How Many School Shootings Have Happened So Far This Year in the US?

School is supposed to be a safe place for students.

As a teacher, I know it is my duty to protect my students. All teachers know that. Apparently mistakes were made at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

In the latest horrific school shooting, 17 innocent children lost their lives†in Parkland on Valentineís Day. This is the eighth school shooting so far this year that has resulted in death or injury. Why on earth was a 19-year-old in possession of a semiautomatic AR-15 assault rifle, a weapon with one purpose only: to kill people?

Just under a month ago, a 15-year-old student in Kentucky left two students dead and 18 injured.†Earlier in February, a student in Los Angeles was shot in the head and another student was shot in the arm when a gun in a studentís backpack went off.

Since the beginning of this year, guns have been fired on school property in the U.S. at least 18 times, according to incidents tracked by Everytown for Gun Safety, a gun control group.

As a teacher, it breaks my heart.

Chris Murphy, senator for Connecticut, site of the 2010 Sandy Hook school shooting in which 26 children and adults were killed, had this to say:

ďThis happens nowhere else other than the United States of America. This epidemic of mass slaughter, this scourge of school shooting after school shooting.

It only happens here not because of coincidence, not because of bad luck, but as a consequence of our inaction. We are responsible.”

Americans own an estimated 265 million guns, more than one gun for every adult.†No surprise then that the rate of gun violence in the U.S. is way ahead of any other developed nation.

Why is this happening?

As someone who grew up in the U.K., I just donít understand why guns are so important to Americans. I also know that in Dunblane, Scotland, after a mass shooting at a school in 1996, activists worked hard and succeeded in banning handguns.

They presented a petition with over a million signatures to lawmakers in the British Parliament, which made the civilian possession of handguns illegal. There has not been a mass shooting using handguns since then. In fact, there has only been one mass shooting in the past 20 years:12 people were tragically gunned down in 2010 by a man who had legal possession of a shotgun and a 0.22 calibre rifle.

The same thing happened in Australia. At†a popular tourist resort in Port Arthur, Tasmania, 35 people were killed by a lone gunman in 1996. A short 12 days later, the Australian government announced sweeping gun-control measures. The country has not seen a mass shooting since that awful day.

So what has happened in the U.S.?

All U.S. schools go through numerous lockdown drills every year, which is important. The past 20 years have also seen a huge increase in the school safety industry, with everything from hi-tech locks for classrooms to bulletproof backpacks.†

According to IHS Market, the market for safety equipment in the education field was estimated at $2.68 billion in 2017.

In addition, the federal government has placed more police officers in schools, at a cost of $45 million in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting.

But what about the guns?

Opponents of gun regulation argue that there is no research proving that gun control works.

Thatís because there is almost no research into gun violence at all, thanks to an amendment passed by Congress in 1996 which stated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) could not use money to ďadvocate or promote gun control.Ē

The so-called Dickey amendment, sponsored by Jay Dickey, a congressman from Arkansas, only forbade advocacy into gun-related deaths, not research. But at the same time Congress decreased the CDCís budget by the exact amount it was spending on investigating the reasons for gun violence. So that was the end of that.

Since then there has been no substantive data on gun-related deaths and injuries.

The Dickey amendment was backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA). Of course the gun lobby doesnít want any research on gun-related deaths because itís clear that the conclusions would adversely affect gun manufacturers and sales.

So with limited data, we are limited in how we can prevent gun violence.

Republican Congressmen are to blame.

Gun rights groups, chiefly the NRA, gave $5.9 million to Republican campaigns in the 2016 election cycle. Democrats received just $106,000. That’s up from $1.5 million that the NRA spent lobbying Congress In 2007.

And we know how those Republicans stated upfront in the push to pass the recent tax bill that they owed it to their sponsors to lower corporate taxes, or those sponsors might stop sending in contributions.

This is disgraceful.

There have been 1,624 mass shootings in the U.S. in the past 1,870 days.

We must stop this insanity.

Take Action

Letís start by banning assault-style rifles, whose sole purpose is to kill people as quickly as possible. As this Care2 petition informs us, seven out of the 10 mass shooting incidents with the highest number of people killed and wounded in the U.S. involved an assault-style rifle.

These weapons were banned in the U.S. for ten years before Congress let the ban expire in 2004.

We must bring back this ban. If you agree, please sign this Care2 petition demanding a reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons.

