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Policy Change Essay

721 words - 3 pages

Policies have changed since the shooting happened in Littleton, Colorado. Before Columbine the primary goal of law enforcement officers before and during a shooting was to set up a perimeter and await arrival of SWAT members (Erickson, 2001). This policy has changed in many states including Pennsylvania where police had been preparing for active shooters with local schools. Police are not able to wait the twenty minutes to an hour for SWAT to arrive at a scene which is why the state mandated that local police receive active shooting training (Coughlin, 2012). This response and a brochure that the Department of Homeland Security came out with are allowing schools a better chance of ...view middle of the document...

The Gun Free Schools Act of 1994 mandated that schools expel students who were in possession of guns or weapons (like knives) in order to receive federal funding (Birkland & Lawrence, 2009). The Violent Youth Predator Act of 1996 was brought about to have stiffer punishments for juvenile offenders even allowing juveniles to be tried in federal court. This bill failed but during the aftermath of Columbine it was revisited twice. The first time was to change it to the Violent and Repeat Juvenile Accountability and Rehabilitation Act of 1999. The second time where it actually did pass was by removing media, parenting, and gun control aspects and renaming it the Consequences for Juvenile Offenders Act of 2002 (Birkland & Lawrence, 2009). These policy changes were aiming for safer schools, but they were so broad and unfocused that no real policy change happened following Columbine. Several reasons help identify the issue of limited to no policy changes after Columbine including: The string of shootings in the 1990s of which Columbine was only one of, Members of Congress made claims inconsistent with realistic policy options and existing laws, Gun problems do not only happen at schools (Birkland & Lawrence, 2009).
Columbine has changed aspects in regards to how...

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