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The United States’ Tragic History with School Shootings

Two adults and two students have been reported to be injured or killed in a school shooting on Monday, April 10th, at an elementary school in San Bernardino, CA. The shooting happened inside a classroom at North Park Elementary School and according to the San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, it is believed to have been a murder-suicide. This school shooting follows the 2015 San Bernardino attack on the Inland Regional Center that left 14 people killed and 22 seriously injured. The attack on the public benefit corporation involved gun violence and an attempted bombing and was confirmed to have been an act of terrorism.

The shooting at North Park Elementary School follows a dangerously increasing trend of school gun violence that the United States has been observing for far too long. According to the FBI, a mass shooting is one that kills four or more people, excluding the shooters. Under these guidelines, the first school shooting in the United States can be traced back to 1764, when three men entered a schoolhouse in Pennsylvania and killed 10 people. The 1999 school shooting at Columbine High School, which left 12 students and one teacher killed, prompted a nationwide debate about gun control and school safety. In 2007, 32 people were killed at Virigina Tech by a 23-year-old gunman, making it the deadliest school shooting to this day.

The tragedy of school shootings and the pain they inflict upon families and parents everywhere have become a devastating reality. Drills practicing what to do in the face of an intruder at school have become commonplace across the country. Parents and students alike have been instructed on plans of action should a lockdown ensue. Subsequently, school gun violence has been a major factor in the debate about gun control laws for years, and people have already taken to Twitter to express their frustrations and doubts with the President about his plans to address tragedies like these.

Tragedies like these will never stop unless actions are taken to seriously educate and prevent future events like these. Steps like campaigning for tighter gun control laws and deglamorizing violence in video games and the media can help to protect the future. Additionally, better mental health awareness and bullying awareness can help aid children of today and prevent the tragedies of tomorrow.

“How many more school shootings do we need before we start talking about this as a social problem, and not merely a random collection of isolated incidents?” –Jackson Katz

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