 

Photo Credit: The National Crime Agency.

130 comments

Marie W
Marie W3 months ago

Thank you.

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Will Rogers
Will Rogers8 months ago

Be brave America! Time to ban guns and the NRA. It is a terrorist organisation that has no place in the 21st century. There is a blot on the landscape of the world, it’s called America. If the UN wasn’t so corrupt it would put sanctions on that place for its continuing human rights abuses and its runaway gun violence problem. America seems to have a collective low level mental illness where they have normalised guns and gun violence. It’s a shame, that place used to be a focus for hope but is now a symbol of ignorance, arrogance and stubbornness. “A fool never changes its mind, but the wise change it’s mind often!” And we know that people kill people! So why give them guns?

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Annabel B
Annabel Bedini9 months ago

Eric
Me again. Your depression post has only just come up on my screen. I'm glad we can agree at least on this!

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini9 months ago

Eric
'Why keep on pushing it?' Sorry, stupid question. You have to otherwise your entire pro-gun argument falls to pieces.

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Annabel B
Annabel Bedini9 months ago

Eric
Just to be pedantic, I said 'military style' not 'military'. Whatever you say about versatility and so on, It seems to me the attraction of the semi-automatic firearm is that it makes you feel you are almost as powerful as the military. Whatever, it is NOT the present day musket which could only fire one shot at a time with a considerable pause while you re-loaded. Why pretend otherwise?

You say 'Yes the government has more powerful weapons but an armed population is still a check against Tyranny as intended by the 2nd amendment.' Eric, I and many others have been through this time and again on thread after thread and you know it's total nonsense so why keep on pushing it?

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Eric L
Eric Lees9 months ago

@Annabel
"As for anti-depressants, the overwhelming majority of people on anti-depressants do not resort to violence. My reading tells me that the problem that needs to be addressed is the depression itself, not the medication that attempts to control it. "

Now we are getting to discussing one of the root issues. Agreed that these drugs affect everyone differently. Doctors should monitor patients closely when prescribed such powerful drugs. Yes both are issues the fact that so many are depressed and so many are on these drugs. Look at the suicide rates especially among veterans with PTSD. This is an issue rarely talked about.

"Suicides Taking More Lives Than War"
http://projectcensored.org/suicides-taking-more-lives-than-war/

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Eric L
Eric Lees9 months ago

@Annabel
"There is no justification for selling military-style firearms to the public. They are not needed for self-defense. Their only purpose is to kill or maim the maximum number of people in the minimum space of time. I believe various courts, including the Supreme Court, have ruled that semi-automatic firearms are not covered by the 2nd Amendment."

We have already gone over this. Military guns are fully automatic, civilian are semi-automatic. Civilians can not buy military style guns. No the purpose of a gun is to shoot, it's the individual that determines the target. Most of these AR15 guns are used for target shooting a popular hobby for many. Why do they choose the AR15? Because it is the most customize-able gun in existence. Since it's a standard you can buy parts and mix and match. You can start with a basic gun and upgrade over time. It is the modern day musket. Yes the government has more powerful weapons but an armed population is still a check against Tyranny as intended by the 2nd amendment.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees9 months ago

@Annabel Bedini
"Eric L
And look what has happened to them. Massacre after massacre after massacre in Syria and the Yemen. The point is that the world is no longer as it was when the Founding Fathers came up with their Amendment. Local fighters, however well trained, haven't a hope in hell of standing up to the might of government standing armies and their allies."

Agreed the world is much worse today on many levels such as wars and civilian casualties. Yes the odds are stacked against them but isn't live and liberty worth fighting for? Put yourself in their shoes, how would you react to foreign invasion? To years of war, armed drones flying overhead. For some all they know is war. It's a pretty sad world.

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Eric Lees
Eric Lees9 months ago

@Annabel Bedini
"Dan
The point about the weaponry I mentioned is that its aim is to avoid the necessity for house-to-house combat. Bomb the living daylights out of them and you won't need to send in soldiers."

As we have done and the result is many civilian casualties as groups such as Daesh have moved into urban areas among civilians.

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Annabel Bedini
Annabel Bedini9 months ago

Dan
The point about the weaponry I mentioned is that its aim is to avoid the necessity for house-to-house combat. Bomb the living daylights out of them and you won't need to send in soldiers.

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