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The Boston Globe

Opinion

The Podium

How to prevent school shootings

In the aftermath of the tragic massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.., President Obama has called for a national conversation regarding the prevention of future attacks on America’s children. Thus far, the possibility of eliminating semi-automatic weapons has taken center stage. Yet there are other possibilities — perhaps vastly more effective than any gun control measures — that should be considered in the coming weeks and months.

In our quest to reduce school murder, we ought to be sure that our efforts can be generalized beyond the most recent incident. Rampage killers usually do not target first-graders, as was the situation at Sandy Hook School in Newtown. The last episode of a massacre at an elementary school occurred in January 1989, when a 22-year-old man shot to death five children on the playground of Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton, California.

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