Gun violence is essentially a national emergency in the U.S. at this point. There have been more mass shootings than days in 2019, including a 24-hour period this month when 29 people were killed in two separate shootings in different cities. The high body count made the deaths in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, big news. For awhile.
With the stranglehold the NRA has on our political process, it sometimes feels like we’re never going to get anywhere with simple common-sense gun control laws. There have been lots of absurd suggestions for how to make people generally safer, especially around schools.
A grim fact is that shooters have frequently targeted schools, either as former students or hostile individuals connected to the location, as in Sandy Hook, where 20 children between six and seven years olds were killed. In 2017, at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, 17 people were killed by a student with an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle.
After Stoneman Douglas, some schools suggested handing out clear backpacks so student’s belongings could be seen. Security increased many places, forcing kids to go through metal detectors. Many politicians, including the president, suggested teachers and admin at schools be issued guns they can use for defense against potential shooters, which many protested against, saying it would be a danger to students.
Nonetheless, concealed carry programs have been implemented in many districts. There have been a number of incidents in which guns were found by students, mishandled, and even accidentally fired already.
In Western Michigan, Fruitport High School has begun a construction project to try and deal with the mass shooting problem that will cost $48 million, the Washington Post reports.
Like trenches in World War I, a new $48M high school in Fruitport, Michigan (Muskegon County) will have curved hallways designed to make it harder for a mass shooter to gun down students. https://t.co/8R4vZYRpjA via @AlexHortonTX & @washingtonpost— Chad Livengood (@ChadLivengood) August 23, 2019
They’re outfitting the school with things like curved hallways to reduce gun sightlines, adding “jutting barriers” for gunfire coverage, and adding blind zones to classrooms so students can hide from the windows.
Matt Slagle is the architect designing these new safety features. He seems to see the adjustments as practical rather than horrifying.
“Unfortunately, that’s the way things are now,” he said. “We’ll never make it completely safe from someone who desires to cause harm.”
That’s right—these changes don’t really help much according to the person implementing them and there are still automatic rifles for sale at Walmart. But at least those feral hogs are being kept at bay.