There are heroes and there are victims. There are those who go to prison and those who take their own lives.
The scenes of police officers surrounding school buildings have become common. Much too common.
Guns and students don’t mix.
But lately, they have become regular headlines.
In 2013, there were 29 shootings at elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and colleges across the country.
Those 29 incidents left 26 people dead and 35 wounded.
In 2012, there were 14 incidents – including the Newtown, Conn., tragedy – which left 44 dead and 17 wounded.
For comparison’s sake, there were three such incidents in 1992, with seven deaths, and three in 1993, with four deaths.
And already in 2014, there have been at least three school shootings resulting in five injuries.
Pretty sobering numbers.
We’re guessing the numbers for shopping malls are similar and movie theaters, for some reason, see more than their share of violence.
All of these instances are troubling, but the school shootings weigh heaviest. These are children.
It’s school. Children go there to learn, to see their friends, to grow. They have every right (or should have) to feel safe in their classrooms, gymnasiums and cafeterias.
Anymore, we wonder if they do.
School districts have been forced to increase security measures – which we applaud.
Still, these efforts divert time and money away from the purpose of school itself.
Obviously, this trend of guns at schools looks likely to continue unless we do something about it.
What, we’re not completely sure – arming faculty and staff members, having each student pass through a metal detector, walling off our schools like prisons.
We don’t have the answer.
But we do know, with the numbers piling up like they are, something has to be done.