Specific Countermeasures adopted by Police agencies reduce Causality rate in Mass Shootings
A school shooting is a mass shooting where guns are used attack a certain educational institutions. According to the U.S Secret Service, school shootings are attacks where educational institutions are chosen as attack locations. Issues such as gun violence and gun control have been raised as the cause of increased cases of school shootings. For a long time, school shootings have sparked a public debate due to the massive loss of lives caused by the incidents. A study of school shootings that have happened in the Unites States shows that all types of educational institution have been targeted i.e. primary, secondary, and post-secondary schools. An example of a deadly school shooting is the one that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newton, Connecticut, where the perpetrator Adam Lanza fatally shot his mother and drove to the school shooting and killing 20 students and six staff members. The school shooting was the second deadliest in the United States after the Virginia Tech massacre.
The US Government, through various Internal Security Departments including the police force, is obliged to protect the life of each and very US citizen. However, there are incidences of school shootings where the police have been blamed for neglecting their duties leading massive loss of lives. For instance, the media blamed the police department for their late response to distress calls made by the victims of the Newton school killing. As a result, the police have tightened security measures to prevent such incidences from reoccurring. Statistics show that police countermeasures to reduce incidences on school shootings have reduced causality rates by 30% since the Sandy Hook Elementary mass shootings in 2012. Additionally, the police department has partnered with schools to adopt measures to prevent entry of dangerous weapons in school. Since the start of security partnerships, more than 30 cases have been reported in a year where students have been caught smuggling guns into schools.
Bjelopera et al. (2013) advocate for community policing to reduce incidences of school mass shootings because it entails strict organizational policies and promotes the use of partnership to solve public safety issues. As compared to other methods, community policing is comprehensive as it employs a range of techniques that can be tailored to meet specific objectives. Besides, community policing is rather inclusive and does not discriminate any person or group of persons in solving issues affecting the community. In most cases, the police usually head community policing steered towards security because it is their docket. Community policing on matters concerning security has already produced results in states such as Ohio and Minnesota, which have experienced reduced rates in mass shootings for the last three years.
Catlin and Levenson (2012) believe that it is almost impossible for the police to react swiftly to mass shootings due the short durations of the attacks. For instance, Adam Lanza entered the Sandy Hook Elementary School at 9.35 am and by the 9.40 am, 25 people were already dead even before the 911 calls reached the police. As a result, Catlin and Levenson (2013) approve programs launched by the police department that focus on improving survival after school shooting incidents. These actions have not only worked in school settings but also in other settings where potential victims are encouraged to hide until they hear the police loudspeakers proclaim safety.
Kaste (2015) and Weisburd et al. (2010) agree with Catlin and Levenson (2012) by accepting that the police cannot arrive in time to scene of shootings to save everyone. Additionally, Kaste (2015) says that the police countermeasures such as inviting security experts train children in schools on how to tackle and evade a shooter is a recommendable effort. Kaste (2015) uses words such as “victims are responsible for their survival’’ to echo the brilliance showed by the police in training the children. He says that the police look like they are delegating their duties, but that is not the case as they are training the children to cover their weakness. Cornell (2015) believes that recent cases where only 2 or 3 children lose their lives as a result of school shootings are the result of police countermeasures. He believes that had these methods taught to children; the causality rates of police shootings would not have been as high as experienced.
Problem, Theory, Variables, and Hypothesis
Cases of school mass shootings have been widely reported in the United States for a long time. This study explains that specific counter measures for school shootings adopted by police agencies reduce causality rates.
In theory, it is widely accepted that any countermeasures adopted by the police force in reaction to school mass shootings reduce the crime rates. For instance, in the US, casualty rates of school mass shootings have reduced by 30% in states such as Ohio, New York, and Minnesota because of implementation of strict measures to prevent and reduce the effects of school mass shootings.
The independent variables of the research will be cities under study as well as the various countermeasures adopted by the police to prevent and handle school mass shootings. The dependent variable will be change in causality rates in relation to cities and countermeasures used.
Cities with police Agencies that have specific countermeasures when handling school/mass shootings are more likely to see a decrease in casualties than cities whose police agencies that do not have specific countermeasures for handling school/mass shootings
The quasi non-experimental design will be used to carry out the research. The groups of data will be selected from different sources, and the variables put under test without a random selection process. Cities within the US will be arbitrarily divided based on alphabetical selection. Next, the process will take the normal experimental pathway with the variable being compared over a period. After selection of cities, the casualty rates of school shootings will be compared across them noting extreme cases. Aft wards, countermeasures will be compared across the cities to find out their effects on causality rates. The quasi-experimental design is suitable for this research because no experiments are required as recorded cases of school shootings will be compared across the major cities of the US. Additionally, since most of the data will be sourced from major databases, the research design will save and make the work easier to arrive at conclusions. Similarly, since extensive and randomizations are not needed, it will save time and resources that experimentation would need.
Population / Sample
Not needed at this stage
Not needed at this stage
Bjelopera, J., Bagalman, E., Caldwell, S., Finklea, K. & McCallion, G. (2016). Public Mass Shootings in the United States: Selected Implications for Federal Public Health and Safety Policy. Presentation, New York.
Caitlin, B., & Levenson, R. (2014). Article School Shooters: History, Current Theoretical and Empirical Findings, and Strategies for Prevention. Sage Journals, 34(56), 45.
Cornell, J. (2015). Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet. Science, 347(6223), 1259855.
Kaste, D. (2015). When Mass Shootings Happen, What Can Civilians Do Before Police Arrive? NPR.org. Retrieved 4 March 2016, from http://www.npr.org/2015/12/06/458661930/when-mass-shootings-happen-what-can-civilians-do-before-police-arrive
Weisburd, D., Telep, C. W., Hinkle, J. C. & Eck, J. E. (2010). Is problem‐oriented policing effective in reducing crime and disorder? Criminology & Public Policy, 9(1), 139-172.