Now I have discussed gun control before and one of the biggest reason or I should say the biggest reason I am against gun control is it ignores the real issue of mental health care in this country. By the same token, arming teachers is not going to be effective either. True, it has been effective in Israel but that country would almost fit in my back yard. It is small, united by similar constraints and protocols. The United States is not Israel and hopefully never will be, in the sense that we are surrounded by enemies and constantly watching over our shoulder. So if gun control won’t work and arming teachers won’t work, then what will.
Oddly enough there is one aspect that has not been discussed at all when these tragedies occur. That is the design of the schools themselves. If fact, I would be willing to state that the design contributes to the number of casualties in each case. Think about it. Many schools have long hall ways that provide good fields of fire for an assassin. Also there are choke points where the students bunch up such as single entrance and exit class rooms. While it is true that most schools now have armed guards but no way to limit access such as sliding electric doors or other methods and cameras are limited. Most of the schools I have seen recently all have perimeter fencing but the parking lots are easy to access. Anyone could drive up to a parking lot, get out and enter a side door with no one being the wiser. Sure, most side doors are locked but once the shooting starts how hard it is to shoot the lock and start the process.
Now I am not saying turn our schools into prisons with guard towers but there are ways of design that could help promote safety that should be used. We have all seen metal detectors used in schools at the front doors but they are in the school proper. We can change that by moving them out to a guard point further away from the front doors and have armed security stationed there. A dedicated security room with cameras stations through out the school and sliding electric doors to limit access to areas. Adding secondary entrances to classrooms on opposite walls for proper escape and the like. Honestly the suggestions are too numerous to add here and would require a lot of drawings that I don’t have time to make but the truth is that we can design better schools that help eliminate or cut down on this type of situation.
What about money, it usually the first response to this people give me. Well, how much money do you put on the head of a child? We have schools that spend millions and I do mean millions of dollars on stadiums but to redesign the school for safety, there is no money? Of course the first thing would have to be a comprehensive study of the changes and their effectiveness so money would only have to be used for that at that first. The point being is that we spend money on a lot of luxury stuff that we as a consumer society don’t always need but our children’s safety is something that should be taken care of first.