2020 saw an increase in gun purchases. Subsequently, the number of shooting incidents rose by sixty-four percent. Recent data findings show at least fifty casualties from gun shootings this year alone.
School shooting incidents in the United States are increasing exponentially, as witnessed by increased casualties and deaths from these incidents. School shootings are not new, as the earliest recorded incident was in Pontiac’s rebellion that resulted in the death of the headmaster and nine students on July 26, 1764. To date, over two thousand school shooting incidents have left over 2620 students scarred or victims of mass shootings. However, there are several ways of decreasing these incidences or curtailing their impact. This can be achieved through security enhanced doors, motion detectors, and implementing lockdown features in schools to deter intruders from causing more damage.
Increased School Shootings in the United States
As of 2017, firearms overtook death by road accidents to be the leading cause of death by persons of age twenty-four and below. The trend is worrying, considering that most of these shootings are orchestrated by students affiliated with these schools. However, more has to be said about the poor storage of these firearms, enabling easy access by school-going children. In 2021 there were a total of 249 school shootings reported in the United States. Of these, at least twenty seven students were killed by firearms. These estimates pale in comparison to the annual deaths caused by gunshots. 2022 has seen an upsurge in incidences involving gunshots to levels only witnessed in the pre-COVID era. This can be attributable to an increase in individual gun purchases. According to research, in 2020 alone, Americans had an estimated purchase of at least twenty-two million guns. This was increased by forty percent when compared to 2019. 2022 has been no better, with at least 50 incidences recorded as of June 2022. The increase in school shootings is worrying; the 2020-2021 school calendar witnessed over ninety school shootings. This was an exponential increase compared to 2019, when only 23 reported cases were reported. Out of these, forty-three incidences ended up with at least an individual being reported to have died, while the remaining fifty incidences only recorded injuries. This calls for more stringent measures to improve the safety of kids in schools. Some of these incidences can be attributed to the deteriorating relationship between teachers and students.
Mass Shootings and Active Shooters
Recent years have seen a spike in the number of mass shootings. This year has experienced at least three hundred mass shooting incidences. This is an increase from their average since data started to be considered. The Washington post noted that on average, since 2014, the number of mass shootings topped at a round four hundred, but 2020 saw the number rise to six hundred and eleven incidences, whereas 2021 saw the number rise again to seven hundred. Based on the current trend, this figure will more than quadruple by the end of the year.
2021 saw an increase of fifty percent of active shooter incidences from 2020, an increase that averages at around 96% increase when compared to its four-year average. The FBI has documented at least 61 shootings in 30 states that resulted in the deaths of at least one hundred individuals and injured another one hundred persons. Active shooting is an incidence where an armed individual or individuals are actively killing or trying to kill people in highly populated areas. Of these incidences, sixty were carried out by male individuals, with only one female reported incidence. This calls for an update in the security measures taken to prevent such incidences, as some could result from homeopathy and lockdown related issues. This may be coupled by the high financial distress experienced during the curfew, as not everyone can cope with such situations easily. However, this has also led to some impressive innovations that can be used to curtail the impact of these incidences. More so, the government can implement more effective pieces of legislation to prevent such incidences.
Some of the effective methods include:
Increasing Armed Personnel
Increasing the number of armed personnel can effectively reduce the time it takes for police officers to respond to an incident. This may reduce the pressure on the available persons and help increase the number of patrols conducted by police officers. They can also be equipped with better tools to handle live fire effectively.
It is easy to procure a firearm by individuals, both ex-convicts, and other individuals. States can implement strict laws preventing anyone from acquiring firearms, especially individuals with a history of violence. In addition, people allowed to use firearms should undergo proper training to reduce the number of accidental shootings.
Access To Mental Health Services
Suicide ranked among the major causes of death related to gun shootings. These can be attributed to mental health issues such as traumatic episodes related to past shooting incidences, traumatic experiences, and increased stress levels. Accessing mental health services to deal with these increases can help drastically lower such occurrences.
School Shooting Lockdowns
In as much as schools are safe, most are not intrusion free; they suffer a level of permeability that allows outsiders to access the school grounds, offices, and even classes. Lockdown drills are an effective way to teach students what to do in case of an attack. But putting real protective measures can effectively deter intruders from causing real harm to students. Haven is a company that offers services that can amp up the security level of a learning institution or a place of worship. The Haven lockdown is one such security feature that gives administrators the power to control the opening and closing of doors in the school. They also include patented designs that deter intruders from accessing classes. Their school lockdown system is designed to keep away intruders from students while at the same time deterring the intruder from escaping. It features different designs that give administrator rights over doors, the presence of egress buttons, and door locks that can be opened and closed with Bluetooth connectivity. In addition, some of their doors are bulletproof in case of the live firing of ammunition. Finally, this system involves an alert system that signals local authorities in case of such an occurrence.
School shooting incidences have risen, particularly in the last five years, experiencing new record highs. These can be attributed to increased purchases of firearms. Increased levels of stress and poor storage mechanisms of firearms. There are various ways to reduce these incidences and others that can help mitigate the casualties from such occurrences. Haven Company is one company that offers lockdown solutions t schools, apartments, and religious places of worship that deter intruders, lock down the facility under attack and notifies security forces of the attack at hand.