There is a lot of talk about school shootings and how to prevent them—especially in the wake of the most recent shooting in Florida, where 17 individuals lost their lives. Some say that guns should be banned (Ingraham). Others say the age limit should be raised (Epstein, Dopp) and that teachers should be armed (Rucker). Others view gun ownership as an unalienable right protected by the Constitution (Peck). And while guns themselves receive a lot of attention after such incidents, they are not the only factor. Family life, drug usage, and even other elements—such as the inability of federal and local law enforcement agents to act on tips to prevent a situation from worsening (Benner, Mazzei, Goldman; Brown). The fact of the matter is that there are many variables and factors involved in every school shooting, and no two cases are alike—so establishing a plan to prevent them is much more complex than simply passing a new law or condemning one side of the argument.
The Adam Lanza shooting, for example, involved a teenager whose family life had deteriorated to a dangerous low: his father had left, his mother was incapable of providing the son with the guidance he needed; Adam resented his parents because of their divorce and was increasingly alienated and prescribed selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) to help his mood. In many shootings, the shooters themselves have a history of being prescribed SSRIs, and it should be worth looking into as to whether or not these drugs themselves have a risk in destabilizing a person’s mind.
Not much is yet known about the high school shooter in Florida—but the details that have emerged present a picture of an orphan, who had no guidance in his life, who had suffered a childhood trauma, and whose behavior should have been a red flag for authorities.
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In this case, there was inadequate intervention in the child’s life and the result was that he did not receive the help he needed in time before disaster struck. From the guardians in his life to the FBI—an overall lack of involvement and help was missing throughout the child’s life and his mental disturbance took a deadly turn when his emotional stability crumbled.
Preventing school shootings is not something that is going to happen just because Congress passes a law banning guns. Drugs are banned in the….....
Benner, Katie, Patricia Mazzei, Adam Goldman. “FBI was Warned of Florida Suspect’s Desire to Kill but Did Not Act.” The New York Times, Feb. 16, 2018. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/16/us/fbi-nikolas-cruz-shooting.html
Brown, Ruth. “Four sheriff’s deputies hid during Florida school shooting.” New York Post, Feb. 23, 2018. https://nypost.com/2018/02/23/four-sheriffs-deputies-hid-during-florida-school-shooting/
Epstein, Jennifer, Terrence Dopp. “Trump Says States to Decide on Changing Gun Purchase Age Limits.” Bloomberg Politics, March 12, 2018. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-03-11/white-house-unveils-measures-to-keep-schools-safer-from-shooters
Ingraham, Christopher. “It’s time to bring back the assault weapons ban, gun violence experts say.” Washington Post, Feb. 15, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/15/its-time-to-bring-back-the-assault-weapons-ban-gun-violence-experts-say/?utm_term=.f7628281cd9d
Peck, Emily. “The Constitution Gives Gun Owners Greater Rights than Women.” HuffPost, March 7, 2018. https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/constitution-gun-rights-women rights_us_5a9ef7e0e4b002df2c5e7080
Rucker, Philip. “White House vows to help arm teachers and backs off raising age for buying guns.” Washington Post, March 12, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/white-house-vows-to-help-arm-teachers-and-backs-off-raising-age-for-buying-guns/2018/03/11/14da0c8e-253a-11e8-bc72-077aa4dab9ef_story.html?utm_term=.c13425d76338