Reader Jeff S. writes:
The “gun violence prevention” movement and their media allies are in a frenzy this week to exploit the anniversary of last year’s Parkland Florida tragedy to stir a moral panic against the NRA and gun owners. As the survivors who advocate for gun control get lavish attention, it is helpful to put the “crisis” of school shootings into proper perspective.
Just how many people are actually being killed in these attacks?
A quick search online reveals one database of mass shooting incidents that’s current, maintained by Mother Jones magazine. While their integrity on gun policy is questionable in view of their strong “progressive” bias, it’s a pretty safe bet that they aren’t going to skew the data to minimize the impact of “gun violence.” And, they provide linked sources for their data.
Scrolling down the list and picking out those mass shooting incidents at educational facilities (even if only partially, as in the Isla Vista attack), and one gets a total of 13 mass shootings in the last 20 years going back to Columbine High School. Those 13 shootings have resulted in a total of 153 deaths.
Filter out the colleges and look just at K-12 schools, and it’s down to seven attacks and 88 deaths. Look at just the last 10 years (since we’re constantly told that the threat is increasing), and the numbers are eight attacks and 87 deaths if colleges are included (an average of nine deaths per year), four attacks and 59 deaths for only K-12 (six deaths per year).
Keeping in mind that the estimated population of K-12 school students in the United States for 2018 is 56.6 million, and 3.2 million teachers, that works out to a roughly 1 in 10 million chance each year for any individual K-12 student or teacher of being killed in a school shooting attack.
The same source lists about 20 million college students, so the overall figure is about a 1 in 9 million chance if colleges are included. Of course, even six or nine deaths a year is six or nine too many. But is this enough to constitute a national crisis? Is it enough to demand that we do something?
We will never stop demanding that our leaders listen to the youngest generation and take long overdue action to keep our children safe. We will never forget when the students of Parkland bravely took a stand and called for change. America stood by them and said #NeverAgain.
— Gabrielle Giffords (@GabbyGiffords) February 14, 2019
For comparison, let’s look at another school-related cause of deaths; transportation. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, an average of 135 people are killed each year in school-related transportation accidents. That’s 15 times as many as are killed in school shootings.
How much attention do the media give to that significantly large threat to America’s children? Why are those deaths less tragic? Why don’t the crash survivors’ stories need to be told?
This is the 15th school shooting this year and we still haven’t taken action in Congress to address this epidemic. We cannot accept this as normal. We must address gun violence.
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 18, 2018
While any death in a mass shooting attack is one too many, the fact is that schools are safe and that the chance of any student or teacher being shot in such an incident is negligibly small. When you hear the media interviewing student activists who insist on their right to feel safe, keep in mind just who it is that is causing their fears.
In the year after Parkland, there was nearly one mass shooting a day https://t.co/93v8TI9Q73
— Vox (@voxdotcom) February 14, 2019
It isn’t the NRA or America’s gun owners. It’s the gun control movement and their media accomplices who deliberately try to scare us with non-stop coverage and wildly inflated numbers of “school shootings” to panic the public into supporting their useless restrictions on Second Amendment Rights.
— Ladd Everitt (@LaddEveritt) February 14, 2019