Report Claims 'Gun Incidents' at Ohio Schools Surged

AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli

While we might not agree with how to achieve it, pretty much everyone wants our children to be safe at school. It's the "how" that causes friction.

But how safe are our children now?


In Ohio, at least according to a story from Axios, not very.

It seems gun incidents "surged" at schools in the state.

K-12 schools in the U.S. saw 1,468 firearm incidents in the decade ending in 2023, a 324% increase from the prior decade's 346 incidents.

Why it matters: Ohio had the fifth most incidents of any state with 127 during the past decade, according to K-12 School Shooting Database, an open-source research project attempting to quantify gun incidents at grade schools.

  • Only California, Texas, Florida and Illinois had more.

How it works: "Incidents" are defined as instances when a gun is fired or brandished with intent to shoot, or when a bullet hits school property.

And let's be real here, that definition includes a whole lot of stuff that most of us wouldn't think of as "school shootings" or "incidents" relating to the school.

For example, drive-by shootings where the target isn't a student and school isn't even in session counts for their purposes. Officer-involved shootings--where a good guy shoots and kills a bad guy--count. Fights in the parking lot that may not even involve a student and escalate into a shooting? Counts. Suicide attempts? Same.


So when most people think of a school shooting, they at least tend to think of something where students were involved in some manner. That's simply not the case.

Say what you will about Gun Violence Archive, but they can at least present something that looks like logic behind counting wounded rather than fatalities. If 23 people are shot but none die, it's still pretty bad.

But if a stray bullet hits a school building in the middle of the night during summer, is that really a school shooting?

With all that said, let's also look at the states with more incidents than Ohio for a second.

Illinois and California are both vehemently anti-gun states with extensive gun control laws, yet they seem to be having a problem. 

Florida, while a fairly pro-gun state, restricts any kind of gun purchase so only those over 21 can buy a firearm. That means even lawful adults who are attending school can't lawfully buy a firearm.

Three of the four states listed ahead of Ohio are states with restrictions meant to prevent school shootings. Funny how that shakes out.

With that in mind and considering the nature of how K-12 School Shooting Database conducts "business," I don't see any reason for literally anyone to be alarmed. Especially as there are more than 3,100 schools in the state. With a total of 127 in the past decade, it seems worth noting just how rare these are, even in a state with a supposed problem like Ohio.


But hey, saying there are a whole dozen per year among 3,100 plus schools doesn't sound nearly as terrifying. These databases aren't trying to accumulate data. They're trying to scare people into supporting a political position. Sometimes, though, the truth isn't scary enough so you have to twist things, which is what happened here.


You'd think we'd be used to it by now, and I am. The media's complicity passing it as relevant still bothers me, though.

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