Promoting Prevention — Why School Violence is Not About Gun Control

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Harry Rhulen President Novume and Firestorm FounderNovume (Nasdaq: NVMM) President and Firestorm Co-Founder, Harry Rhulen, received a call on April 18, 2007 from former Virginia Tech University President, Dr. Charles Steger. Dr. Steger asked Harry and his team to assist the school in the aftermath of the school shooting. Since then, Harry has dedicated his time to learning and educating others on how to prevent similar tragedies. He recently wrote an article, Promoting Prevention – Why School Violence is Not About Gun Control, for Medium. Read the article in full here.

Every time there is a school shooting or a workplace violence event in the United States, someone always asks “How do we stop this from happening?” Politicians and members of the media are often quick to say that there is no solution or that it is very complicated. The reality is that neither of these things are true. The problem with determining a solution is that no one wants to take ownership or responsibility. No person or entity is accountable and the issue is completely fragmented. Additionally, there are factions that want to use the exposure created by these events as a pulpit to promote their own position. What if we joined together to focus on the one thing that can actually make a change — prevention?

Let’s be clear, school violence is not an issue of gun control. To this day, the worst incidence of school violence occurred in Bath, Michigan in 1927. The Bath bombings, perpetrated by a disgruntled school board member, killed 44 people and injured 58. Andrew Kehoe utilized explosive devices in the school and in his car in the parking lot to destroy the lives of many families, and irreparably damage the town which he thought had slighted him. Violence, whether in a school, a workplace or anywhere else is perpetrated by people who for one reason or another are incapable of controlling their behavior in a way that conforms with acceptable societal norms.

Every school in America has children that are “sitting on the fence.” These are individuals with varying levels of problems including mental illness, bullying, drug/alcohol problems, abuse in the home, sexual abuse, etc. Most of these kids will stay on the fence. The normal societal pressure that causes all of us to conform will keep them from acting out. Occasionally, however, whether it is some significant act, such as a bully going too far, or the intense media pressure from watching events such as Parkland and the recent shooting at the Santa Fe High School in Texas, someone will get pushed off the fence. These kids are the ones that commit suicide, assault, and school shootings.

Read the full article here.

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Editors Note:

In the eleven years since the Virginia Tech tragedy, we have created the 9-step formula to stop the violence. Please visit to download the nine elements and help us #ShareTheFormula to prevent violence.

Want to learn how to #ShareTheFormula in your community?

Download #ShareTheFormula infographic for K-8 Students Download #ShareTheFormula infographic for HS/College Students Download #ShareTheFormula infographic for Parents/Adults


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