While anti-gun activists are going on and on about how unsafe our children are, building a soapbox out of dead kids to try and make their point, it seems that schools aren’t the murder-death-kill traps they’re described as. Yes, there are some features that need to be addressed in some way, shape, or form, schools are still probably the safest place for your children.
Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clearly show that school-age children die every year in far greater numbers outside of school in a variety of ways.
Take a look at the raw data. According to statistics compiled by The Washington Post, 80 students died in shootings at elementary, middle and high schools from 2000 to 2016. That includes 11 students who committed suicide.
Considering there are more than 50 million schoolchildren, that makes homicide victims in schools vanishingly rare.
At home or on the streets is where the vast majority of school-age homicide victims meet their end. The CDC data show that during the same time period, a total of 34,227 children ages 5 to 18 died from gunfire. Suicides made up nearly a third of that total, 10,779. Accidental gun deaths accounted for another 1,694 deaths.
In fact, data amassed by the Chicago Sun-Times show that more children ages 5 to 18 became homicide victims in Chicago during 2016 alone — 113 — than perished in school shootings from 2000 through 2016 all across America.
But it is not only guns awaiting our progeny when they are not at school. The CDC statistics show children have died in much greater numbers due to a variety of more exotic causes of death. Some 8,555 drowned during that 17-year period. Of those, 155 were suicides. So more children intentionally drowned themselves than suffered fatal gunshots at school.
Schools are safe places for your kids. It doesn’t get much more simple than that.
The media has pushed this idea that our schools are under attack, but let’s look at the handful of school shootings his year. Now, let’s look at the total number of schools in the nation.
When you compare those two numbers, you see an extremely low percentage experiencing anything of the sort. The risk is actually minimal.
Now, it should be noted that while only 80 died in that 17-year span, we already have a significant percentage of that number in 2018 so far. I get that. Yet let’s say we match that 17-year total in 2018 alone. I pray we don’t, but for the sake of argument, let’s say we do.
That’s 80 kids killed at school.
Yet there were 50.7 million kids attending public school in 2017. Now, I’m not great at math, but I fail to see the statistical significance of 80 people out of a population of almost 60 million people. That’s not a public health crisis, that’s statistical noise.
Don’t get me wrong, I recognize that all of these are real people who were loved by someone. To those loved ones, the loss is a devastating tragedy. I could only imagine what it would be like to lose one of my kids to anything. I get that.
However, we also need to look at the bigger picture when we talk about the risk to our children. While kids may well feel their lives are in danger going to school, that’s an artifact of the media’s attention on Parkland and other shootings, not one based on the actual risks. That’s because the reality won’t push forward the narrative that guns are bad and must be banned.
My guns aren’t going anywhere and in truth? My kids are just as safe as they’ve always been when they’re at school. They have more to worry about from the typical stupid kid stuff than they do about an active shooter entering the building.