Preventing School Shootings

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Preventing School Shootings. School shootings are preventable. In the months since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT there have been thirty-six school shooting incidents. These represent a clear threat to the nation. Safe schools are imperative for a functioning, thriving democracy. These incidents can be prevented, they are not the inevitable by-products of a free society. Reasonable laws, education, and experienced counselors and educators are key. The most important policy that can prevent school shootings is legislation. The United States Constitution is the law of the nation. The Supreme Court is tasked with interpretation of this document. When deciding first amendment issues, the court has ruled that there are limits to the Constitution. No one may scream “fire” in a crowded theatre, despite free speech being protected by this amendment. Constraints are placed on the constitution to ensure public safety. The constitution also guarantees religious freedom, yet the court has decided that Native Americans may not use banned substances in their religious ceremonies, such as peyote or hallucinogenic mushrooms. It is in the public's good to limit behaviour. Laws must be changed or reinterpreted as the nation changes. Background checks should be expanded to include internet sales and gun shows. Background checks for sales in gun stores are next to useless if any weapon may be bought on-line or at a local convention center, no questions asked. The majority of Americans support these measures. A small faction, spearheaded by gun manufacturers and the N.R.A. oppose them for the basest of reasons: profit. There are now more guns in America than humans. A well-made wea... ... middle of paper ... ...that we live in a society. We must all work together and get along. Identifying at-risk students is important to preventing these incidents. A well-trained staff of educators and counselors could identify at-risk students and recommend appropriate counseling or other action. One does not wish to brand or stigmatize students, or make them feel they are being singled out. Students and parents would be assured all information would be kept strictly confidential. Government can be effective, and it is necessary. Government is made up of people, and people make mistakes, but this is the best system available to offer protection for all citizens. If one were to consider the welfare of all students, one would agree that legislation, education, and educators can work together to ensure safety and to ensure that all constitutional rights are protected.

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