The sad reality is that school shootings have become a common occurrence here in the US.
Which is why an ex-police officer has created a desk designed to protect students during school shootings. And it seems he's not stopping there, either. Keep scrolling to find out how it works...
Let's begin by stating the obvious... Guns are a problem.
The term "mass killings" is defined by the Justice Department as 3 or more killings in a single episode, excluding the death of a gunman.
Though there is no legal definition for the phrase "mass shootings..."
We even have a "Mass Shooting Tracker," because that's how often they occur.
The Mass Shooting Tracker is a crowd-sourced database of U.S. mass shootings, with the website defining a “mass shooting" as a single outburst of violence in which 4 or more people are shot.
The website keeps track of our country's mass shootings.
And it has laid out the horrifying statistics plain and clear in a graph that organizes each shooting and the number of fatalities by month and year.
The numbers in 2019 speak for themselves and highlight just how dangerous our country has become.
By September that year, there had already been twenty-two school shootings.
via: Getty Images
According to CNN, twenty-two shootings had taken place in American schools, but there was more to follow.
In 2020, due to the pandemic, school shootings were at an all-time low...
It was the first March since 2002 that there had been no school shootings. This was mainly because children were at home rather than in schools, but it had been eighteen years since we'd seen something like this before.
However, gun sales increased significantly last year.
According to The Week, March 2020 came in as the second-busiest month ever for gun sales.
A CNN report from late-March also cited online ammunition retailer, Ammo.com, as having picked up on ammunition sales increases of more than one-thousand percent in Colorado, 945 percent in Arizona, and 897 percent in Ohio.
This is concerning as mass shootings are still a high possibility in our country...
via: Getty ImagesOne of the earliest recorded mass school shootings dates back to 1966, in which an engineering student at the University of Texas killed seventeen people and injured thirty-one during a shooting rampage. This was the deadliest school shooting until the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.
And then we also had the horrific incident at Columbine High School where twenty-one more people were left severely injured...
via: Getty Images
The attackers also planted bombs around the campus but luckily, they failed to detonate.
The Columbine shooting sadly went on to inspire many "copycats" in the future who went on to conduct even more mass shootings in schools and colleges including Sandy Hook.
Sandy Hook remains to be the deadliest mass shooting at high school grade in America.
via: Getty ImagesIt is also the fourth-deadliest mass shooting by a single person in U.S. history.
And how could we ever forget about the Parkland School Massacre?
On February 14th, 2018, a nineteen-year-old gunman, who was a former student at the school, came in with a semi-automatic rifle and started shooting at his classmates and staff. Seventeen people were killed with a further seventeen left injured.
It begs the question, how did the shooter, Nikolas Cruz, get his hands on the rifle with such a problematic history?
via: Getty ImagesIn both 2016 and 2017, the sheriff's office received a number of tips about Cruz's threats to carry out a school shooting. He had previously posted on Youtube and on social media talking about his plans to conduct a mass shooting, but the authorities dismissed these tips which eventually lead to Cruz killing all of these innocent people.
People continue to live through this trauma...
via: Getty Images
One survivor wrote: "I lived through this [and] to make money off of something pathetic like this is disgusting. You don't even know how it is to live every day with reminders everywhere you go."
And this precisely why the desk has been created...
It aims to keep students safe and reduce the number of tragedies if a shooting were to occur.
And while the creation has received praise across the internet...
It's also highlighted to many the need for a gun reform.
Todd Drummond, a former police officer, thought up the Defender Safe Space Desk along with his son.
Drummond was an officer for Hancock County, Mississippi, for twenty years serving in many roles including a school and research officer.
As per WLOX, this is where Drummond's aim to protect school children grew.
Drummond retired from the force back in 2016, but his aim to protect was far from over.
Following the Parkland shooting, Drummond was inspired to find new ways to protect students...
And so, he created the charity "Defend Our Children" with the mission of stopping school shootings.
"The charity is structured in a format for donations to help less privileged schools," Drummond told WLOX.
"The mission is to stop school shootings by equipping schools with our desks. The movement is to engage our nation."
Drummond created the Defender Safe Space Desk over the course of 3 years.
Todd Drummond’s “Defender Safe Space Desk” is designed to allow children to hide away inside. The desk is 130lbs and made with ballistic material. Full story later today on @WLOX #safedesk #preventschoolshootings #parklandshooting #deskinvention #mississippi pic.twitter.com/PZe3RWJ8Sv— Brandy Mcgill (@BrandyMcgillTV) February 14, 2021
Made using ballistic material, the desk works by the child exiting their seat and crawling into the desk, they then pull the door shut with the handle inside.
"Ballistic materials are like a net, it's like a catchall of a bullet," Drummond explained.
"It is designed to withstand the impact of similar to like a bowling ball hitting it at 55 miles an hour."
"There's a handle to close the desk and a there's a handle above their head, the two handles are dual purpose," said Drummond. "One of course to close it, but also to prevent any action to open it. It would take a tremendous force to open it."
The desk weighs 130 pounds on its own, but with the students' weight inside it will increase and should make it hard to move.
Now, we are all probably thinking the same thing...
The desks must be expensive, right?
Well, they are.
They cost around $1,800, but Drummond doesn't want to put a price on a child's life and so, through his charity, he will provide the desks free of charge to schools that can't afford them.
"These are $1,800 a piece and we do not want to put a price on a child's life," he said.
"We've lost so many lives and we don't have any idea what those children would've done for us. I can say that we've lost a lot, enough already. Enough is enough."
Drummond is now looking to create a desk to keep teachers safe.
For more news, keep scrolling.