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Published: Friday 25th of January 2013

Gun Violence in American Schools Essay Example


Gun violence has become a leading crime in the United States (Thomas 2006). Though previously it was perceived as a menace of the urban setting, it has since sprawled over to the suburban and rural America. Incidences of gun violence in schools are increasingly alarming. From grade schools to college campuses, the statistics of gun violence are not receding. Most cases in the learning institutions will make to the media headlines. The media will air almost all the cases of shootings in the schools, but will not have an idea of the many instances of threats that happen in the same institutions. All stakeholders have willingly teamed up to try and stop this matter from occurring, but it is still on the increase. We should all fight this problem with whatever weapon we have at whatever time. We might think that it will go away, but the instances in the schools indicate that it is with us, and it is here to stay. Both the government and the citizenry must face it off, with all the resources and energy that we can master. Personally, I believe that if we have to stage a spirited fight against gun violence in the country, our first step should be installing tighter control of gun ownership and usage.


Violence in American schools stems from many causes which are so diverse that researchers and surveyors haven’t been able to highlight them. According to a survey done a while ago by the Department of Justice in America, there has been a gradual decline in crime rate in the United States. Surprisingly contrasting, another survey among the schooling population has shown an immense increase in criminal activities, with particular emphasis on gun violence. A combined study done by the American departments of justice and education reported 10% more schools affected by incidences of violence between 1999 and 2004, and the trend continues (Thomas 2006). What is more worrying about the situation is that students are not the only victims of violence and threats in school. Over time, 8% teachers reported having been victims of violence or related threats within the school grounds at least once per month (Thomas 2006). About 2% admitted having been firsthand victims of physical violence. There are many cases of violence within schools that have been tragic at the end of it. Violence in the schools has taken many forms, bearing many different incidents. Notwithstanding, the mortality cases that arose from school-based violence have been alarming. Although significant input has been put in over the years to try and resolve this problem, a permanent solution that could bring an end to it is yet to be realized.

Study Hypothesis

The research is initiated to analyze and highlight the leading causes of gun violence within learning institutions as well as assessing the extent to which control of gun ownership and handling impacted the general management of the associated violence. In the study, top of the hypothesis chart is to assess if installing more strict regulations of gun ownership and usage is an infringement on the law. It also seeks to determine the types of regulations that when put in place, will boost the safety of the country. Third on the list is to see whether influencing the use of guns has a positive effect on society. The last hypothesis on the list tries to establish if creating public awareness on gun usage and safety establishes a convenient form of installing gun use and control mechanisms.

Evaluation of Literature

The predisposing factors to the widespread issue of gun violence can be traced to roots other than the personality and character noticed in the children. Today's child has the possibility of being raised by parents and guardians who are already convicts of the moral breakdown in the society. Such custodians are maybe aficionados of drug abuse, sometimes jailed or have some criminal cases under their names, or worst example, they cannot even sustain their families (Congress 2009). The American community experiences some severe challenges that can point towards gun violence among our youth in schools. These challenges include disownment and poverty. Rogue adults in the community interacting with children are part of the dangers that the American child has to encounter as they grow up. This situation will probe the question why it is just a small percentage of the current generation of children that are posing as precarious in the United States. Increased accessibility of guns in the United States by the American youth is perhaps the most significant reason why we are witnessing more deaths and injuries after violence incidences in schools. Reports show that about 85 American youth in schools passed away in two years. Of these cases, about three quarters are gun-associated killings (Congress 2009). On a sorry note, more American youth are still equipping themselves illegally. They occasionally injure themselves or their peers. On a survey that was done by the "National Institute of Health Study" in Boston, the report shows that about 42% of the children could access a gun at will, while 28% admitted to having held a gun without any adult finding out (Congress 2009). The one question that the bigger fraction of the people ponders over is how the youth access the guns. According to statistics released by The University of South Carolina, almost 35% of households in the United States with minors have at least one firearm (Congress 2009). A simple extrapolation of this figure will hypothesize that about 11 million children are in homes with firearms. The youth also acquire firearms from traffickers. The American Gun Shows avail an ambient platform for the business of traffickers and their unauthorized customers. Occasionally, cases of licensed individuals but with a defective mental status are overlooked. Cyber abuse has, of late, become not only a bother but also another predisposing factor to gun violence. The internet has gained immense popularity and widespread, uncontrolled access and use by the youth. In the wake of extensive usage of the internet, social media and mobile phones, the security in American schools is bleak at best. Intense online cinematic games depicting the use of firearms have held the youth in mental captivity and rendered them inseparable, even as the internet becomes more complex than before. High school scholars are more prone to these effects and easily develop unusual violent insolences and harsh personalities after interacting with violent cyber games (DeConde 2001). Societies that do not monitor the wellbeing of families therein and their youngsters are at a higher risk of being met by school violence (DeConde 2001). Financial constraints in the families are also a blow to parents in satisfying the requirements of the kids. The schools have been tasked with the big role of meeting the developmental needs of the children on several fronts, and this is unrealistic to achieve.

