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Integrated Systems - News

Are we immune to the shock value of school shootings?

Another week, another school shooting. Or so it seems recently with all the incidents in the U.S. news media. Just this week there was another one in Troutdale, Ore.

In fact, the organisation Everytown for Gun Safety says there have been roughly 74 school shootings since the well-remembered tragedy in Newtown, Conn., about 18 months ago. Counting just the weeks school has been in session since then, the number is more than a shooting a week. The organization lists the shootings on their web site (

The list includes incidents when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts. This includes assaults, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. Because the list is based on news reports, the organisation contends the number is likely an undercount.

In scanning down the list, I notice several incidents near my office in Atlanta. I can barely recall hearing about them in the local media, let alone any national news coverage. Sadly, it’s like we have grown so used to hearing these stories that we are losing the ability to be shocked by them. How sad it that?

Meanwhile, the ongoing likelihood of school violence is directing much of the security activities at our educational facilities, and many school children are haunted by the fear of a possible incident when they should be more concerned with less scary and more age-appropriate problems.

We can all be proud of the role our industry plays in curbing school violence just as we continue to help our education customers keep the issue top of mind. The shock value may be declining, but our commitment to prevention and rapid response get more important with every passing week, the numbers climbing like an urgent drumbeat.  

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