School Shootings

  1. Yet another tragic loss of innocent life today in Santa Fe, Texas. Yet again! As a school nurse, and one who is close to your children and my children, every day during school, these senseless losses tear at my heart...and yet again, it happened today - again.

    So here is the relevance of my post to "allnurses." Nurses are, probably, the most accomplished and innovative, critical thinking, problems solving, life saving, "git-er-done," people on the planet. It appears "the experts" have contributed only to reliving the definition of insanity in regard to school shooting; doing the same thing and expecting a different result. Sometimes it takes someone from the outside looking in to find the golden key.

    I am requesting your ideas, recommendations, suggestions, thoughts, etc., regarding what you think would prevent future school shootings; as you would a head to toe assessment, identification, and intervention of your patient, so to speak. Or from any other relationship you have to school age children.

    I am requesting genuine input. Sarcasm and political attacks are not welcome. If you don't have a contribution you think would be helpful, please don't.

    If this turns out how I'm hoping it will, I intend to print the entire thread and mail it to the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott; opinions from nurses from around the world - how to stop the insanity of school shootings!

    Thank you!
    Last edit by Brian S. on May 21
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    About OldDude, RN Guide

    Joined: Apr '13; Posts: 4,480; Likes: 19,334

    217 Comments

  3. by   pixierose
    Good idea for a thread, OD. But a heartbreaking one.

    As someone who has two high schoolers, it's frightening to think, "again." It should be "never."

    As a former schoolteacher, the solution isn't to arm teachers. I've been through quite a few lockdowns. It's faster to lock that door, shut the lights and remain silent. Plus, as someone who is 5'1, 110lbs and who never has shot a gun ... I'm afraid I'd be overpowered rather than useful.

    As someone who works in a pediatric psych ED ... schools are sending children and adolescents to hospitals for psych evals in record numbers. I had 32 kiddos in my part of the ED last night and almost half, HALF, were for threats of HI. From all the kids I've ever seen for thoughts of HI, I've come across two that we thought were actual threats.

    Thus, I think a lot of staff at schools ARE seeing s/s of kids on crisis.

    But these kids have NO WHERE to go. Our mental health system is broken. I see the same kids over and over.

    We have security wanding patients and metal detectors in our hospital. Our government buildings have this as well. I think we need to start doing this with our nations schools. I mean, I can just walk right in to my kids school and sign in. I live 25 minutes away from Newtown. Anyone who wants in will walk in.

    So my long winded answer is, "I don't know." But I don't think the government has my children's interests at heart. Neither side will agree.
    Last edit by pixierose on May 18
  4. by   NurseCard
    I'm with pixierose in that, I honestly don't know. I have a high schooler too,
    so all of this crap is so scary to me.

    Wanding everyone that comes in the school is the best solution I can think of.
    I know a lot of parents don't want that, but I just want my children to be safe.
  5. by   mmc51264
    I was at work today and one of my pts was watching TV and it was on. I get physically ill now. My niece was shot a year ago (the anniversary was the day of the school walk out). There is a picture that her sister took on the steps of the Mont AL capitol steps, where someone had laid a pair of shoes. "Those could have been my shoes" She survived. My son was born 3 weeks after her and when there was a lock down (no guns) here in NC. I had to go get him from school. He is 16. I hate that he tells me that he hates this country where there is no guarantee that he will come home from school. Every time he almost gets over it, another one happens. My heart breaks for my child, my niece, the children that have died, the parents that have buried their children. I am just heartbroken and very angry.
  6. by   Triddin
    Gun control in the USA?
  7. by   brownbook
    We don't need to reinvent the wheel.

    Many countries have gun control laws. You can own a gun in these countries, there are simply more restrictions and regulations.
  8. by   pixierose
    Quote from Triddin
    Gun control in the USA?
    It should be as easy as that. But it's not. My FIL throws out, "it's my second amendment right, damn it!" every time the issue of gun control is brought up. To me, it's a foolish argument. Something adopted in 1791 in response to resistance from oppression versus all this death and destruction today ...

