With all of the violence in the Middle East and other countries, it should come as a surprise that Americans are killing each other faster than those at war. The most recent shooting at the school in Florida has brought school violence to the forefront again and this time, things are actually being done. But, are these the right things to do? Will having stricter gun laws actually cut down on school violence? History says no. Many of the shootings at schools in the United States are done by adolescents with guns obtained from other people, not guns that they bought themselves. For that matter, most school violence does not even involve a gun at all. Stabbings and beatings are more rampant in American schools than shootings. However, in those attacks that involved mass killings, guns were involved. But, is this because of the lack of gun control in the United States or the lack of supervision of our children, or maybe the lack of mental health care for our children?
Mental Health Care Shortage
It seems difficult to believe that the United States, one of the most educated and safety conscious nations in the world, could have a shortage of mental health care. However, this is very true and as disturbing as it is, the cause may very well be financial. The cost of getting a degree to become a psychiatrist or psychologist is more than $200,000 and that is just for the degree. That does not include the years of internship and, if you are able to come up with the money for all of that, you will have to pay ridiculous expenses for licensure, office space, and malpractice insurance. That is on top of the student loans you will be paying off for the next 20 years. This does not make becoming a psychiatrist or psychologist look very appealing.
Guns in America
The Washington Post did a story about how there has rarely ever been a school shooting in Israel, where you see people carrying guns as they would a purse or briefcase. Why? According to the Israeli government, it is almost impossible to get into a school if you are not a student or a teacher. There is only one unlocked entrance into the schools and they are all protected by soldiers. Not math teachers with guns. Soldiers. Also, criminologists in Jerusalem claim that most people in Israel learn at an early age to respect guns and they are not even able to buy a gun until they are 27. Then, they have to go through extensive paperwork and provide medical reports.
The Death Toll
So, what is the death toll of school violence in the United States? According to CNN, there were 28 school shootings in the 19th century, 226 in the 20th century, and there have already been 224 so far in the 21st century and the century has just begun. In these shootings, there have been 438 people shot and 139 of those victims died.
What You Can Do
The most important thing to do in order to stop the school violence is to talk to your children. Make sure your children know they can come to you for anything. And seek professional help if you think someone you care about may need some help. If you are not sure how to find a therapist near you, try Betterhelp.com, which has over 2,000 licensed professionals ready to help anytime, without an appointment, and you do not even need to leave the house.