Causes Of School Shootings

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School shootings strike into the heart of every American. From Columbine to Virginia Tech to Sandy Hook, the thought of innocent young students being mercilessly mowed down wrenches one’s heart. Yet these events continue to happen, and in ever increasing numbers. What could possibly drive a person to commit such a horrifying act? That single question has created a fierce debate over the causes of school shootings and what should be done to prevent them. Experts and pundits have discussed gun control, mental illness, bullying, violent video games, poverty, culture, and even gender roles as possible causes. Unsurprisingly, these sensitive issues cause intense division along political lines; this divisiveness has prevented any federal…show more content…
Often, detractors point to countries like Switzerland, which have high levels of gun ownership and low gun violence, as examples of why gun control is not needed. This, however, ignores the fact that while the Swiss do have many guns, they need a license to privately own a gun, they are not allowed to possess automatic weapons, and they are not allowed to publicly carry guns without a permit (Palmer, “Firearms-Control Legislation and Policy: Switzerland.”). The Swiss have been able to maintain a low-violence gun culture because of their sensible gun control laws.
In fact, countries that have strengthened their gun laws after tragic school shootings have seen a dramatic decrease in them reoccurring. Adam Gopnik in his “Shootings” article described what happened when the British changed their gun laws, “In Dunbane, Scotland, in 1996, a gunman killed sixteen children and a teacher at their school. Afterward, the British gun laws, already restrictive, were tightened … and nothing like Dunbane has occurred there since” (2). A similar event happened in Quebec, Canada which resulted in a prompt response from the government, leading to far less shootings and fewer casualties (Gopnik 2). Screening potential threats and cutting them off from access to guns
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