Before and After the Bang: Treatment and Prevention for School Violence

College Students Barricaded in the Classroom
College Students Barricaded in the Classroom

U.S.A. -( The school safety movement is growing. Parents, school staff, and law enforcement officers are working together. They are slowly solving the complex and interrelated issues of protecting our students from armed murderers in our schools. We see varied solutions from school to school and from state to state. There is much to learn as we protect our children.

The “solutions” to school safety aren’t simple, but they are achievable.

Whether simple or complex, whether easy or difficult, as parents, we demand that the school protect our children when we can’t.

“We want our kids back the same way we gave them to you.” only slightly smarter each day.

There are overlapping layers of protection for our schools the same way we protect our homes. To start, some safety programs try to prevent mass murderers before they reach the schoolhouse door. Other programs try to reduce the damage an attack can cause by changing the physical features and procedures at school. Still, others try to quickly stop the attacks, and then to save the lives of those who are injured. Some of the safety programs are clearly more effective than others.

We are a wonderfully resourceful country that looks at the safety problem both before and after the “bang.”  When we look across the US, we find well thought out programs that work at every stage of the problem. Each approach brings important benefits, though some are easier to appreciate than others.

Our view of “school safety” is distorted by the news media.

Many of the plans to kill our kids are uncovered and stopped without loss of life. School security gets better every day as more of us see something and say something. Fortunately, local officials often do something when they receive a tip. School districts across the country now have plans to not only report both bullying and threats but also to act on these reports. Those preventative actions are great news and seldom gets the credit they deserve.

A person doesn’t become a mass murderer for a single reason. A violent attack on our schools or churches is the end of a long chain of events. As we work back to the beginning, we find a regular pattern of what we do right and what we sometimes do wrong. Each of these are causative factors in a series. That means each one contributes to the problem, or the solution, depending on your perspective.

You’ve seen relationships like this before. Lots of things have “causative factors.” Not everyone who smokes develops lung cancer, but smoking is still a strong contributor to cancer. Not everyone who is overweight develops heart disease and diabetes, though obesity is a significant factor in both diseases.

We see many factors that contribute to celebrity violence.

  • Keep your marriage intact because most mass murderers come from a broken home.
  • Be an engaged parent and monitor what your child sees and the games they play. Violent entertainment normalizes aggression.
  • Therapists and teachers should report individuals that are obviously disturbed.
  • The media should stop breeding the next generation of celebrity murderers. Our kids and their friends watched the media turn murderers into rock-stars.
  • Report bullying and threats to local officials.
  • Schools, therapists and law enforcement should act on threats to students and the school.
  • Make our schools as secure as our homes and businesses.
  • Harden our classrooms the way we harden our bedrooms and offices. This doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.
  • Train and equip school staff to stop a physical threat at their school until police arrive.
  • Train school staff to treat the injured until EMTs arrive.
  • Your local school should conduct a safety audit to see if they live up to their safety plan.
Students are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school
Students are brought out of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school

Those well-accepted recommendations are easy to say, yet hard to accomplish. A frequent objection to each school safety plan is that the proposed plan is imperfect. I’m sure it is. There is always more we could do to protect our kids.

We can always study more options…forever.

Too often, a plan’s limitations are used as an excuse for inaction. A more realistic approach is to start simply and then implement a better plan over time. Adopt a security plan your organization can fully implement in 3 months, then in 6 months, and then revise the plan again each year. Responsible administrators have made our schools safer year after year.

When it comes to school safety, we’ve largely ignored the murderer’s motives and rewards.

Looking back at the list of safety recommendations, we’ve made progress across these all of these areas.. with one exception.  Many disturbed men and women murder our children to receive a billion-dollar media publicity campaign. These murderers may have been anonymous nobodies a few days ago. They may have been disliked and shunned, but once they kill our kids, then everyone knows their name. Fortunately, we can put that news media celebrity-genie back into the bottle. We have done so several times before. (with a second source here)

Our news media is the first to report headline news, but they are the last to learn from these attacks. Let’s send the media back to school until they get it right.

About Rob Morse

Slow Facts

The original article is here.  Rob Morse writes about gun rights at Ammoland, at Clash Daily, and on his SlowFacts blog. He hosts the Self Defense Gun Stories Podcast and co-hosts the Polite Society Podcast. Rob is an NRA pistol instructor and combat handgun competitor.

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Yale Wishnick
Yale Wishnick — A Action Oriented Symposium on “Keeping Our Kids Safe.” Keep our kids as safe as any government building.

Paul Fitch
Paul Fitch

Oath Keepers is doing something because something always wins against nothing. Oath keepers of Pima County (AZ) is holding a School Safety Symposium to bring to the fore how we can make our schools safe and prevent more deaths in our schools. Here is the website for the symposium.



The media loves a tragedy, it generates interest in the news, sells papers and air time. The MSM makes you want to believe that schools are war zones when in fact the chances of a student being killed in an auto wreck on the way to school is astronomically higher than being shot in a mass slaying.


Exactly! In my 20 years in the classroom we had several deaths related to automobiles but none related to guns on campus.


Rob Morris is staying on the school shooting agenda. Most have stopped discussing it and I’m not sure many are still making plans to make schools safer. There is no sense to let it die on the vine until another tragedy happens then justify it by grabbing every ones’s guns.
Thanks, Rob, for keeping in front and center.