Trump administration doesn’t understand school safety

By Hermes

The United States has one of the highest rates of gun violence in the developed world. This poses a problem for administrators in elementary and secondary schools. Trained as teachers, they must not only educate young Americans but also keep them safe from the ever-present threat of mass shootings.

Many young people are terrified of their school becoming the next Columbine, Sandy Hook or Stoneman Douglas. And their fear is not unjustified.

Despite this, the Trump administration continues to mischaracterize the source of danger. The White House is pinning the blame on media corporations, not the country’s incredibly lax system of firearms regulations. Unfortunately, the president and his cronies are doing more harm than good when it comes to their supposed efforts to increase school safety.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in the administration’s new report on school safety. As a New York Times headline put it, the report, compiled by several federal departments and presented to the president, “plays down” the role of guns in school shootings.

Instead, the Trump administration wants the American people to believe journalists are at fault for mass gun violence — or at least more so than gun manufacturers, gun-rights lobbyists and the politicians who block sensible gun regulation.

The president made this interpretation clear in published remarks from a roundtable discussion on school safety last week:

We’ve taken important steps, but much work remains to be done, as always. Today, we are reviewing the recommendations put forward by the School Safety Commission. These include… launching a No Notoriety campaign, which would encourage the media not to use the names or, frankly, anything having to do with the shooters.

I see it all the time; they make these people famous. And they’re not famous; they’re opposite. They’re horrible, horrible people. I think that’s a very important one — No Notoriety campaign.

This characterization of the news media really bothers me.

First, it must be noted it is certainly not the primary goal of journalists to make mass shooters famous or notorious. The goal of reporting on these events is to publish accurate information surrounding what is, for many, a life-altering tragedy. In the wake of these shootings, people are looking for answers as to what happened and why. Responsible journalism ought to include details about the perpetrator simply for the sake of establishing a clear public record.

Second, if the reporting is being conducted as the shooting is still in progress, the information serves as a vital public safety announcement to surrounding residents. Journalists have a large microphone, and in these scenarios they use it to keep those in close proximity to the danger apprised of the unfolding situation. Knowing whom the perpetrator is, where he or she is and whether the threat has yet to be neutralized often works to contain the situation and keep innocent bystanders safe and secure.

Third, let’s not forget the tone of coverage is often as important as the amount of coverage. When it comes to perpetrators of mass shootings, news media never paint them in a positive light. In fact, they often do the opposite, showing mass shooters to be vile, animalistic human beings who should not be countenanced nor emulated.

Fourth, reporting concerning mass shootings, especially in the days and weeks following the event, tends to focus more on the lives of the victims than on the background of the perpetrator. This is a vital role of journalism that is often forgotten. Journalists bring people together in the mourning of those who died or were grievously injured, offering the victims’ loved ones solace in the face of unforeseen tragedy.

In vilifying the news media, the Trump administration is merely looking for a scapegoat on which to pin the blame of this solvable problem. Instead of targeting journalists, the White House should focus its efforts on enacting serious gun control regulation. If the federal government were truly willing to try, it could save the lives of thousands of young Americans with a few quick signatures.

Gun control works, as has been proven in many other countries that at one point or another faced a problem similar to our own. If they can learn from their mistakes, why can’t we? ■

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6 thoughts on “Trump administration doesn’t understand school safety

  1. First, that is an interesting picture you’ve obviously chosen. It is void of a trigger puller, does a gun shoot itself? Is a gun autonomous?

    Second, what is the literal definition of a mass shooting?

    Third, why do you and others assume that violence can be stopped? Ghengis Khan killed more that disease with a bow and a sword.

    Do you think that violence doesn’t happen without a gun? Do you think that murder cannot take place without gunpowder?


    1. Bottomlesscoffee: I simply must reply to your comment, as I have seen nearly identical “arguments” in response to every article, post or comment in favor of gun control: they deflect and confuse. And they completely fail to address the points presented.
      As to yours:
      First, this post is not void of a trigger-puller at all. In fact, it characterizes them as “vile, animalistic human beings who should not be countenanced nor emulated.” Nowhere is there any implication that a gun shoots itself. But of course, that is beside the point. In fact, most gun violence would simply not occur in another form in the absence of a gun. The shooting itself is the point of the crime.

      Second, what difference, exactly, does the literal definition of a mass shooting make? Whether it is 3 or 5 or 10, can we not agree that Columbine, Sandy Hook, and Margery Stoneman Douglas qualify? Or do you think that there is a target number of casualties that much be reached in order for Americans to care about our children? Perhaps the next one will satisfy your quota.

      And third, why do you require that *all* violence be stopped in order for us to take measures to stop *some* violence? That is the equivalent of saying that discovering a cure for cancer is pointless because it would not cure all disease. Or that we should not teach our children not to walk out into traffic because they are going to die eventually. It is not necessary for reasonable gun regulations to stop all violence in order to be effective. I think that one life saved, or one person spared from the life-long trauma of having to crouch under a desk while their classmates are shot to death is worth trying to reduce the number of school shootings in America. Why don’t you?

      The bigger question is: Why do you try to justify the status quo? What do you stand to gain?


      1. The picture was void of a trigger puller, please if you are going to challenge me, pay attention.

        What is the difference between violence and gun violence?

        If there is a term such as “mass shooting” then it should be standardized and measurable.

        So… care about children when they are shot, but not aborted?

        Why does a law abiding American need to make sacrifices and compromises such as gun control? What did they ever do? Why not just prosecute the criminal, why they need for mass punishment?

        So, in your opinion, we need to be disarmed in the hopes of saving lives? Places such as Chicago, NYC, states such as California have the strictest gun control laws in America and mass murder still happens there.

        A suggestion, get your head out of the sand and be realistic. The criminal doesn’t care about the law, that is why they are a criminal. Gun control would only disarm and create more victims.

        A lock only keeps an honest person honest.

        What status quo am I trying to justify?

        What do you stand to gain disarming law abiding Americans?


      2. If you are for gun control, then perhaps practice that yourself before you demand that everyone else cater to your edicts.

        Be a leader and lead from the front. Show everyone how great gun control could be by your own example.

        If you cannot exhibit before you decree, then why should anyone listen to you?


      3. Bottomless …you are down the rabbit hole, my friend. But I will follow. To address your points:

        I thought you were speaking metaphorically. As for the featured image, I’m sure it’s royalty-free photo; we all use them….we try to find something on point. I’m sure that’s what Hermes was doing here. One cannot read more into them than that.

        One is without a gun, the other is with a gun.


        What do you know of my views on abortion and aborted babies? Please, enlighten me.

        We all make sacrifices to live in a civilized society. That’s the way it works. We pay taxes, we follow laws, we reign in our baser instincts, we say please and thank you. What do you need a gun for? Because punishing the criminal doesn’t bring back the dead…the idea is to prevent the murder before it happens. How is it punishment to limit yourself to, say, one firearm?

        That nonsense is not factually correct. And yes, we have crime and there has always been murder. And like I said before, why do you insist that my solutions must solve all of humanity’s ills at once?

        My head is not in the sand. I can look around at the rest of the world and at history and see that there are other solutions out there. We keep going in the same direction, and the situation only gets worse. Therefore, I suggest that we change directions.


        The current situation is the status quo to which I refer.

        A lower murder rate.

        You still have not addressed any of the issues in the post.


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