Why do kids bring guns to school?

Why do kids bring guns to school?
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The only acceptable number of kids bringing guns to school in our current climate is zero.

While it wasn’t unusual to find a hunting rifle or shotgun sitting in a pickup truck’s gun rack in my school’s parking lot back in the day, that’s not really allowed in this day and age.


As such, we can’t and shouldn’t tolerate kids bringing them to school for non-sporting purposes.

Yet the truth is that if you want to curb any kind of behavior, it behooves you to understand why people behave in that way.

A retired suburban police chief shares his thoughts and why kids are doing it.

Why do children, specifically elementary and high school students, bring weapons to school? The answer is complex, but some research indicates students bring guns to school because other students bullied them. The National Institute of Health recently said the overwhelming response from students caught with handguns was they got them for protection.

Other reasons included they wanted to have a tough guy, criminal-type image, wanted other students to respect them or thought a handgun would earn that respect. Some posted pictures of themselves with the guns on social media accounts to look cool. Not surprisingly, some brought a gun to school to inflict harm by shooting other students or staff members.

Granted, none of this is groundbreaking. I think we could all imagine scenarios like these as to why someone might bring a firearm to school.


I’m not excusing it or saying it’s understandable as a means of downplaying the seriousness of this, only to say that none of this is earth-shattering information, either.

That means we likely don’t need a lot more information.

The former chief has his thoughts on how the problem should be addressed, to be sure, but since he also favors seizing guns kids take to school that were supposedly obtained due to parental “negligence”–while also not defining was is actual negligence looks like–I’m not necessarily going to accept the rest of his suggestions as gospel.

Some of these issues arise from bullying, which seems like a good place for schools to really direct their efforts. Sure, there have been a lot of anti-bullying programs over the years, but all that’s really done is tell bullies what not to do where others can see it.

Bullying is still a problem and would likely put an end to a lot of kids thinking they need a gun at school.

Address that and then address this notion that you need to be a threat to be taken seriously that’s so prevalent among many subcultures and you’ve got a big chunk of the issues of guns in schools solved.


That’s well within the schools’ authority to address, too. They don’t need special approval, necessarily, though getting lawmakers on board with it would just help a great deal.

What’s more, this is something that all sides of the gun debate could, in theory, stand united on.

Of course, we also know that some aren’t really that interested in resolving this kind of thing anyway, so what are we going to do?

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