Last week a heartbreaking moment in American history happened with a shooter taking the lives of nineteen children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. These types of shootings are taking place far too often, and it is alarming at the rate they seem to be occurring. School shootings are nothing new to the United States and go back as far as the 1700s. With school shootings happening in the country for centuries, have we learned from them and how can we stop them and be prepared for the potential of another?

The History of School Shootings in the United States

Credit: gregorydean
Credit: gregorydean
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School shootings have been happening for centuries in the United States, with the first documented one happening back in 1764. Four Lenape American Indians entered a school in Pennsylvania and killed a teacher and ten children, with only two surviving. If you ask most people over the age of 20, they will most likely tell you that the first school shooting they remember was Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado on April 20, 1999. To this day it is one of the most infamous school shootings in American history, killing fourteen students, and one teacher, and wounding 27 others. Why is this one always mentioned but not others? The casualty rate was high, but the access to it, via the internet and television, made it more accessible to the country than ever before.

How Do We Prevent School Shootings in Idaho?

Credit: CDC on Unsplash
Credit: CDC on Unsplash
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With hundreds of years of documented shootings across the country, why are they continuing to happen? We should be learning from these incidents and doing everything we can to prevent them, but they continue to happen and in 2022 they are at an alarming rate. Some years are better than others, such as in the 2006 to 2007 school year there were 38 deaths from school shootings, but the year before there were only five and the year after there were three. Any school shooting death is one too many, but how can we prevent them in Idaho? 

School Shootings Need to Stop

Credit: Claudia Wolff on Unsplash
Credit: Claudia Wolff on Unsplash
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In the state of Idaho, there have only been two school shootings since 1970. That is still two too many, but it does beat the over one hundred shootings that have taken place in both California and Texas. For those arguing about gun laws, Idaho is pro-guns and has proven that people can live with them and keep mass shootings limited. An easy solution is to take all guns away, but that is a road that nobody should want to go down. Even if all guns were taken away, as proven in the first paragraph, the Lenape American Indians didn't have guns, but still were able to execute a school shooting. If it isn't guns, it would be knives, fire, explosives, or something else, so is there a solution? 

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At the end of the day, there isn't an easy solution. As Winston Churchill famously said, "Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it." The history is documented and there for us, so let's take what we can learn from past school shootings, apply it going forward and help prevent any more from happening in the future. None of these deaths should have occurred, but by using their tragic stories, we can help save lives going forward. Is there a way to stop shootings from happening? I am not the one to answer that, but we need to change something because what is being done now, isn't working well enough. 

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