The Connecticut massacre has people talking about gun control and about the reasons for violence. This is a good thing, and hopefully something positive comes from it. Unfortunately some ridiculous and terrible things are also coming out of the panic over the shooting too. Despite Canada being much safer than the US and despite school shootings being an incredible unlikely source of danger Ontario's premier has decided to spend 10 million outfitting schools with security systems and institute locked door policies.
As usual, there are three things to consider when spending money to increase safety.
1. How serious is the safety problem.
2. How much does it cost.
3. How effectively can we stop the problem with the solution presented.
The premier has failed to notice that this particular safety theatre fails all 3 tests. School shootings are terrible but they are vanishingly unlikely - lightning strikes are more likely to kill children. The cost is high and comes at a time when our budget is in desperately bad shape, so much so that the government has essentially declared war on teachers. Not only it is a lot of money but it also comes at the cost of creating a climate of fear in the minds of the populace that is completely unjustified. Lastly we must conclude that the 'solution' solves nothing. People with guns can get into schools even with all of the precautions listed by shooting out windows, going through unlocked doors, shooting off locks (like the Connecticut perpetrator did) or just by hitting the button and sneaking in before pulling a gun.
So to summarize, the militarization of schools will not stop a shooter, costs a lot, addresses a problem that doesn't exist, and creates extra problems of its own. What a colossal waste.
I must be thankful that I live in Canada at this moment though and not the US where there the NRA is calling for armed guards in every school (and who will pay for it exactly?) and/or arming and training teachers. What a great idea, putting firearms within arms reach of a bunch of irrational teenagers! Also, there is a new product on the market that you might want to buy for a New Year's present or something: Armoured backpacks to protect children from bullets. Both countries have it wrong. The US is solving the problem of gun culture and easy access to weapons by having an arms race, ignoring how well that worked out with the Soviet Union, and Canada is solving a problem that doesn't exist. If we want to spend money to help children live long lives we should be spending it on reducing smoking, preventing diabetes, and reducing the use of cars, not by turning schools into fortresses.