If only there was a lesson that we could learn from the Florida shooting, a way to prevent the next heartbreak and give some scintilla of meaning to this one.
So far, the most practical piece I've read is by Robby Soave at Reason, a site I contribute to. While he doesn't have a solution, he does proffer one bit of cautionary advice: Do not use this terrible tragedy to create a TSA-like system in the schools.
Airports are an example of security theater run amok. Despite its heavy-handed approach to screening passengers, the Transportation Security Administration routinely fails to stop people from bringing guns and knives into the terminal: The agency missed 95 percent of the weapons in 2015's security tests....
[Moreover] schools have already beefed up security significantly since the 1990s. One way they've done it is by hiring "school resource officers"—law enforcement agents that work in the school. In fact, 43 percent of public schools in the U.S. have an SRO right now, up from 20 percent in 1996, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. That includes Marjory Stoneman Douglas and every other school in the district where it's located. These aren't part-time security guards or retired persons, they're the real thing: on-the-job law enforcement agents.
If we start putting cops in every school, the whole idea of what a school is changes. It goes from community center to fort. And the kids go from being students to individuals under guard. More police presence in schools increases the likelihood that:
[M]inor disputes between students will escalate into criminal justice issues. I've covered case after case of teenagers arrested on child porn charges because they swapped sexually suggestive text messages with other students—something that shouldn't even be a crime, but which often ends up in police hands because teachers and principals defer to SROs in such matters. More broadly, the increased police presence in schools is directly related to the rise of zero tolerance and the so-called school-to-prison pipeline.
No one wants kids killed, no one wants teen sexters sitting in prison, no one wants food fights going on a young person's permanent record. I wish I knew how to prevent any more school shootings. All I do know is that to implement a "solution" that hasn't been proven and may have vast unintended consequences seems like a bad idea. - L.