School Shootings Have Occurred Every School Week Since Sandy Hook
A new report compiled by anti-gun violence group Everytown For Gun Safety reveals that there have been 74 school shootings in America since the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy in December 2012. In other words, there's been an average of 1.37 school shootings per school week. Let me repeat that: there's been more than one shooting for every school week in the last 18 months.
That's a grim statistic, but probably not surprising. There have been nine school shootings in the last month, with six occurring in a seven-day period from May 2 to May 8. Most recently, on Tuesday morning, a 15-year-old student at Reynolds High School in Troudale, Ore., walked into the school's gym with a military-style rifle and semi-automatic handgun and killed a 14-year-old student before taking his own life, marking the 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook.
The Everytown For Gun Safety report includes a description of the criteria they used for compiling the data:
Incidents were classified as school shootings when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts. This includes assaults, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings.
Incidents were identified through media reports, so this is likely an undercount of the true total.
This criteria is the same used by Moms Demand Action For Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns in their detailed report from February, which breaks down school shooting statistics in more detail. While the data is dismal, here are some important highlights...
Incidents of School Shooting Have Jumped Drastically in 2014
When Moms Demand Action and Mayors Against Illegal Guns put together their report in February, the number of school shootings since Newtown was 44. While this is still a significant number of shootings in 14 months, that means 30 additional shootings occurred in the last four months alone.
Evidently, the beefed-up security measures that many schools across the nation have taken are not helping as preventative measures.
At Least One Person Died in 49 Percent of the 44 Shootings
That's at least one death in half of the shootings. In total, the 44 shootings resulted in 28 deaths and 37 injuries. By contrast, the number of gun-inflicted deaths in the United Kingdom for the entire 2011/2012 financial year was 39 in total.
Shooters Are Typically Accessing Guns at Home
70 percent of the shootings were perpetrated by minors, and of the cases where it was possible to determine the source of the firearm, 75 percent of the shooters obtained their weapon from home. A recent report from The New York Times illustrates just how easy it can be for children to access guns at home.
Shootings Often Start From Minor Arguments
On Jan. 9, two male students at Liberty Technology Magnet High School in Jackson, Tenn., argued over a female student. At some point, one of them shot the other in the leg. Days later, at Eastern Florida State College in Palm Bay, Fla., a verbal argument between students escalated and resulted in a student shooting another in the chest. And these are just two cases of dozens.