With the shooting of 20 children and six adults in Connecticut, US, it is no surprise that Whanganui schools have lockdown plans or are considering implementing them.
However, while it is more logical school children here would be caught up in violence rather than being the target, it could never be assumed.
As City College's Peter Kaua says, you just don't know, and the principal is right that being prepared is the best thing schools could do. It is also the only thing schools can do.
To really make a difference, gun laws have to be changed.
And if the American government needs to start somewhere it could start with automatic weapons.
The ability to kill so many in a quick time is due to these machines. Such a measure surely would not be political anathema to a majority of Republicans and Democrats, or the people they represent.
It was done in Britain after Dunblane and it could work in the US.
The argument that the right to bear arms is in the American Constitution seems as loopy as following some Old Testament instructions.
It won't be easy - the sheer numbers are phenomenal. One news source reported there are 89 guns for every 100 Americans.
But it would be a legacy President Barack Obama could be proud of and in his last term, it could be achievable. It would make the sorrow expressed in his speeches have more than face value.
Whatever the reason for the killings, be it disaffected youth, autism, the internet, celebrity culture, marriage breakdowns, copy cat crime, bullying or loneliness, without guns - and automatic guns in particular, they would not happen. It is the clinical distance of such weapons that gives the perpetrators of these crimes the confidence and cold bloodedness to commit them.