Throughout the current gun debate, we keep being told that we gun rights advocates simply have to give up ground on our positions. We have to because we need to do something to combat the epidemic of school shootings that have plagued this country. Things are just awful, and it’s up to us to give up our sacred and protected right to keep and bear arms to stop it.
However, things aren’t nearly as bad as the media like to paint it.
Researchers at Northeastern University claim there is not a school shooting “epidemic” and schools are actually safer than in the 1990s, according to a study published Feb. 26.
Following the Parkland massacre where 17 students and faculty were murdered and another 16 injured, policymakers and politicians are grappling with ways to combat school shootings. The solution of reforming gun policies might be less effective in combating school shooting sprees.
“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” said James Alan Fox, Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern University, who led the research project with doctoral student Emma Fridel, Northeastern reported.
Their research emphasizes that school shootings are actually infrequent — only approximately one out of 20 to 30 mass shootings per year take place at a school. The study also suggests that school shootings are lessening, approximately four times the amount of people were killed during shooting sprees in the 1990s compared to now. Banning bump stocks and raising the age to purchase an assault rifle might do little to prevent school shootings. In the past 35 years, there are only five cases where someone aged 18 to 20 used an assault rifle to carry out a mass shooting, Fox said.
So why does it seem like there’s an epidemic to some people, or are they just lying in order to score some political points?
Well, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt for a moment and assume they’re not lying, that they genuinely believe things are worse today than they were in the past. Why do they think that when the evidence suggests otherwise?
Part of it is the media. Even if you take out the leftists spin at places like MSNBC and CNN, there’s a lot more media out there, which means a lot more reporting. Further, via social media, people are exposed to a lot more media. This creates an odd effect where people see all these reports and it starts to get processed differently in the brain.
When you get another shooting that closely follows a previous one, it creates a long stream of media reports over just two shootings. All are tragic, mind you, but it’s not the crisis it feels like.
Then, of course, there’s the possibility that they really are lying because they figure people will buy their BS and accept infringements on their constitutionally-protected Second Amendment rights.
At this point in time, I rule nothing out completely.
What I do rule out is that somehow things are worse now than in the past. It’s especially interesting to me, however, that school shootings are happening less frequently today than they did in the 1990’s. After all, the Assault Weapon Ban of 1994 covered most of that decade, yet we had more school shootings then than now.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the AWB led to school shootings or anything. Correlation doesn’t equal causation, after all. It’s just an interesting data point that should be brought up during this current debate.