    We need discussion and change for gun control which we clearly haven't seen from our officials - this thread will be enlightening, I hope, as I am so very clearly broken-hearted and pessimistic at this point. And so afraid for my kids.
  9. by   NurseCard
    Apparently there has been another shooting tonight, some school near
    Atlanta. They were having baccaulaureate ceremony.

    Wow.
  10. by   KatieMI
    To begin with...

    1). Someone below age 18/21 got YOUR gun? You have to surrender every single one of your guns and never can buy them again.
    2). As above + someone got killed? You go to jail.
    3). You got to register to own a gun, get license, pass exam, pay yearly tax, demonstrate ownership of a working safe programmed by your fingerprint. Just pretty much like you do with your driving license.
    4). No one in household of a person with known history of certain felonies (like aggravated assault) and mental health disorders (known anger outbursts within last 5 years with h/o harm to others or involuntary confinement) can store a gun. If they still want to shoot, they can own one but must belong to some sort of organization like hunting club and store it there.
    5). Only organized sales with centralized background check. No more gun shows.
    6). PMHNP/Pediatrics in EVERY school. Double the number of high school counselors, force them to have at least 6 months education specifically in children's mental health issues.
    7). No military- grade guns for public (or whatever the stuff is named). The existing ones are bought out by State within 10 years. Having them after that = felony, with all the sequela.
    8). "Want to help America? Stop a bully, whenever you see one! Back to manners, USA!"(yup, including reporting to police that guy on Facebook who just said that Hitler was the greatest man ever and all immigrants are pigs).
    9). Make mental health, and especially holistic mental health management, a priority over heart disease in management and prevention. Force employers to provide FMLA for that and insurers pay for medical stress management, gyms and community health activities.
    10). EVERY school district gets a community center for teens, led by teens (ours has one, and it does splendid job. "Girls only/boys only" nights, pool parties, shopping crazies, tutoring, games, summer camps, book clubs. But we're in district which doesn't know how else to spend money it gets).

    Sounds like something that makes sense?
    Last edit by KatieMI on May 18
  11. by   Penelope_Pitstop
    Also, today, a student at my high school (as in, my alma mater, not where I work or anything) was found to have a firearm in his bag. I wasn't scared of school shootings when I was in school. (I was a freshman when Columbine happened, I probably should have been) but I'm a mom now and I am scared.

    But I have no solution.

    I don't agree with it being a mental health problem.

    I believe calling it that does little to get to the root of the issue, for the root is not a mood disorder, psychotic disorder or personality disorder.
    While shooters may very well have diagnoses that are in the DSM V, that is not what causes these events. Also, this encourages mental health stigma.

    I believe the cause is bullying. Calling it a mental health issue removes the blame from the bullies and places it on a psychiatric illness. I don't know how to stop bullying, or make its long term effects disappear. Lord knows my emotional scars from years of verbal torture from my peers are permanent.
  12. by   VivaLasViejas
    Quote from Penelope_Pitstop
    I don't agree with it being a mental health problem.

    I believe calling it that does little to get to the root of the issue, for the root is not a mood disorder, psychotic disorder or personality disorder.
    While shooters may very well have diagnoses that are in the DSM V, that is not what causes these events. Also, this encourages mental health stigma.

    I believe the cause is bullying. Calling it a mental health issue removes the blame from the bullies and places it on a psychiatric illness. I don't know how to stop bullying, or make its long term effects disappear. Lord knows my emotional scars from years of verbal torture from my peers are permanent.
    THANK YOU. I get so tired of hearing these incidents being blamed on mental illness and those who suffer from it. Some shooters do have psychiatric diagnoses, but I believe there is such a thing as evil and some people carry it within them.

