The anti-gun media has run countless stories about how there has been this plague of school shootings this year. While there have been more than any of us are comfortable with (any number greater than zero is more than anyone should be comfortable with), the plague isn’t quite what people are claiming.
Today, we have another study claiming a horrendous number of school shootings. There’s just one problem.
The past year has seen 93 gun-related incidents in K-12 schools across the United States, the highest number since recording began in 1970 and more than double the number of shootings in 2017.
The previous record was 59 incidents, set in 2006, according to data from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security Naval Postgraduate School.
The data counts any time a gun “is brandished, is fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason.” It includes shootings where there was no victim.
A running tally kept by Education Week counted 113 people killed or injured in school shootings in 2018, with 23 shootings leading to injuries or deaths. The latest in the report was a Nov. 20 incident in Virginia in which one parent was wounded after a gun in another parent’s pocket accidentally discharged.
Let’s be real for a moment here. Placing some of these incidents in the same category is ridiculous. I mean, an accidental/negligent discharge of a lawfully owned firearm (assumed) is a far cry from the mass slaughter of Parkland, yet both qualify based on this study’s criteria.
And this is one of the more sane studies. It makes no claims about hundreds and hundreds of school shootings.
Now, with that said, let’s put these numbers in perspective.
There were supposedly 93 firearm-related incidents at schools in this country.
According to the National Center for Education Statistics, as of 2015, there are 98,176 public schools in this country. The site doesn’t have a list of private schools for that year, but does for the previous year, stating there are 33,619 private schools. That’s 131,795 K-12 schools in this country. Now, math isn’t my best subject, but that means there’s one incident at every 1,417.15 schools.
While we don’t know precisely which schools these happened at, it’s worth remembering that many inner-city schools are combating a massive gang problem today. Many of these incidents are gang-related, which is a far cry from being in the same boat as Parkland or Santa Fe. These schools may also boast multiple incidents, thus reducing the likelihood of any other school having such an incident.
Let’s also keep in mind that many of these incidents had nothing to do with the school itself. One incident cited earlier this year included a round fired well off of school grounds that just happened to impact the school. It would have hit any other building sitting there. The fact that it was a school was irrelevant.
As such, some of these incidents do little but to inflate the supposed risk our schools are under, especially when they’re all lumped together to present an overall number.
Couple that with the fact that the number isn’t quite what anti-gunners are screaming at the top of their lungs, and you see that they so drastically overstate the problem that it’s laughable.