JAMA study shows armed guards at schools to be ineffective

p 1 jama should armed guards be in schools surprising finding

Armed guards at the moment are stationed at schools throughout the nation. However do they really shield college students in lively shooter incidents? A stunning new study in JAMA Community Open finds them to be ineffective.

Researchers examined all U.S. shootings at Ok-12 schools from 1980-2019. They discovered that of 133 incidents, 1 in 4 had an armed guard on the scene. Not solely did the presence of the armed guards not correlate with fewer accidents, however the loss of life price was 2.83 occasions better in class shootings with armed guards. 

The impact was catastrophic with assault weapons. “An armed officer on the scene was the primary issue related to elevated casualties after the perpetrators’ use of assault rifles or submachine weapons,” write the authors. They counsel that officers’ weapons could improve aggression, a phenomenon known as “weapons impact,” which can be additional exacerbated by the truth that many faculty shooters are suicidal.


Caveats: The study lacked some knowledge on the sociodemographics of communities, and in addition was unable to contemplate whether or not deterred shootings are roughly possible with armed guards.

The demographics of the shootings paint a homogenous image of perpetrators:

  • 89% of the shooters have been underneath age 22
  • 98% of shooters have been male
  • 76% of shooters have been white
  • 47% have been focused shootings
  • 70% have been present college students, and 15% former college students

On this final level, the researchers insightfully “query the effectiveness” of lively shooter drills, given that almost all would-be shooters take part within the lively shooter drills, and due to this fact know exactly the place college students are hiding. The authors counsel that fairly than drills and armed guards, schools want to make investments sources towards stopping shootings lengthy earlier than the incident.