Mass shootings, such as what transpired last week in Milwaukee, are horrible events. They shake us to our core, probably because they’re so seemingly random that we simply can’t comprehend them. They’re awful.
And, if you listen to the media and anti-gun activists, they’re becoming almost daily occurrences. To be fair, it sure feels like they’re more common than ever, a feeling that’s also pushed many to embrace anti-gun legislation.
However, a new study has a very different take.
Researchers from Northeastern University said on Monday that school shootings are not on the rise over the past decade and remain rare events.
James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern, and Emma Fridel, who is currently completing her doctorate at the school, revealed this week that their research indicates school shootings remain “incredibly rare events.” Their findings, which are set to be published later this year, indicate that shooting incidents which involve students have actually declined since the 1990s.
The research team determined that, “on average, mass murders occur between 20 and 30 times per year, and about one of those incidents on average takes place at a school.” They said the rate of students killed in school shootings is only a quarter of what it was in the early 1990s.
“There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” Fox said.
David Hogg will be so disappointed, to be sure. Not that anyone should expect him to even acknowledge this study or any other study that fails to advance the gun-grabber agenda.
The researchers studied data from a wide variety of sources including USA Today, the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, Congressional Research Service, Gun Violence Archive, Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries, Mother Jones, Everytown for Gun Safety, and an NYPD report on active shooters. They concluded that, on average, of the 55 million school children in the United States, 10 per year have been killed by gunfire while at school over the last 25 years. In their research they found only five cases over the past 35 years where AR-15s and similar rifles were used by the attackers.
“The thing to remember is that these are extremely rare events, and no matter what you can come up with to prevent it, the shooter will have a workaround,” Fox said.
The researchers also noted that more kids are killed each year in incidents involving pools and bicycles than in all the school shootings combined.
Of course, this study didn’t get a whole lot of attention in the mainstream media. That’s not surprising. After all, they seem to be personally invested in selling the idea that our kids aren’t likely to survive to graduate because of some maniac with an AR-15 is going to kill them all. Yet looking at the average over the last 25 years, it’s easy to see that more students are killed in car crashes than by mass shooters.
So why does everyone freak over these?
For one thing, it’s not about the total numbers. It’s about the number of people killed per incident. It’s not about how many have been killed in the last quarter of a century or what the annual average. If a dozen die in a single incident, that’s an even bigger tragedy but if you spread those deaths over an entire year, it’s a statistic.
That’s what’s fueling much of this nonsense.
Look, these shootings are downright awful. No one’s saying they’re not. But what we are saying is that it’s not an epidemic that desperately needs to be “addressed.” Especially when “addressed” means to infringe on our constitutionally-protected rights.