Columbine High School - A Case Example

The traumatizing historical incident of Columbine High School is one of the saddest events in the education sector of the United States. Before this incident in Columbine School, previous firing incidents in schools would involve a solitary and perhaps deranged student or a former student in possession of a gun to a school and fire at the tutors and mates because of either actual or illusory humiliations. In this case, the villain is likely to have thought themselves over about preceding events. All the same, the shooting manifested as either a rampage of a specific targeted person or group (Ralph 2007). This particular attack on the Columbine School seems to have been organized for over eight months or so (Ralph 2007). The shooters executed their plan like a military strategy. Harry and Klebold were properly armed with sawed-off shotguns just like the military on a mission. With one having a TEC-9 semiautomatic and the other a Hi-Point 9mm carbine rifle and at least four knives between them, they were simply over armed for an attack on a school setting. Shotgun shells were ferried in utility belts, while bullets and many bombs were in a duffel bag. Also, the duo had also brought two propane tank explosives into the institutions' canteen, planning to blow them up when the facility was most congested (Ralph 2007). The big question that everyone should be asking is where the duo fetched the idea to make such huge havoc, and whether societal forces were subjecting their characters and the ideas they raked up. For what motives would they implement this militia master plan and what were the duties of each in their planning?

Recommended Approach

This particular study is intending to make use of several separate approaches in its data collection. It will depend on interviews where a randomly chosen team of community members will be tested and their replies critically analyzed. The interviews will be halved into two and seek to determine the relationship between the Gun Control Law and the problem of the firearm violence in the institutions. In the two interview methodologies, the respondents will be asked to say their opinions on the efficiency of the Gun Control Law, just as it currently is. The interviewee will be encouraged to give their personal opinions on the pros and cons of the law. Analysis of the data will be done critically to estimate the extent of the negative public attitude on the law. If this study has to be successful, the answers of the participants will have to be analyzed according to their demographic features, including their age, gender, and occupation.

Suggested Solutions

The most intricate solution to the menace of gun violence in American learning institutions is the reinforcement of the Federal Gun Control Laws (Valelly 2009). Amendment number two of the United States Constitution gives an individual the right to decide whether they would wish to possess a gun. Worth noting on this subject is that making alterations to the firearm laws would be utterly unconstitutional. Albeit, it is more necessary to have some modifications so that the law fits the modern society, its difficult situations, and its contemporary needs. This amendment was made when the gun was used either to hunt or to protect. In the modern setting, guns are not only being used for recreational purposes but also for mass fatalities (Valelly 2009). Since the society that the law is governing has changed, it is only prudent that the law is modified. Worth mentioning is that the amendment never guarantees a personal right to have a firearm, but it applies only jointly to the military. The amendment had the citizen militia in consideration that it would empower them on the noble assignment of serving and protecting the citizenry. Back then, it posed as a civic duty, but today it is the equivalent of the National Guard (Valelly 2009). In some countries other than America where a survey on the same issue has been done, there arises evidence that tightening the laws to control guns would assist establish a safer and secure America (Valelly 2009). There is profound laxity in the laws that govern firearm controls within the country. They have rendered it very easy to purchase a gun in America. On average, America records about 9000 gun deaths per year. This is essentially a shocking but not a surprising statistic since this figure is like a thousand times more than in other countries which have laws prohibiting the ownership and illegal possession of a firearm (Valley 2009). No doubt cast, this may turn out to be the final long lasting and efficient solution to gun violence in the American schools. Having establishment of limited gun access would be for the best in the schools and the school environments. Typically, the chances of having a situation like the one that tore down Cleveland School Columbine High School would drop to admirable levels. If the accessibility of guns is cut from the students, then instances of school shootings would be drastically minimized, and lives would be spared. On top of all these, an increased educational prerequisite about gun safety would go in handy in tightening the gun control laws. If the school kid is introduced to educative videos in perhaps a hunter safety course, then they are more likely to treat them better and possibly use them in manners that can cause harm (Valelly 2009).


The purpose of this research is to urge the sitting government and the stakeholders to consider amendments to the essential laws in a bid to tighten the control of guns in the country. The eruption of gun violence in schools these days has been like an epidemic. There should be more spending, in time and energy to help curb the problem. Since easy access to guns is the single undisputed number one cause of gun violence in schools, the best way to counter it would be to limit it. A more elegant solution to the dominant issue of violence in American institutions is to step up the regulations on gun control. The stricter the laws on gun control, the more secure the schools will be. Our current laws on the use of guns are relatively loose, a situation that has to change if the security of our schools is to improve.