School shootings are a serious threat to the safety of school children in America, much more than in any other country, but the threats of terrorism, criminal attacks and extreme violence among students and on teachers are growing in many other nations.
In some countries, like Nigeria, abduction, and attacks by rebel groups present a risk in certain areas. The most common violence in schools all over the world is fighting between students and attacks on teachers. The level thereof is worse among certain sub-cultures.
The huge problem facing US Schools
The popular narrative is for stricter gun control laws, especially against military-type weapons in the USA. Most other countries have outlawed such weapons many decades ago.
The USA has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the world. The Washington Post (June 2, 2022) reported that “There hasn’t been a single week in 2022 without a mass shooting, where four or more people are injured or killed.” The country has seen 250 school shootings by June 2022.
When it comes to mass shootings at schools, the most recent attack at Uvalde, Texas in May 2022 resulted in the death of 19 fourth-grade students and two teachers. In 2018 in Parklands, Florida, a shooter killed 17 high school students and wounded 17 more. In 2012 six adults and 20 first-grade students were killed in Newtown, Connecticut.
The first such mass shooting in the USA was the Columbine High tragedy in Littleton, Colorado when two students shot and killed 12 students and one teacher, wounding more than 20. The deadliest mass school shooting was in 2007 at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia when 32 people, 27 students and five faculty members, were shot and killed.
That’s why many schools have tighter security measures such as metal detectors and armed guards.
The counter-argument is that allowing a well-trained and capable teacher to carry a concealed gun in school, will be an effective deterrent during an “active shooter” incident, as demonstrated in numerous cases when such an attack was foiled by a single member of the public effectively returning fire. In most school shootings victims die while waiting on the police to turn up, far too late to prevent the loss of life.
The safety of students is a top priority for schools. There are many different ways that schools are making sure that their students are safe. They have lockdown procedures, they teach Active Shooter drills, and they use other safety measures to keep their students safe, but these measures can fail as evidenced by the many shootings.
How much School Violence in Other Countries?
Fresh and comparable statistics for school violence in other countries are difficult to obtain. But the following gives an indication of the threat:
In India, a study in 2013 found that more than half of the children had experienced violence in school at one time or another. It also found that 55% of children are afraid to go back to school because they fear being in physical or verbal danger.
In China national statistics on school violence are not made public, but it is reportedly on the increase and the government has increased penalties for those who violate children’s rights.
According to The World Factbook, there were at least 7,000 school-related violent deaths in South and Central America in 2014. Gang violence is rampant in some countries and schools have security guards to protect students.
In France, there have been a total of 166 attacks on schools from 2013 to 2017. Turkey reported a total of 58 attacks and Austria 18 attacks on schools for the same period.
South Africa, with a murder rate of over 20,000 p.a. on a population of 60 million, has had only 8 shooting deaths, but no mass shootings.
Why is Firearm Training Essential?
The possession and carry of guns are outlawed in many countries, but in America, the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution gives citizens the right to bear arms. However, the right to bear arms is not without limit. A firearm can be used in self-defense only if the person is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury and has no other means to escape, but may not use more force than necessary.
Gun safety education is an important lesson that should be taught in schools. It teaches children about the dangers of guns and how to handle them safely. It is important for children to know what to do when faced with a gun-wielding person.
Firearm training is essential for people who want to use firearms for self-defense, hunting, or sport to learn how to handle a weapon, how to aim, how to fire, and safety precautions. Special training and certification of volunteer teachers to carry concealed weapons could deter violent attacks on schools.
Safety of Students at School
Violence in schools is not just limited to guns. There are many other forms of violence that are happening more and more in schools. Students are attacking teachers with everything from fists to knives.
Some people believe that there is a correlation between these attacks and the lack of discipline in schools. They also believe that violence is an inevitable part of the world, and there is nothing that can be done about it.
Others think that it’s related to the rise in bullying, which has been on the rise since 2000 according to statistics from Child Trends Data Bank. They also say that this violence will only get worse as we continue to let our children grow up with cell phones and social media at their fingertips.
Examples of Successful Self-defense
Examples of successful self-defense are often ignored because it is contrary to the popular media and political narrative.
A week after a teenage gunman shot and killed 21 people at a secondary school in Texas, an unidentified woman attending a party in Charleston, West Virginia, shot and killed an active shooter who started firing into a group of about 40 people with a semi-automatic rifle, wounding ten. The 37-year-old gunman had a long criminal record.
A famous case of a single, trained person stopping an attack was when four gunmen attacked a church service in Cape Town in 1993, throwing hand grenades and shooting wildly with AK74s. One congregant returned fire with a .34 revolver, wounding one gunman. The attackers fled, leaving 11 people dead and 58 wounded, abandoning their plan to throw petrol bombs.