ‘cool’, deal with bullies, or because they simply don’t understand the dangers.

Gun safety begins at home. Talk with children about the gun violence they see in films and television – it’s often glamorized, and children don’t always see the real consequences of guns. Ask them open-ended questions to find out what they do understand about guns.

When it comes to playing with toy guns, encourage target practice, and deter them from pointing the gun at friends, family, or pets. Fostering a healthy respect for firearms – even toys – will help them understand the dangers involved.

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