A friend asked, “Why do so many people have problems with putting metal detectors in schools?” I’ll just speak for me, here.
I don’t have serious problems with metal detectors at schools, except for one thing: It’s rather security theater, than it is actual security.
I’m all for metal detectors, if we don’t think of it as the end of the safety discussion. But it, or something like it, often is the end of the discussion.
There’s a ton of thought about how to physically prevent guns from getting into the building – okay, sure, that’s a start. BUT it’s not the end, because – remember school? Remember all the ways around the rules and standards, because the place was so big, or because you had friends that would open a side door, or because you knew the gym door didn’t latch right and nobody paid attention, or or or, etc?
There’s not enough done in terms of identifying potentially problem students, and what to do about them. There’s not enough about limiting access to guns, for people with violent histories. There’s not enough early intervention for kids who are lonely, abused, bullied, ostracized, violent.
So sure, let’s put in metal detectors. But we damn well do the other things, too.
Edited to add:
Most of this research—and there have been several dozen peer-reviewed studies—punctures the idea that guns stop violence. In a 2015 study using data from the FBI and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, for example, researchers at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard University reported that firearm assaults were 6.8 times more common in the states with the most guns versus those with the least. Also in 2015 a combined analysis of 15 different studies found that people who had access to firearms at home were nearly twice as likely to be murdered as people who did not.
… More than 30 peer-reviewed studies, focusing on individuals as well as populations, have been published that confirm what Kellermann’s studies suggested: that guns are associated with an increased risk for violence and homicide.
-Scientific American, “More Guns Do Not Stop More Crimes, Evidence Shows“