Before we turn schools into armed fortresses and ban every gun in sight, it’s worth getting a little perspective.
A new study shows that school shootings are exceedingly rare events – not that there should ever be any – and that things were just as bad or worse in the 1990s.
I agree with efforts the strengthen background checks and raise the age at which one can purchase a rifle or a shotgun from 18 to 21. It’s already 21 for handguns. Yes, we send our kids to war at 18, but we train them damn well first. I don’t think high school students should be able to purchase guns. I just don’t.
It doesn’t mean they can’t go hunting with their parents or shoot at a range. It just means they can’t buy the gun.
But the problem is that the left is going to use warnings of an “epidemic” to curtail the gun rights of law abiding citizens and ban them from purchasing certain weapons with which to hunt and defend themselves. So it’s worth a sober look at whether there actually is an “epidemic.”
According to the study, an early version of which was published on the Northeastern University website:
The deadly school shooting this month in Parkland, Florida, has ignited national outrage and calls for action on gun reform. But while certain policies may help decrease gun violence in general, it’s unlikely that any of them will prevent mass school shootings, according to James Alan Fox, the Lipman Family Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy at Northeastern.
Mass school shootings are incredibly rare events. In research publishing later this year, Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel found 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.
Four times the number of children were killed in schools in the early 1990s than today, Fox said.
Fox said, however, some policy changes aimed at decreasing school shootings and gun violence in general certainly have merit. Banning bump stocks and raising the age of purchase for assault rifles from 18 to 21 are good ideas, and may lead to a decrease in overall gun violence, he said. But he doesn’t believe these measures will prevent school shootings. “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, adding that over the past 35 years, there have been only five cases in which someone ages 18 to 20 used an assault rifle in a mass shooting.
Fridel said increasing mental health resources for students is another strategy that might improve school safety, calling this a critical need that has been historically overlooked.