I'm sure we've all heard about the Illinois University shooting from last Thursday. I didn't really hear anything about it until I caught a few words about it from CNN.
School shootings are shocking, but they're becoming so common now that, at once you feel shock because of the horror, but I am hardly surprised anymore. It's just sick how common this horrid act is becoming, if you ask me.
I've been reading CNN articles this week, and they just put out this new video of student witnesses talking about the incident here. They keep asking the students if they feel safe on campus, and obviously they're going to say no. They say they look to the school to prevent this and make them feel safe. But what can a school, a large university, do to prevent bad things like this from occurring?
How can anyone prevent this? I mean, how can we stop people who are mentally unstable for gaining possession of guns? How can we stop them from entering a building? From going to a university? It's so difficult. Obama and Clinto issued statements backing support of those against gun violence, obviously, and in favor of anti-terrorism and gun violence. But, they voice that they do not want to hinder the 2nd amendement.
Okay, true, but the school shooter in Illinois had no history of ill treatment. All who knew him were shocked that he did this. His gun license was approved under the State Police--I mean, how could we have seen this coming? How would one ever be able to weed out those who might do something like this versus someone who wouldn't? It seems virtually impossible. How can you make a judgment call like that without hindering our amendments?
I am in no way supporting the gunman or school shooting violence. Working in a school myself, I am sympathetic to the students and teachers who fall victim to such traumas like this. I guess I'm looking at the prevention side, and it seems difficult to do things about it. Even when you look at the school shooting at Virginia Tech, it seemed that man needed attention and fame. And boy, did he get it. That sends such a negative message out to anyone who has ideas trickling in about this very issue.
I could perhaps see high schools doing more about it, having metal detectors and such. But big universities are more free, they have many buildings, so how can they have metal detectors at each one? When you admit someone, you assume that they are good candidates to enter the school. You don't assume that one of them will slap a bad name on your school and murder other students. You never really look to something so tragic to happen so close to home, because like the teenage mentality, something that awful could never happen to me, to my school, so close to home.
I am just saddened that this continues. And let me tell you, this is not going to stop. Once Columbine happened, it set a precedent for more to occur. I think it's disgusting that this is becoming so prevalent in this country, but now the ball is rolling, and so many have kept on happening that we can't muster enough energy to step in front of this giant ball and cut it off. I guess I just don't know what any school could do from here. Even schools watching, they feel sympathetic, but do they do anything to prep themselves for this happening at their school? I'm not sure. Or is this really not that common to worry about? Is it too much for all schools to do something just because of a couple until it happens to them? I don't know. There are so many questions I don't know the answers to.
Anyway, for fellow teachers out there: does this scare you at all? Do you ever think of violence occuring when you are in the classroom? Be it bombs, guns, etc. What can we do, and what would you do?
Tough questions, but it's better to look for answers than just feel helpless as I do.