I am writing in response to your article, “Area schools superintendents ‘disturbed’ by Florida shooting,” published on Feb. 23.
The tragic shooting in Parkland, Fla., didn’t occur because of too few lockdown drills. It most likely wouldn’t have been prevented if all parents were told to track their children’s social media and text messages in search of red flags.
The real cause of this disaster is the widespread availability of semi-automatic weapons and the lack of restrictions on who can purchase them. Middle- and high-school-aged children, especially those suffering from mental illnesses, should not be able to walk into a store and easily purchase a deadly weapon.
Compared to the rest of the globe, the United States has seen an insanely high rate of deaths due to school shootings. An article in The Chicago Tribune stated that the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis recorded 57 incidents in 36 various countries between 2000-2010. Half (28) of those shootings occurred in the U.S. Americans also own a disproportionate number of guns compared to other countries — that same article stated gun ownership in the U.S. averages out to about one gun per person.
These patterns will not change if teachers are trained to use guns or if more security is added to schools. If our community members want to continue to help our area schools remain safe, we should lobby for increased gun control, not just more emergency drills.