School shootings can be averted when parents, school authorities and students themselves take seriously the signals indicating potential violence from troubled youths, and communicate their concerns as quickly as possible, according to the Police Foundation.
Many school districts are spending money on fortifying school buildings at the expense of hiring counselors and psychologists, University of Virginia Prof. Dewey Cornell tells criminologists. He urges more emphasis on prevention.
The commission on school safety held a “listening session” in Cheyenne, Wyo., where attendees were cool to the idea of arming teachers. It’s like “asking your plumber to cut your hair,” said one school principal.
A committee of senators recommended more funding to train and arm school personnel and “harden” school buildings but shied away from endorsement of “red flag” protective orders that advocates say could help prevent future shootings.
The center, piloted by one of the nation’s leading police think tanks, will explore how police and other first responders can improve their ability to handle mass violence incidents like terror attacks and school shootings.
“When someone is desperate for fame or attention, committing a high-profile mass killing is one of the only guaranteed ways to get it,” criminologist Adam Lankford told a recent gathering of journalists. Responsible media, he argued, should guard against providing killers with a platform.
In a shift that could have political implications, some gun owners have become firm supporters of gun control measures. Meanwhile, others are blowing up their Yeti coolers, prompted by an NRA blast claiming that the firm was ending its discount for members of the group. Yeti said the NRA had gone off half-cocked.
In 17 out of 25 school shootings since 1990 committed by teens, the guns came from shooters’ homes. It’s an element “lost in the current debate” over gun control and points to the need for increased gun safety, says J. Reid Meloy, a forensic psychologist and FBI consultant.
That’s the strongest level of support since Associated Press first asked the question five years ago. The new poll also found that nearly half of Americans do not expect elected officials to take action.