Increased prevalence of school shootings: How could our community be affected?


Jalen Alami

School shootings have occurred throughout history, but they gained greater attention in the US after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, which was documented in the book by Judy Hasday. This followed by numerous similar incidents in subsequent years.

There have been seven California mass shootings in the month of January alone, leaving at least 31 dead and 22 injured. As gun violence becomes an increasingly prominent issue on a national level, many are beginning to question the potential impact on schools, places of learning, and educational centers around the country.

Students, teachers, and parents have had to deal with the reality of increasing school shootings over the past 20 years. The 2021–2022 school year, when the average number of shooting events since 2013 nearly quadrupled, was the worst period for this violence. There were 193 instances of gunshot on the premises of preschools and K–12 schools last school year, up from an average of 49 since 2013.

“School shootings are a huge issue right now. At this point when I see a school shooting, I’m not surprised because of how repetitive it is. I think the government should do more in order to prevent school shootings,” said Mikail Mirza (‘23).

In addition to the victims, students who survive school shootings are also impacted. Experiencing such a traumatic event can have lasting effects on the mental health of students, including PTSD and a decline in overall well-being.

“I can not understand why the US is incapable of regulating the gun industry. They are the only world power on the planet where this is such a major problem,” said Mirza.

To prevent dangerous weapons from getting into the wrong hands and address the issue of school shootings, liberals are pushing for stricter background checks and additional regulations (particularly for semi-automatic weapons). Republicans, on the other hand, with their requests to strengthen classrooms and put an emphasis on mental health, are advocating that gun ownership remain a fundamental right protected by the Second Amendment.

“We had AR-15s in the 1960s. We didn’t have those mass school shootings,” said former House minority whip Steve Scalise

School shootings are an enormous tragedy and keep reoccurring. Many solutions have been proposed, however experts have cited that America will continue to see such calamities until people around the country come together in the name of saving lives.