Gun Incidents At Schools Reportedly Increasing

AP Photo/LM Otero

Following the shooting in Arlington, TX earlier this week, a lot of attention is back on schools. In particular, with regard to firearms and schools. This isn’t really shocking. That’s just how the media reacts when something like this happens, especially when the story isn’t one they can milk for weeks directly. Then they have to look broader.

In a report, it seems that so-called gun incidents at schools are increasing this year despite the fact that many schools are still using at least some form of virtual learning due to COVID.

The shooting at a Texas high school Wednesday morning that left four people wounded was the state’s second school shooting within a week as weapons return with in-class learning.

By a number of measures, guns in schools remain a deadly danger as in-class learning that was paused during the coronavirus pandemic resumes.

The federal Center for Homeland Defense and Security recorded a total of 178 instances of guns present in schools for 2021, seven of them described as the result of an active shooter or a “continuous episode of violence.”

Someone brandishing a gun would be included in the tally. That’s up from 20 incidents in 1970, none of them resulting from an active shooter.

I appreciate them clarifying that someone just brandishing a gun would jack up the totals. All too often, that doesn’t get mentioned at all, thus pushing the narrative without all the facts.

Moving on…

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security was established by the U.S. government in 2002 to train leaders in homeland security. It gathered its data from peer-reviewed studies, government reports, archived media reports and other sources.

Another tally comes from Everytown for Gun Safety, which recorded 30 cases of gunfire on school grounds during this year’s back-to-school period, from Aug. 1 to Sept. 15. Five people were killed and 23 wounded in the deadliest back-to-school period since Everytown started tracking gunfire on school grounds in 2013, the group said. Everytown was formed through a merger of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, created by former New York City Michael Bloomberg in 2006, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, which a stay-at-home mom, Shannon Watts, formed in 2012.

Honestly, everyone should be skeptical of anything Everytown says about these kinds of incidents. They have a vested interest in inflating the numbers by using the broadest definition possible. For example, “gunfire on school grounds” could include a gang shooting on school property on a Sunday afternoon. There’s no danger to students and the incident would have happened regardless of what kind of building was there, but whatever, right?

Interestingly, though, the increase reported by the government is still a thing and is likely a more viable number from which to base a discussion.

For me, the big takeaway is that there have been all these incidents despite the plethora of gun laws on the books including those that forbid guns on school property in most states. There are also laws that ban high school-aged people from buying handguns, yet they seem to be getting them just fine.

While the Everytown crowd will continue to try to make a thing of this to justify some new gun control measures, the truth of the matter is that these guns making it on school campuses really just shows us how little gun control laws actually accomplish.

After all, if people who can’t legally buy guns are taking those guns someplace that’s a gun-free zone and then pulling them despite all the laws forbidding that as well, maybe it’s finally time to recognize that this idea of banning and restricting isn’t having the desired effect. It sure isn’t doing much for our schools, that’s for sure.