A top local law enforcement official says taking steps to prevent school shootings is admirable and should be done, but Harry Jimenez told the San Antonio Christian Chamber of Commerce that we need to understand, especially before we spend billions of dollars in retrofitting school buildings, just how rare school shootings really are, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
In fact, Jimenez, who is a retired Homeland Security officer who is now Chief Deputy at the Bexar County Sheriff's Office, says in the school house is the safest place your child will be all day."Schools overall are safer than anywhere else in the community," Jimenez said.
He says even though school shootings get tons of media coverage and spark calls for immediately changes in everything from school architecture to gun laws, even in the catalog of mass shootings in the U.S., school shootings are rare.
"When you are looking at violent events, including active shooter events, in an analysis of 242 active shooter events form 2000 to 2016, school shootings are 24% of the incidents," he said. "There are 52 percent of the incidents happen in commercial areas."
He says that means mom and dad at work are in more than twice as much danger of becoming victims of a mass shooting as kids are at school.
He says of course all steps should be taken to make sure schools are as safe as they can be, but incidents like the Parkland shooting in February and last month's shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas make people think that school shootings are more common than they are.
He says some proposals to turn schools into fortresses at the cost of billions of dollars should be examined in the light of real world reality. Like, for example, proposals that have been floated to restrict schools to one entrance, where everybody would be wanded and have to go through metal detectors might lead to lines of students in front of the building, which would leave them 'sitting ducks' for, for example, a drive by gunman.
As far as preparations, Jimenez told the Christian Chamber that schools should institute 'active shooter drills' just like schools for more than sixty years have had regular fire drills, and there has not been a student death in a fire at a school since those fire drills began in the fifties.
"Lock down, lock out, shelter in place, and evacuate."
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