School Shootings: A Scary Reality

Nikki Iyer, Staff Writer

On the day of the first football game at the Badlands, 10 students at their own high school football game in Alabama were shot. The victims were ages 15-18. The idea of a similar shooting at San Juan is no longer insane or crazy, it could be reality. 

Nationally, the government has proposed ideas but have not carried out many of them. For the money and grants they have distributed, they have not actually decreased the amount of mass shootings. 

When the president attended a meeting with lawmakers, and the topic of universal background checks came up, Trump simply said, “I mean, you went through a lot of presidents, and you didn’t get [background checks].” 

“Congress has a lot of thinking to do,” said President Trump in response to the recent Midland Odessa mass shooting, where 22 people were injured, and 7 killed.

But students do not have the time to wait for Congress to think. School shootings today are so frequent that students do not have the time or lives to wait for Congress to propose a solution, considering they are hardly ever carried out. Immediate action on gun violence needs to be taken on a national level to prevent more school shootings.

Recently, Darin Jindra, an assistant principal at SJHHS, attended a week long conference devoted to school safety. The National Association for School Research Offices conference was held in Tennessee where Jindra joined many law enforcement members and a few administrators. The topics ranged from the vaping epidemic to school shootings.

“There has been an increase in security,” said Jindra about SJHHS. He plans to have more training implemented in the event of a school shooting. “Teachers and staff members are in that frame of mind to practice,” said Jindra.

Furthermore, prior to the conference, SJHHS already had many precautions. The school has counseling support, and also works very closely with the sheriff department. In fact, Jindra said both he and Michael Kim, his coworker, have radios on hand that can directly communicate with the sheriff department.

You have to train as best you can, and then when it happens, you have to hope that [everything] falls into place, minimize injuries and deaths. I just hope it never has to happen”

— Jindra

In the event of a visitor, there is an implemented system where every guest must have their drivers license scanned, and from there the system will check its database for predators. 

“You have to train as best you can, and then when it happens, you have to hope that [everything] falls into place, minimize injuries and deaths. I just hope it never has to happen,” said Jindra. 

There will be a school shooting drill on September 13th during third period to further prepare students and staff at SJHHS.

But the overall solution to shootings comes down to the government and the laws they pass regarding guns, because even with all of the security at SJHHS there is still a possibility of a shooter coming on campus. The most practical way to prevent school shootings is to have greater universal background checks on guns. 

While there are already a few background checks implemented, gun owners often buy from private dealers, creating a loophole.

“Forty percent of all firearms purchased in the United States are sold without background checks because the guns aren’t purchased from a federally licensed firearms dealer…Rather, those weapons are bought at gun shows, on street corners, over the Internet or from friends or neighbors,” said Lindsay Nichols, a lawyer with the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Most people agree with the positive effects of background checks, however, the National Rifle Association (NRA) does not have any interest in pushing the checks to become more effective. 

While the current implemented background checks may be useful, the number of school shootings increase by the week and the current checks are no longer effective; the checks must be made more strict to reduce the number of school shootings.

Nonetheless, students also play a huge role in the prevention of school shootings. 

Students need to speak up about school shootings. Everyone has a voice, and students should use it. School shootings directly affect the student body, and with their voices together they can be heard. From marches and petitions, to using social media platforms to spread awareness, there are so many different ways students can advocate for change.