The usual culprits on both sides have ideas. On the left, you have the "Ban Assault Rifles" and "Gun Control Now!" crowd, on the right it's "Arm all the teachers!" and "Armed Security!!!"
I'm more inclined to say the the right is correct on this one, but it's gotta be more in depth than that. Forcing people to do anything they don't want to do is not conducive to positive changes in society. Forcing all the teachers (especially those who don't want to) to carry guns and get training goes against everything we hold dear about freedom.
Trump's calls to "ARM ALL TEACHERS" dismiss the feelings and abilities of a lot of teachers. Many teachers abhor the idea, and many teachers want to be able to. It's a double edged sword. On one hand, people with concealed carry permits tend to be more law abiding than cops, and there are no incidents where a civilian concealed carrying has shot an innocent person. Conversely, people that don't want to carry, don't feel comfortable doing so or are physically unable to should not be "required" to do so. Many on the right claim (correctly) that laws won't stop evil from happening, but those claims are not helping the discussion.
Raising the age to buy a firearm needlessly infringes on the rights of responsible young adults, many of whom have been safely using their parents firearms for years. I started shooting at the tender age of 6. I joined the military at 17, and was shooting automatic weapons by then.
This is not to say that Democrats are offering up excellent ideas either. It's well documented that banning "assault rifles" has no appreciable effect. In fact, several of the worst school shootings on record were not carried out with AR-15 or similar rifles:
1. Columbine (During Federal Assault Weapons Ban)
- Weapons used
a. TEC-DC9 - Blowback operated, Semi-auto pistol. Similar to the full-auto submachine gun, but semi.
b. Hi-Point 995 - Pistol-caliber semi-auto carbine. 10 roundmags. Essentially, a Hi-Point C9 with a stock and a long barrel.
c. Savage 67H - 12Gauge Pump shotgun. I have one, you have one, everyone has one.
d. Stevens 311D - 12Gauge Side by side double barrel.
- Other characteristics
a. Multiple Shooters
b. coordinated, well planned
c. Guns acquired illegally as minors
d. Shotguns sawed off, illegal under the National Firearms Act
2. Virginia Tech
- Weapons used
a. Glock 19 - Semi-auto, 9mm pistol. Commonly used by police.
b. Walther P22 - Semi-auto, .22LR - Interesting about this weapon: Has a magazine disconnect safety, will not fire if no mag is present.
- Other characteristics
a. Shooter produced a manifesto and videos, sent to NBC prior to the shooting
b. guns acquired legally. Shooter was a legal permanent resident, and passed a background check in accordance with VA and US law.
AR15-style weapons have been the weapon of choice in recent times, but I think that's due to popular culture and the shock factor. These are popular rifles, called the most popular rifle in America, and are in common use due to their ease of use, modularity, and the 'cool' factor to a point, because they look similar to the military's M16/M4 select-fire rifles. On a personal note, a lot of veterans get these rifles because of our familiarity with the platform. They're also very useful for youth and disabled shooters, due to the minimal recoil and modularity.
Other popular gun control proposals include the ubiquitous call for universal background checks, magazine size limits, and preventing people on the no-fly list from buying guns. Lets look at each of these in turn:
1. Universal Background Checks: I really don't have a problem with the background check system as it stands. Many of the problems I have with how it's used, however, are arguments against expanding it. It is consistently failing due to bad data. We have a saying in the IT business: "Bad data in, bad data out". The system is not gonna be useful if people like Dylann Roof and Devin Patrick Kelley can still get firearms, passing their background checks despite being legally ineligible to own firearms.
2. Magazine size limits: This one is often introduced in conjuntion with an "assault weapons ban". Let me reference the VT and Columbine shootings above. They all had plenty of time for mag changes, and plenty of mags to do it. Hell, one of the Columbine shooters loaded his shotgun several times, for a total of 25 rounds out of a 4 round tube, meaning he stopped to reload it, one shell at a time, 6 times. His Hi-Point 995 with 10-round mags: He had 13 mags, and fired 96 rounds with that weapon. The utility of magazine limits is minimal.
3. No-Fly list: To be completely honest, this list shouldn't exist at all. There's no due process of law, it's impossible to fight if you get put on the list and shouldn't be on it, and we have no business restricting the rights of people without a trial.
So how do we stop school shootings?
I think it starts at the community level. People in general don't care about each other any more. Especially if you disagree politically. This most recent election season was the absolute worst I've ever seen it, but people are absoulte assholes to each other if you don't agree with each them. I lost count of how many times I've been called racist, homophobic, sexist, Nazi, or a number of others because I didn't vote for Hilary. On the other side, cause I criticized Trump's policies, I got called a cuck (lol), or a snowflake. I got called a libtard and a conversitard, and it's not just me.
THIS NEEDS TO STOP.The community division in this country is bullshit. On top of that, those that pay attention to things like the kids in their school and report it to the FBI and local authorities get ignored by the authorities.
We need to destigmatize mental health care. Being afraid to lose rights because of asking for help is driving veterans to not report their issues to doctors. People that do ask for help are looked down upon as weak. This isn't helpful to anyone. People with mental health problems are more likely to be victims of violence than the general populace, as much as most perpetrators have some kind of mental illness. We can't go on just leaving these folks to themselves.
So these things can help prevent a tragedy, but how to we stop one in progress?
It starts with metal detectors. Yeah, I know, we don't want our schools to feel like prisons... but you walk through a metal detector to go see a concert. Go to the courthouse. Government buildings. And yet our children are so much more important, so why won't we do that? To back that up, armed security for the same reasons. There's been a meme going around for years about hiring Veterans home from war who can't find a job to guard our kids.
Allow lawful concealed carry. The "Gun Free Zones" act is a dismal failure, except at ensuring that the only person armed at that location is the one shooting innocent people. Allow teachers/parents/staff to carry guns at school if they are otherwise allowed to. Don't make it a requirement. MAYBE let school districts decide on reasonable training requirements for the teachers that want to. Allowing our schools to be a soft target with no recourse but to wait minutes for police to show up (and then not even go inside) is absolutely unacceptable. There's something we were taught in the Army: If you look like you mean business, you're less likely to get shot at. A little vigilance would go a long way, and if something happens, it could reduce or eliminate the body count.
Let's take action. Not action that infringes on rights, and not action that hurts other people, but actions that show our love for our children, and our love for each other.
We've been driven by hatred for too long.