In fact school shootings have been diminishing according to some studies. Kudos to National Public Radio for even doing the attached story. (Not exactly a pro-gun rights outlet.) I am sure the ombudsman heard plenty from the anti-gun folks. I can just imagine all the calls taken from outraged Subaru Outback drivers. (For the record I used to have one. Great car.)
And now I see calls from some for the outright repeal of the 2nd Amendment. (Good luck with that.) Even though the risk of school shootings has diminished in recent years? Even though homicides by gun are down 50% over the last 25 years? This even though the number of guns in this country has gone up considerably?
Have we lost all sense of risk, and probability? Are we willing to surrender the right to defend ourselves just because some people have let their emotions get the better of them?
There are people who don’t have any sense of statistical risk. And yes some people do let their emotions get the better of them too often. And yes these two subsets of the American people do constitute a significant minority. There will always a portion of the population that is easily manipulated. But that’s one of the key reasons the Founders made sure we had the Second Amendment.
The Parkland shooting last month has energized student activists, who are angry and frustrated over gun violence. But it’s also contributed to the impression that school shootings are a growing epidemic in America.
In truth, they’re not.
“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.
Fox and doctoral student Emma Fridel crunched the numbers, and the results should come as a relief to parents.
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.
“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.”