When deadly school shootings like the one that took place on Valentine’s Day in Broward County, Florida occur, often they are followed by calls for more stringent security measures.
For instance, after the Jan. 23 case in which a 15-year-old student allegedly shot and killed two students and wounded 16 others at a small-town high school in Kentucky, some Kentucky lawmakers called forarmed teachers and staff.
If anything, the response of the Kentucky lawmakers represents what has been called the “target-hardening” approach to school shootings. This approach attempts to fortify schools against gun violence through increased security measures. These measures may include metal detectors, lock-down policies, “run, hide, fight” training and surveillance cameras.
While some of these measures seem sensible, overall there is little empirical evidence that such security measures decrease the likelihood of school shootings. Surveillance cameras were powerless to stop the carnage in Columbine and school lock-down policies did not save the children at Sandy Hook.