Around the country, seemingly without rhyme or reason, active shooter/assailant events occur with regularity. Although there is some indication this phenomenon is on the rise, the sample size is relatively small statistically speaking (2000 - 2017). What has become evident is the average death toll per event continues to rise. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), 2017 demonstrated a 34 percent increase (138) in fatalities from the next highest year of 90 fatalities (Hays, 2018, para 2). This is in large part a result of more intricate planning, offenders studying previous active shooter events (copy cats), different mindsets (trying to one-up the last offender), weapon choice and subsequent platforms, and numerous other considerations (Hayes, 2018, para 4).
The innocent lives tragically taken is unacceptable; active shooter incidents decimate families and communities alike without prejudice. These events consistently raise more questions than answers and are typically only exceeded in tragedy by the next active shooter event. Further, these events shock the conscience of America as a whole, not just family members of the victims. That said, more proactive approaches to addressing these tragedies needs to be seriously pursued if our collective goal is to minimize fatalities when these tragedies occur. One would be remiss to accept these events as the cost of doing business. More aptly, risks we are willing to accept for our Nation’s children and education staff. For these reasons and many others, select and vetted educators in the Texas public school system should be armed.