So we’re clear, even a single school shooting is one too many. This report from NPR in no way implies we should ignore shootings and get on with our daily lives. The point is the other left’s argument is mostly based on grade-A bullhickey. Or, vicious attacks (see MSNBC Panel Pulls Race Card on Pro-Gun People, Looks Forward to Them Dying and Everytown Shannon Watts Attacks Pro-Second Amendment Mom Over Her Race). So it’s good to have facts and figures at your disposal.
“Schools are safer today than they had been in previous decades,” says James Alan Fox, a professor of criminology at Northeastern University who has studied the phenomenon of mass murder since the 1980s.
First, while multiple-victim shootings in general are on the rise, that’s not the case in schools. There’s an average of about one a year — in a country with more than 100,000 schools.
Again, yes. That’s still one too many.
“There were more back in the ’90s than in recent years,” says Fox. “For example, in one school year — 1997-98 — there were four multiple-victim shootings in schools.”
Second, the overall number of gunshot victims at schools is also down. According to Fox’s numbers, back in the 1992-93 school year, about 0.55 students per million were shot and killed; in 2014-15, that rate was closer to 0.15 per million.
“The difference is the impression, the perception that people have,” Fox says — and he traces that to cable news and social media. “Today we have cell phone recordings of gunfire that play over and over and over again. So it’s that the impression is very different. That’s why people think things are a lot worse now, but the statistics say otherwise.”
Well, there you have it. Leftists claim NRA members load their full-semi-auto assault cannons with child-seeking bullets and raid high schools bi-weekly. The numbers say otherwise.
A mass epidemic of school shootings is the stuff of CNN fiction but, as I keep repeating, one shooting is still too many. We definitely need to keep our schools safer. No question about it. Our children need the same level of protection we give to politicians, cable news personalities, and celebrities.
Restricting the rights of law-abiding packers of heat because of a largely made-up epidemic is crap policy. Nobody is opposed to finding a reasonable solution for school shootings. It would just probably be easier if we took the lies and exaggerations off the table.