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The Causes of School Shootings and Ways to Deal with It

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Picture this, morning time, students going to school innocently just like any other day. Next thing you hear is sounds of gunshots, people screaming, children and teachers dead and injured, and people running trying to reach for help. No, this is not a scene from a Hollywood movie, this is reality. School shooting is a serious issue that must be solved and prevented in-order to bring peace back into this world. A great message about school shooting was spread through a Black-Eyed Peas music video “BIG LOVE” which was about school shooting. The music video and the song are so sad yet true, we need love instead of people killing each other which will not get humanity anywhere good. The shocking thing is that half of the school shooters were students. School shooting occurred in the 90s and 80s but people did not pay their attention to solving and preventing such acts because it did not occur frequently. Now, the number of school shooting incidents is rising horrifically, especially in the US. In my opinion, the causes of this horrific crime are very controversial. Some people might blame the parents while some might blame the school and others blame the shooter. The most important question is, what are the main causes that can lead a person to commit such horrific terrorist attack like school shooting and how can we get a better understanding of it?

Psychiatric drugs can be one of the main causes that can lead a person to committing a crime like school shooting. Psychiatric drug is a “medical” drug that doctors prescribe to people who suffer from a psychiatric illness like deep depression, personality disorders, anxiety disorders and so on. Entering a school and shooting everyone is a terrifying and horrific thing that a person cannot do unless they are under the influence of a certain type of drug, which can lead them to commit a crime without being fully conscious or aware of their actions. Almost 80% of school shooters were under a prescribed psychiatric drug. This answers the question that I continuously ask myself: how can a mentally stable person commit such crime? So, is the medication helping the person or making things worse?

Throughout my research regarding this topic, I have found out a strong proof that supports my opinion which is an interview by CCHRint with constitutional attorney Jonathan Emord. Jonathan Emord talked in the video about the financial interest of the psychiatric drug industry and how it is related to school shooting. This interview revealed the dark side of these drugs and how are they using society for financial reasons. The more the psychiatric drug industry produce these “medications”, the higher income they are going to have, neglecting the fact that these drugs are causing more harm than good to people’s lives. There is no doubt that some people might need curtain medication or drug to cure their severe illness (while on probation), but maybe drugs are not always the right answer to cure psychiatric illness, especially for younger people.

A real life proof on the negative effects of these psychiatric drugs, is the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting by Adam Lanza. Adam Lanza was born on April 22 1992. In December 14 2012, the 20 years old Adam Lanza went to an elementary school and shot 27 people: 20 children, 5 teachers and his mother. Adam shot his mother first, Nancy Lanza, then took her car and drove approximately 5 miles to Sandy Hook elementary school and started shooting everyone, and then himself. Throughout research and investigation and a lot of conflict and suing, attorney Jonathan found out after suing the state for refusing to show Adam Lanza’s medical record, it was found out that Adam was under a psychiatric medication which might of lead him to commit this crime. This does not justify Adam’s act of violence, but will surely make the mental health care providers become more responsible on how to deal with mental disorders because not everything can be solved with pills and medication.

An emotionally, mentally and physically abusive environment can lead a person to committing a crime like school shooting. Most people who have committed a crime like school shooting went through either abusive parents or extreme bullying in school. Constant bullying and hate towards a student will not only cause them depression and mental illness, but will turn them into criminals and terrorists. The sad thing is that 1 in 4 teachers do not see bullying as a problem. Living with abusive parents can be another reason that drags the person into this path. Living with parents that are constantly abusing their child can make the child get suicidal thoughts as well as act to harm themselves, because the child/teenager is at the dark side of life due to the abuse they are getting day by day. I am not justifying this act of terror with bullying or whatsoever, I’m blaming the constant hate and abuse and being in the dark that can turn the person into a criminal and a terrorist. Throughout my research regarding this topic, I have seen a very emotional video on this topic. In a TedxTalk, Aaron Stark talked about his story and how he was so close to becoming a school shooter, until his friend helped him and enlightened him on how to step out of the darkness and hatred.

