Solving violence with violence: students bringing self-defense weapons to school

Sophie Di, Staff Writer

A few years ago, my parents became concerned over the school shootings happening all across the country. They sat down and showed me a picture of the bullet-proof vest they were considering buying for me when I went to school. 

This, unfortunately, is an issue many households inevitably consider in America. Despite local and state-level regulations, both students and adults have been caught bringing firearms, knives, and other weapons to school. In the worst cases, school shootings occur. 

While staff work closely with the district and state to ensure safety at school, students themselves might take action in self-defense. Most people know someone who knows someone else who brings pepper spray, tasers, and even knives to school. Not only is this legally dubious, it would only add to the problem. 

I have not heard a single person say, “So-and-so always brings a knife with them,” then immediately follow with, “I feel so much safer now!”

However, students who bring such weapons to school cannot be blamed for feeling concern over their security. 

Since 2013, there have been at least 1047 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 342 deaths and 737 injuries nationally. And who can forget Sandy Hook, where 20 children and six staff members were killed? Or the shootings at Uvalde, when a gunman murdered 19 students and two teachers in a single hour?

It is all too understandable for people to fear for their safety. Yet, how much worse would the problem become if knives were the go-to solution? In a survey administered by the CDC, around 7% of high school students have been threatened or injured by knives and pepper spray. If more students begin carrying such weapons, gun violence may no longer be the main concern at schools. 

Oftentimes, these weapons should not be brought to school, but how else can students feel secure?

This should not even be a dilemma in the first place. Why are firearms and other dangerous weapons so easy to acquire? Why have so many practices used by faculty and administration failed to keep students safe?

While students bringing self-defense weapons is an issue, it is only indicative of the larger problems that schools face today.