daily californian logo

BERKELEY'S NEWS • DECEMBER 01, 2022

Take a look at our 2022 midterm elections special issue!

Armed security is a preemptive measure against school shootings

article image

WILLIAM BENNETT | STAFF

SUPPORT OUR NONPROFIT NEWSROOM

We're an independent student-run newspaper, and need your support to maintain our coverage.

MARCH 08, 2018

The recent mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and 17 injured has brought panic to this country. Once again, another massacre occurs at a school, which brings up many topics — topics such as gun laws and the government’s role in either allowing stricter gun laws or changing them to allow more citizens have guns. Both sides are constantly looking for ways in order to prevent tragedies like this. For this particular case, other topics have come up, such as how the FBI failed to act on a tip they received a month ago. Issues such as mental health has come into play.

Time and time again, when things like this happen, the major debate circles around guns. There’s nothing wrong with these discussions. Nevertheless, there needs to be a discussion about securing our schools. There needs to be armed security at every school in America.

Do I believe that having armed security is the God Code for all shootings and that it would prevent all of them and no one will ever kill people at school? No, but I do believe it makes it safer for kids to go to school rather than having no one armed there to at least protect them.

Dylann Roof told the FBI he had thought about shooting drug dealers, but he believed they might have shot back. He said he picked a church because the people there were most likely meek (submissive, obedient). He said exactly, “They’re in church. They weren’t criminals or anything.” This is important because people who commit these crimes are looking for easy targets. They don’t want resistance when they go out and commit massacres.

It’s logical to assume someone who wants to kill as many people as possible will go after the easy targets, including places where people aren’t armed, such as schools, rather than places where people are armed. This isn’t to say places that are armed can’t be attacked — because it can happen. I’m not trying to say this will solve all the problems. What I’m trying to say is having armed security will help a lot.

This isn’t a stance on gun laws. I’m not saying we should have stricter gun laws, I’m not saying the government should stay out of trying to restrict more gun laws. More or less strict gun laws don’t even matter when there aren’t armed security at many schools to protect the students from any threat. If armed security guards are put on more campuses, then the debate of gun laws and the actions afterwards could have a better impact as a complementary impact. Nevertheless, you can have the strictest gun laws you want, and it still won’t matter; you can loosen up gun laws and it still won’t matter.

None of it matters in the case of protecting students when there’s nobody on the campus to protect them. It’s crazy to believe that just signing a piece of legislation will save lives against physical action. We have armed security at sporting events and other places where there are a lot of people, so why not have armed security at all schools nationwide? Schools are filled with thousands of people every day — do we really want to gamble and not have them protected? After 9/11, a lot of laws were put in place, but also there was more security at airports, and now nobody has to worry about a plane being hijacked in the United States. That’s a worry of the past, and so should massacres at school be.

I understand this brings up the topic of arming teachers. Now there are two sides to that argument, but this isn’t about calling for teachers to be armed. Personally I think it would work the best if schools would hire between five to 10 people who are trained to carry a gun, put them in uniform and have them be stationed outside around the campus to stop any foreign threats.

These security guards will be positioned strictly outside and will only deal with foreign threats, so they won’t be called to deal with domestic threats such as student behavior problems — only when an intruder attacks or comes on campus. I think that by doing that, it easily allows the school to be guarded while keeping things the way they are inside without having to have such an armed presence that is noticeable to the students such as in a case where teachers would be armed. The discussion about if teachers should be armed or not is a serious discussion, but I think this approach solves that argument.

Recently, the Berkeley Unified School District has proposed measures to improve security, including the installation of Columbine locks, a better PA system, enhanced entrance security and surveillance cameras and more. In light of recent shootings, the district aims to secure the safety of students. But they explain that their intention is not to guard or render security for solely an institutional purpose. Yet, even in our local community, action is being taken for security.

To conclude, once again, this is not a stance on gun control or any thought on gun laws. This is a thought on security, which is a separate topic — nothing more and nothing less. Anything else deserves to be debated and worked on, but this topic deserves no debate. This is something that shouldn’t take time to think over. It should be unanimous to protect kids. It needs to happen now .

Brandon Lawson is an author, screenwriter, poet, and movie analysist based in Antioch.
LAST UPDATED

MARCH 08, 2018