Gun Free Zones Making Schools Safer
The designation of gun-free zones in and around school buildings is one way that schools and lawmakers are helping to decrease the amount of weapons making their way into schools as well as violent gun-related incidents involving students. The way it works is that a school building as well as it’s perimeter gets legally designated as a gun-free zone so that those who do break the law and bring a gun into the designated area faces more serious criminal charges. The designated can be expanded to include problem areas near the school as well, such as bus stops where students also gather before and after school.
Some may think that this is a bit extreme a measure to take in an elementary school or high school, but in reality there are more guns making their way into our schools than many people even realize. These days, guns are carried into schools by gang members, students involved in drug trafficking and other crimes and even by students who are simply in fear for their safety and carrying the gun as protection. Of course, the presence of guns in our schools greatly increases the chances of violence—both intentional and accidental. According to a study conducted by the National Centers for Disease Control, an estimated 135,000 guns make their way into schools each day. These are not numbers to take lightly.
The designation of weapon-free zones is also being used as a way to prevent students from bringing various types of weapons into schools and not just guns. This would mean that a student would face additional charges on top of the normal weapon possession charges for being in possession of a knife or other weapon. This idea for gun-free and weapon-free zones came about after the implementation of designated drug-free zones proved effective. As extreme as it may seem to some, the use of zero tolerance policies have proven extremely effective in reducing the risk and incidents of crime in the schools that implement them. This is a good fact to present to those who are opposed to this type of policy should you be hoping or trying to implement it where you live. Getting people to agree to the idea of designated weapon-free zones is crucial in order to be able to get the ball rolling in your area. Gather up facts on the success of such programs as well as information on the realities of school violence in your local schools to help people get on board to making these changes.
Weapon-free zone designation is just one of the many ways that our schools are helping to battle school violence and stop guns and other weapons from making their way into our schools.