School shooting is a very controversial topic and people are still searching for a clear and obvious cause to this issue. In my opinion, I find Aaron’s story useful for my research because it talked about curtain aspects and points that are related to my topic, which is the emotional side of the issue. Most people neglect the effect of their behavior towards other, and will not feel guilty or even take the blame. Aaron was abused when he was younger in all ways which lead him to self-harm behavior, suicidal thoughts and thoughts about school shooting. All thanks to his friend which helped him get out of the darkness, and into the light. All thanks to the acts of kindness that his friend showed him. And here is the clue, showing love and kindness and treating someone as an actual human being have a huge positive effect on a person.

A real life story that proofs how the social environment can have a huge effect on a person’s life is Aaron Stark’s story that he talked about in a TedxTalk. The 39 years old Aaron Stark talks about his dark past and how he was so close to being a school shooter. Aaron grew up in a mentally, emotionally and physically abusive family and circumstance. He was bullied and humiliated not only at school, but also by his abusive parents. This obviously led to his depression and self-damage behaviors like cutting his skin. He had an only friend that he considers his best friend that was so kind to him and treated him like an actual person. Aaron was so close to holding a gun and going to school and shooting everyone because of the darkness he was living in. His best friend made him feel loved and showed him kindness and that’s what took Aaron out from the darkness to the light, and saved him from committing a crime. Aaron now is a happily married man with 4 kids. Again, I am not justifying this act of violence, but I do strongly believe that everything completes each other and us as a society need to be wiser on how to deal with curtain aspects and parts of this crisis.

Mental health care service and providers must be more cautious and involved in schools in-order to prevent acts of terror and violence. School is the easiest place to spot kids who suffer or at risk of developing a kind of a mental illness like extreme depression and anxiety. Topics about mental health and how to deal with it should be added on the school curriculum. This way, students will not be ashamed to meet their social advisor and seek help. Often-times, students who suffer from a mental illness are prescribed under a kind of a psychiatric pill and ignored. In this case, acts of violence from students might occur. 90% of school shooters suffer from a mental illness. The mental health care service at the school should widen their knowledge when it comes to dealing with kids who suffer from a mental illness. Ignoring these kids and letting them suffer all alone might turn them into criminals and terrorists because they are so lost in dark, deep and extreme depression.

Most school shootings happen suddenly and often-times it is hard to deal with due to lack of awareness. A real-life evidence on that is the constant shooting in the past few years. School shooting occurs almost every year, this act of terror must be solved. Most schools do not have curtain security steps on how to act when actions like school mass shooting occur. It may not be easy to control a killer with a gun, but there should be at least safe guides that help students, teachers as well as school employees on what to do, who to call and where to go when shootings occur. School shooters often enter schools without being checked or asked to show an ID, that is why school head management should stick to firm and strict rules on who enters the school and what are they carrying.

Throughout my research regarding this topic, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institution published a very helpful article on their website. I find this article useful for my research because it discusses ways to prevent school shooting, and curtain aspects regarding this issue. Many people are looking for the main cause for school shooting but not paying attention to how can we stop this at-the-moment to keep the students safe. This article pointed out an important point which is that ignoring kids who suffer from depression and suicidal thoughts and looking at them as a “threat” will lead to more acts of violence. However, the article lacks information regarding access to guns. Although access to guns was mentioned it did not get enough information on how to deal with the access of guns. The article is so strong but it missed some points that should not be missed. We need to widen our knowledge on how to a deal with those who walk around school holding guns and shooting everyone. Dealing with the students facing mental illness is a day-to-day job for healthcare providers and can be done daily, but the easy access to guns is such an important topic that the article missed out on and did not mention.

In the end, we must continue to learn about how to deal with school shooting and how to solve it. A father of one of the victims of a school shooting attack said “one of the main lessons I think is that you have to keep the issue alive”. Ignoring issues like this will result in more. We need to stop killing each other because the world already has enough hatred. We must stop this from happening. School shooting is a terrorist attack. People should not fear taking their kids to school, parents should feel safe and in order-to do that, the law must be more firm and strict when it comes to killing lives. I personally think that if the shooter was above 21 years old they must face execution or a lifetime imprisonment. This way people will know that killing each other especially kids at school is not a joke, it is not a video game. The world needs peace. Kids are dying and suffering everywhere on this planet, we must stop act of violence at any kind whether it is a school shooting or not, politically or not. We must keep the issue alive so that people gain more knowledge and awareness. Killing people will never result in anything good. The world needs peace.

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The Causes of School Shootings and Ways to Deal with It. (2020, October 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved March 23, 2023, from
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