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The Root Causes of Mass School Shootings in The United States

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The United States is one of the superpower nations in the world. Given that it is considered to be a superpower nation, it is expected to have the best security both without and within its borders. While the US has done many exploits beyond its borders through its army, there remains a challenge with its internal security. Everyday news is full of the ever saddening occurrences of young Americans losing their lives to shooters. One of the security threats within the borders of the US is the now rampant school shooting incidences which are caused by a neglect of parental responsibility, bullying in School, and primarily by loose gun policies.

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It is believed that one of the causes of school shootings is the neglect of parental responsibility. In the year 2018, a 19-year-old walked into a Florida high school and killed 17 people. Various people and events have been blamed for school shooting incidences, but after the Florida shooting one the teacher stood up and spoke out her mind as to what she believes to be the specific reason why there are school shootings. The teacher who is called Kelly Guthrie took to her social media and said that it is the parents who are to blame for the ever-rising cases of school shootings. Kelly said that she happened to have grown up with guns, and in as much as she grew up with firearms, she confirms that the parents never entertained any bad behaviors. The strict nature of her parents barred her from doing anything wrong at school, and she was too terrified to do anything wrong. In giving details as to the role that the parents played, she says that the parents knew everything that she did and they had knowledge of where she was every other time. She continues that her parents made her have a curfew; they made her respect their rules. They had control of the house, and they would enter her bedroom and go through anything and everything that she had.

From the testimony of Kelly, there is a lot of sense that she makes. It is argued by many that today’s parents are too busy for their children. A comparison of the times that Kelly lived her childhood and the times of the current generation, show a significant difference. Others may argue that in as much as the parents of the past generation had much influence in the lives of their children, today that might not be possible because children are so occupied by for instance school time, and therefore, there is no time that a parent will have with them. Either way, such kind of an argument still borders to what Kelly was saying, that there is so little family time and that parents have lost touch with the lives of their children. However, even if children are most of the times kept away from them, they ought to have adopted the technique of Kelly’s parents, knowing where the children are every other time. Though, it has been hard for parents to stamp their authority in children’s life because of the busy schedule, and therefore Kelly’s argument that parental neglect is mostly to blame for school shooting makes a lot of sense.

The second reason that is counted as a cause for the incidences of school shootings is bullying in school. A recent study looked at the relationship that exists between bullying, victimization, and the carrying of weapons to school. The study went ahead to look at the probability of carrying weapons by victims of bullying. In the study, it was found out that victims of bullying were two times likely to carry weapons to school as opposed to non-victims. In the study, it was found out that among the 16 million high school students, 200,000 victims of bullying had carried a weapon to school. Other subset factors that were found to be a reason for students to carry weapons was fighting at school, and also being threatened or injured at school among others. From this study, it has been found that there are impacts of feeling unsafe at school, other than just feeling unsafe at school; they also felt unsafe on their way to and from school. Other than that, in the study there was a word to pediatricians, parents, and school personnel on how to handle victims of bullying and this strengthens this reason.

In the study, the mentioned groups were advised on how to take care of victims of bullying. Pediatricians, parents, and school personnel are advised to direct limited resources towards helping students who are victims of violence. They are further advised to be keen to take care of the risk factors such as fighting. From this study, one thing that is apparent is that the other risk factors like fighting in school and the threat to attending school are closely related to bullying. It is true that when a student is attacked in school, they will do anything also to appear to have the strength to resist. If the student who attacked was stronger than the student who was attacked, then there are high chances of carrying a gun to match their power and strength. While it is clear that bullying is a reason for carrying a gun to school the question that might prop up is why mass shooting while just one student might have bullied his/her fellow. However, when a student might have had a grudge with one student, then, may be to reach the target others might be caught in the fire, alternatively, after hitting the target those who might attempt to come to the defense of the target might also meet the same fate.

The third reason that is believed to be the cause of school shootings is loose gun laws. After the deadliest school shooting in the US, there were protests which were led by students who survived the shooting. One of the students who is called Emma Gonzales, is recorded saying that they were going to be the last shooting and that they were going to change the law. The students were determined to push for a change in the law which would then help in ensuring that there is gun control. Another student is quoted saying that they are the kind of students who will be read in tomorrow’s news as that generation of students who brought about a change in the United States of America. With a strong belief that the lack of gun control was the reason for mass shooting in schools, the students vowed to use the vote to bring about that change. They wanted to have all young people registered to vote which would then force the federal government to tighten the loose gun laws. After the action of the federal government, it would then move to the states which would again be forced to do so against the wish of the Congress. Other than the students, some governors joined in the rally to have gun laws tightened. One such governor who had promised to have the gun laws tightened was Vermont governor Phil Scott; he had held that there was a need for state gun laws to be tightened.

As noted in the preceding paragraph, many people believe that it is the loose gun laws which have led to the incidences of mass shootings in schools. It has been argued out there that even if parents were to do their part and become vigilant, their children would still access the guns in the shops. Therefore, many hold that in as much as parental responsibly is needful it needs to be accompanied by goodwill from the state. On the other hand, in the case of bullying, it is widely held that the only reason why a victim of bullying will turn out to be a threat to others is that the laws have allowed them to have an easy access to guns. What now remains to be seen is who between those who call for loose gun laws and those who advocate for gun possession rights will carry the day by winning the political goodwill to their side.

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Many lives continue to be lost while the big debate on gun rules continues to rage on like the California wild fires. Being seen by many as the root cause for mass shootings in schools, the gun control talk never escapes whenever there is a conversation about mass shootings. However, largely blamed for the social problem is the busy life of today’s parents and which has come in handy with a lack of concern about the welfare of their children. Frustrations of bullying in school are also believed to be a cause of mass shootings in schools, as the victims of bullying find it wise to pick a gun in their quest for revenge. With business and political interests being at the center of the whole issue, the debate continues, but the question that many have is, will it come to an end?


  1. Hampson, R. (2018). After Parkland shooting: A day-by-day fight over guns in America .USA Today. Retrieved from
  2. Dastagir, A. (2018). After a school shooting, are parents to blame? USA Today. Retrieved from
  3. Tammy B. Lana, E. Majnu, J., & Andrew, A. (2017). Weapon Carrying Among Victims of Bullying. Pediatrics, Volume 140 (6).

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