By Taiwo AKINLAMI
The recent shooting at the Nashville elementary school, Nashville, Tennessee, United States of America, by a 28-year-old former student, killing three young students and three staff members before being confronted and killed by police has sparked a nationwide debate.
The shooter was said to have had a detailed map of the facility and entered the school through a side entrance of the school armed with two AR-style weapons, a rifle, and a pistol, along with a handgun and went to the second floor “firing multiple shots”.
The police had identified the victims as Evelyn Dieckhaus, William Kinney, and Hallie Scruggs, all of them age 9, and Mike Hill, 61, Katherine Koonce, 60, and Cynthia Peak, 61.
This attack marks the 89th shooting on K-12 school grounds in 2023, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database. The Gun Violence Archive, a nonprofit organization, which defines a mass shooting as a situation where at least four people are injured, has reported that there has been 130 mass shooting in the United States of America this year. It is a painful reminder of the menace of ‘Gun Violence,’ which is today not only prevalent but also seeming insurmountable in the United States of America. According to BRADY, every day, 22 children and teens (1-17) are shot in the United States, 5 die from gun violence.’
As a Child-Focused Organization, we condemn what the rampant school shooting, which has made schools unsafe for our precious children in the United States of America. There is no argument that school shooting has incalculable psychological impact on our precious children, who are directly affected or witness the same from time to time, their immediate families, our communities, and the public as a whole.
According to Pew Research Center ‘about a third of K-12 parents are very or extremely worried a shooting could happen at their children’s school.’
Here are few issues we think all stakeholders should consider in finding short and long-term solutions to the seemingly insurmountable menace of school shooting:
1. Parenting as a core concern: It is our long-standing belief that shooters are not born but made. We believe that at the core of making or marring the destinies of children is their primary and secondary parents. Parenting is the least visited issue when we discuss the possible solutions to the hydra-headed gun violence national crisis. In multi-faceted dimensions, the family and community hold the key to laying the foundation, in childhood, for the lives individuals would lead as adults. We believe the conversation on responsible parenting should be in the front burner of discussions in curbing the menace of gun violence.
2. Intelligent Consideration of Mental Health: Though the National Council for Mental Wellbeing (National Council) submits in their report, titled, “Mass Violence in America” published in 2019 that the majority of individuals with diagnosed mental illness do not engage in violence against others, it is important for the society to embrace and pay careful attention to mental health as a critical
part of total health in studying the root causes of gun violence and its impact on precious children with impressionable minds, who witness the same within the school system.
3. Commitment to Prevention and Vigilance: ‘in a comprehensive school shooting study, the Secret Service and Department of Education found that 93% of school shooters planned the attack in advance,’ submits https://www.sandyhookpromise.org.
An internal and external Child Safeguarding, Protection, Safety and security mechanisms and systems must be in place to anticipate the threats to our precious children in schools and respond to the same well before they are planned and executed.
4. Strict Adherence to the Intention and Spirit of the 2nd Amendment: The debates and calls to action regarding gun control needs to be brought to the front burner of engagements with all arms of government focusing on machineries to ensure comprehensive background checks on all purchasers of firearms and banning of excessive possession of firearms and ensuring that gun possession are strictly within the intension and spirit of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees a “right of the people to keep and bear arms.”
(Taiwo AKINLAMI is Co-Founder of Power Parenting Company)
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