The United States government and the state of Texas have been grappling with the issue of school violence and school shootings for many years. The Uvalde shooting was one of the deadliest school shootings in American history and prompted a national debate on gun control and school safety. In the wake of the shooting, the United States Congress passed the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, which mandated that schools receiving federal funding must implement policies to prevent guns from being brought on school property (Kellner 3). The state of Texas has been particularly active in this debate, as it was the site of the deadliest school shooting in United States history. Because Texas was the location of the bloodiest school massacre in American history, the state of Texas has been mainly engaged in school shoot debate. Thus, school shootings are an issue that both the US government and Texas are still currently addressing.
A Statement of the Current Policy
The current policy in the United States regarding school violence and shootings are relatively lax. There are no national laws mandating background checks for all gun purchases, and only a handful of states have implemented such measures. In Texas, background checks are only required for firearms purchased from licensed dealers (Somers et al. 10). There is also no national law banning bump stocks, devices that can be used to make semi-automatic rifles fire more rapidly. The only federal law about school safety is the Gun-Free Schools Act of 1994, which requires schools to have a policy prohibiting firearms possession on school grounds (Kellner 3). The current regulation in Texas regarding school violence and shootings is designed to keep students and faculty safe.
In the wake of mass shootings at schools like Uvalde, many states have enacted stricter laws and policies regarding school safety, and Texas is no different. The state of Texas has several rules and procedures in place that are designed to prevent school shootings and keep students safe. For example, all public schools in Texas, including Uvalde School, must have a safety plan. This plan must be reviewed and updated regularly. It must address several topics, including emergency response, evacuation procedures, and crisis management.
In addition, all Texas schools must conduct regular safety audits. These audits are designed to identify potential safety hazards and ensure that all school safety procedures are followed. Texas also has several laws that regulate the sale and possession of firearms. For example, it is illegal to sell a gun to someone under 18 (Kellner 4). Possessing a firearm on school property is forbidden unless it is properly stored and secured. The state of Texas has also taken several steps to improve school security. For example, all public schools are required to have security cameras. In addition, all schools must have a procedure for visitors to check in and out.
Reasons for Initiating Changes
The current policy in Texas regarding school violence and shootings is designed to keep students and faculty safe. However, there are several reasons why the current approach might be changed. For example, some people believe the current policy is not strict enough. They think more should be done to prevent school shootings, such as banning bump stocks and requiring background checks for all gun purchases. Other people believe the current policy is too strict (Miah 15). They think that the state of Texas infringes on gun owners’ rights. They believe that the current policy will not prevent school shootings and will only make it more difficult for law-abiding citizens to purchase firearms.
Policy Options to Be Considered
Several policy options could be considered in the debate over school violence and shootings. One option is implementing stricter gun control laws, such as background checks required for all firearms sales and bans on bump stocks. Another option is to increase school security measures, such as metal detectors and armed guards. A third option is to do nothing, as some believe the current policies are adequate. Implementing stricter gun control laws has recently been much debated (Miah15). Supporters of this option argue that it would help to prevent firearms from falling into the hands of those who should not have them. They point to instances where stricter gun control laws have been effective in other countries, such as Australia. Critics of this option argue that it would not be effective in preventing shootings, as criminals would find different ways to obtain firearms. Supporters also say it would infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens to own guns.
The option of increasing security measures in schools has gained traction in recent years. Supporters of this option argue that it would help to deter potential shooters and make it more difficult for them to carry out an attack. They point to the increased security measures at other public places, such as airports and government buildings (Miah 15). Critics of this option argue that it would make schools feel like prisons and would not be effective in preventing shootings. They also say that it would be costly to implement. The option of doing nothing is often advocated by those who believe the current policies are adequate. They argue that the best way to prevent school shootings is to focus on mental health and address the underlying causes of violence. They also say that implementing stricter gun control laws and increased security measures would be ineffective and infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Pros and Cons of Each Policy Option
There are pros and cons to each of these policy options. Stricter gun control laws would likely reduce the number of mass shootings, as it would be more difficult for potential shooters to obtain firearms (Miah, pp.15). However, such laws would also infringe on the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. Increasing security measures in schools would make them less likely targets for mass shootings and more like prisons. Additionally, such actions would be costly to implement. Doing nothing would maintain the status quo but would also mean that mass shootings would continue.
The Recommended Course of Action
The recommended course of action is to implement stricter gun control laws, such as background checks for all gun purchases and bans on bump stocks. Stricter gun control laws would help to prevent guns from falling into the hands of people who should not have them. Increasing security measures in schools would help to deter would-be shooters and make it more difficult for them to carry out their plans. And doing nothing is not an option, as the status quo is not working. This option would likely reduce the number of mass shootings without infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens. Additionally, this option would not be as costly to implement as increasing school security measures.
The Reasoning for Selecting this Course of Action
The reasoning for selecting this course of action is that mass shootings are a significant problem in the United States, and stricter gun control laws would help reduce such shootings. Additionally, this option would not infringe on the rights of law-abiding citizens. It is important to remember that no single policy will be a silver bullet that solves the problem of school shootings. But by taking a multi-faceted approach, we can make our schools safer and help to prevent future tragedies.
In conclusion, the US and Texas government has been addressing school shootings for many years and continue this practice until nowadays. They provide funding to schools to improve security, pass laws that make it more difficult for people with mental health issues to obtain guns and increase the number of school resource officers. In addition, on the example of Uvalde, many public schools started to create and develop safety plans in case anything similar might occur. Thus, based on the previous events and accidents, such as in Uvalde, both governments see the need to address the issue.
Kellner, Douglas. “The Uvalde, Texas School Shooting Massacre”. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 2022, pp. 1-5. Informa UK Limited,
Miah, M. (2022). Uvalde School shooting exposes violent gun culture, endemic racism. Green Left Weekly, (1347), 15.
Somers, Patricia, and Nicholas Phelps. “Not chilly enough? Texas campus carry and academic freedom.” Journal of Academic Freedom 9, 2018, pp. 1-15.