School shootings, while tragic, are quite rare, though that might not be evident from media reports. However, the Associated Press recently admitted to this fact in an article on hardening schools.
The story “Lawmakers buy industry fix to protect schools from guns” is about security company products, and how lawmakers are considering ways to protect schools. This includes safety products, such as fencing, ballistic doors and even smoke cannons to disorient shooters. In fact, Congress recently drafted a bill committing $300 million to school security. Additionally, numerous states, along with local areas, have either increased funding or are reworking budgets to increase funding for security.
Now most experts agree that schools need layers of protection. However, no one really knows for sure what will work to prevent school shootings. Regardless, there are an abundance of products being hawked to schools and lawmakers, with very little evidence of reliability.
“School safety is the Wild, Wild West,” said security consultant Mason Wooldridge in the AP story. “Any company can claim anything they want.”
Also, some educators worry that this will take funds from other programs, such as counseling at-risk kids and preventing bullying. And there is an argument for this since active shooter incidents in schools are rare. Of course, even one is considered too many, especially if there is a way to prevent them.
Regardless, the AP analyzed FBI statistics and determined that there were only 35 school shootings between 2000 and 2017. As such, the AP destroyed the Everytown For Gun Safety claim, published by Time, that there have been 290 school shootings since 2013.
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