High school shooting teams are increasing again after decades of decline. They were common in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s. Increasing government and media hostility to private gun ownership caused a huge decrease in the teams from 1968 through the turn of the century.
Now, though, their numbers are growing again. In fact one Wisconsin state representative is suggesting that the Eat Cheese or Die State develop a high school class on firearms handling and safety.
State Representative Ken Skowronski (R-Franklin) introduced a bill Thursday that would have the Department of Public Instruction develop a firearm course for Wisconsin High school students. In an era of gun-free school zones and zero tolerance policies that punish students for liking pictures of guns on Instagram, the notion of firearm training in schools likely will be anathema to many in the education establishment. But Skowronski says his “Firearm Education Bill” would address a need:
Later in the article, further Jerry Bader does a slick job of reverses causality with this gem:
It was after school shootings became more frequent in the mid-1990’s that school officials decided their buildings were no place for guns.
It wasn’t “school officials” that decided to ban guns in schools, it was federal legislators. School shootings shot up after federal legislators began passing bans on guns in schools during the George H.W. Bush administration.
The first was the Gun Free School Zone Act of 1990. It was held to be unconstitutional in U.S. v. Lopez in 1995. Janet Reno and Bill Clinton lobbied hard for superficial changes to the bill and passed it again, in 1996. It has not had a serious court challenge since then. The second federal ban on guns was the Gun Free School Act of 1994. It made federal funding dependent on school gun bans.
Once the federal gun ban(s) were in place, school shootings began to take off.
Wikipedia has a list of schools massacres. They include arson, bombings and knife attacks. They include colleges and universities. Looking only at school shootings in the United States — excluding colleges and universities which were not affected by the federal school gun bans — there are 21 school shootings listed.
From 1927 to 1990, there were 7 mass school shootings in the United States, using the Wikipedia article definition.
They were the Mesa School shooting in 1966 (5 killed), Olean High School in 1974 (3), Cleveland Elementary School in 1979 (2), Los Angeles Elementary in 1984 (2), Oakland Elementary in 1988 (2), The Illinois Massacre in 1988 (4), and the Stockton School Yard shooting in 1989 (5). The total fatalities for those shootings were 23.
After 1990, there have been 14 mass school shootings. There was the Lindhurst High School in 1992 (4), The Frontier Middle School in 1996 (3), the Heath High School in 1997 (3), the Pearl High School in 1997 (3), the Westside Middle School in 1998(5), the Thurston High School in 1998 (4), the Costa Mesa school in 1999(2), Columbine in 1999 (13), the Santee High School in 2001 (2), Red Lake MN in 2005 (9), West Nickle Mines School in 2006(5), Chardon High School in 2012(3), Sandy Hook 2012 (27), and the Maryville School in 2014 (4).
From 1927 to 1990, there were 7 U.S. school shootings on the list, with a total of 23 deaths in 63 years (including 1990). From 1990 to 2016, there were 14, with 60 deaths in 26 years (not including 1990). That translates to about .37 deaths per year pre-ban. After the gun bans, the rate is about 2.3 deaths per year.
The simple numbers aren’t a fair comparison. Per capita rates should be used to adjust for the growing population.
The rough average population from 1927 to 1990 was 206 million. The rough average population for 1990 to 2016 is 286 million. The number of fatalities per year per million from 1927 to 1990 was .37/206 = .0018 per million. The rate of fatalities per year per million from 1990 to 2016 was 2.3/286 =.0080.
Adjusted for population, the rate of fatalities from school shootings increased 4.4 times from before the school gun bans to after the school gun bans.
It is clear that the gun bans did not do what they were claimed to be designed to do.
From 1927 to 1968, there were almost no federal gun regulations. Guns could be bought through the mail, or over the counter for cash without background checks. Semi-auto guns were available since 1900. Anti-aircraft cannon and anti-tank cannon and ammunition could be purchased mail-order. There was only one school shooting during that period, and it was in 1966.
With increasing federal gun control, the number and severity of school shootings increased dramatically.
What caused the increase? There are two likely candidates. First, the gun bans make the schools inviting targets. Potential murderers know that they can kill more people when there is no opposition. The number that they kill is important, because they want fame.
The second factor is the copycat effect. The establishment media in the United States want gun bans and more restrictions on gun ownership and use. The 1990 Gun Free School Zone Act was a ban on guns within a thousand feet of a school, effectively banning the carry of guns in most cities and towns. The 1996 act included a minor change that exempted people with concealed carry permits. The 1994 Gun Free School act gave incentives for schools to ban guns in the schools.
The media loved the restrictions. The establishment media use school shootings to push for more gun bans, restrictions on gun ownership and use, by giving enormous coverage to school shootings.
The copycat effect is well known and understood. When an event is highly publicized, people who desperately want fame will become “copy cats” and attempt to duplicate or surpass the previous incident. It is why school shootings happen in clusters, and why the number of victims have been increasing. The Establishment media know this, but they want more ratings and more gun bans.
Gun bans do not directly cause school shootings. They make schools a preferred target. Exaggerated coverage of school shootings are seen as a way to obtain more gun bans and more ratings. The media gives school shootings an extraordinary amount of coverage. The extraordinary media coverage creates incentives for more school shootings, and an increasing desire by the murderers to “break the record”.
©2017 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.