    I once knew a seven-year-old boy who was just plain mean---he tortured and killed small animals, caused other kids to have accidents on their bikes, set the playground on fire. He injured one of my sons one day and I took him back to his house, where he gave his foster mother and me a look that chilled me to the bone. I saw evil in his eyes that day, and if I ever had to choose someone as Most Likely to End Up on Death Row, it was he. As he grew he got into bigger and bigger trouble and ended up in a juvenile detention facility, and the last I heard of him he was in prison for arson and attempted murder.

    I too think bullying is part of the problem, but for my money the general coarsening of our culture is mainly responsible for this. Kids have access to all sorts of video games in which killing is celebrated. It's OK to use horrible language and watch violent movies. Too many parents neglect to teach their offspring how to accept disappointment and failure as a normal part of life; they don't get the idea that the world doesn't owe them something just for breathing. With this entitled attitude, some fail to grow a conscience, and we end up with...this. Murder, death, bodies, blood. Over and over and over again.

    This is a complex issue that has so many factors that we may never be able to sort it all out. We don't have a gun problem so much as we have a *heart* problem. The guns are just a means to an end for mass murderers. Perhaps there would be fewer dead if criminals used knives or machetes or baseball bats instead of guns. But for someone who's bound and determined to hurt or kill people, there are plenty of weapons of all kinds around, including explosives. That kid who committed yesterday's killings also reportedly planted bombs around the school which could have killed many, many more. How do you control that? Anyone who wants to make explosives can get bomb-making instructions on the Internet, even easier than buying a gun.

    I don't know what the answer is. I'm not sure there IS one, at least not a single answer to all the bloodshed. All I know is that as long as violence and lack of respect for our fellow humans continue to be par for the course in America, these murders will keep happening and the body count will keep rising.
  13. by   Newgradnurse17
    There has been so many shootings in the USA, and every time one happens people say we have to change things. But nothing ever does. And a thread on a nursing website isn't going to help.

    The us government has to step up and put policy's in place. No one needs a gun. People wanting a gun shouldn't be prioritise over people's life's.

    As some one not from the USA it seems rediculous how unsafe it is there. I love travelling and want to see the world, but there's no way I would go to America in its current state.
  14. by   NightNerd
    Quote from KatieMI
    To begin with...

    1). Someone below age 18/21 got YOUR gun? You have to surrender every single one of your guns and never can buy them again.
    2). As above + someone got killed? You go to jail.
    3). You got to register to own a gun, get license, pass exam, pay yearly tax, demonstrate ownership of a working safe programmed by your fingerprint. Just pretty much like you do with your driving license.
    4). No one in household of a person with known history of certain felonies (like aggravated assault) and mental health disorders (known anger outbursts within last 5 years with h/o harm to others or involuntary confinement) can store a gun. If they still want to shoot, they can own one but must belong to some sort of organization like hunting club and store it there.
    5). Only organized sales with centralized background check. No more gun shows.
    6). PMHNP/Pediatrics in EVERY school. Double the number of high school counselors, force them to have at least 6 months education specifically in children's mental health issues.
    7). No military- grade guns for public (or whatever the stuff is named). The existing ones are bought out by State within 10 years. Having them after that = felony, with all the sequela.
    8). "Want to help America? Stop a bully, whenever you see one! Back to manners, USA!"(yup, including reporting to police that guy on Facebook who just said that Hitler was the greatest man ever and all immigrants are pigs).
    9). Make mental health, and especially holistic mental health management, a priority over heart disease in management and prevention. Force employers to provide FMLA for that and insurers pay for medical stress management, gyms and community health activities.
    10). EVERY school district gets a community center for teens, led by teens (ours has one, and it does splendid job. "Girls only/boys only" nights, pool parties, shopping crazies, tutoring, games, summer camps, book clubs. But we're in district which doesn't know how else to spend money it gets).

    Sounds like something that makes sense?
    I wish I could like this a thousand times.

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