Everyone’s familiar with the Sandy
Hook shooting that took place at the
end of 2012. This tragedy, which has
been recorded as the second deadliest
mass shooting by a single person in
American history, tipped off a record
year of school shootings that have left
41 dead and 13 wounded.
As horrifying as 2012 was, 2013
has proved to be even worse. In the
month of January alone eight school
shootings occurred. This violence is
not only manifesting itself in our nations’
high schools, but is now trickling
into the middle schools as well.
Because of this rise in school-related
shootings, schools are now taking extra
precautions to prevent such events
from occurring. These precautions
range from the Watch D.O.G.S program
being installed in elementary
schools to enacting special shooting
drills in which schools practice the
procedures which a class would take
in the case of a shooting. This increase
in violence puts into question how
safe Hanover High School would be if
a shooting were to occur.
“There is a crisis plan and we
have intruder drills,” school resource
officer Tommy Eaves said. “We go
through training so that we can be
prepared if something like that were
“My plan is to protect you and do
whatever I can to protect you,” Eaves
said, “I have to adapt to whatever is
going to happen because no one situation
is the same.”
The increase also brings to the surface
the pressing issue of gun control.
Many are now beginning to feel that
we need stricter gun laws so that we
can prevent a gun getting into the
wrong hands, ultimately preventing
these school shootings from occurring.
The National Rifle Assosciation
has argued that guns are essential to
personal safety. How are teenagers
getting their hands on guns? Should
we have stricter gun laws?
“I don’t believe in gun control and
there are a handful of reasons why”,
said sophomore Johnathan Gilchrest,
“but I do believe that a school should
be a gun controlled environment.
Students don’t need access to them.
However, I believe that anyone who
is an officer and is assigned to the
school and has gone through some
sort of sufficient training should be
able to carry one.”
Contrary to this belief, psychologists
believe that it is not the gun that
is putting our nation in danger but
our society and its violence nurturing
traditions. Americans have grown up
with the idea that “your home is your
castle and you’ve got to protect it” and
the tradition of responding to “any
stain on your honor.” They believe
that the media plays a major role in the
rise of this kind of violence. Kids are
raised with cartoons in which in one
episode a character is killed yet shows
up in the next episode, and some feel
there is a link between this kind of
violence and violent video games. Because
adolescents are used to shooting
people in their games, they become
desensitized and are indifferent to
shooting others in real life.
Only through practice will schools
get better at dealing with this issue.