With the anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, fast approaching, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released a report and video on Tuesday that examines school shootings.
Here were the group’s key findings:
- Of the K-12 school shootings in which the shooter’s age was known, 70 percent (28 of 40 incidents) were perpetrated by minors. Among these K-12 school shootings where it was possible to determine the source of the firearm, nearly two-thirds of the shooters (10 of 16) obtained their guns from home.
- In 35 shootings— more than a third of all incidents — at least one person was shot after an argument or confrontation escalated and a gun was on hand.
- The 95 school shootings occurred in 33 states across the country. Fifty-two percent of the shootings took place at K-12 schools and 48 percent took place on college or university campuses.
- These school shootings resulted in 45 deaths and 78 non-fatal gunshot injuries. In 32 percent of these incidents at least one person died.
- In 65 incidents (68 percent), the perpetrator(s) intentionally injured or killed another person with a gun; of these, 23 incidents resulted in at least one homicide. In 16 incidents, the shooter attempted or completed suicide — in six incidents after shooting someone else. Six shootings were purely accidental in nature. In 14 other incidents, a gun was discharged but no one was injured.
- Over the last two years an average of two school shootings took place at K-12 schools each month.
- During the last three months alone, there were 17 school shootings including a single week in which there were five incidents in five separate states.
Not surprisingly the group’s leaders believe that enacting tougher gun laws would help to address violence in and around schools.
“School shootings – no matter the circumstances – corrode the sense of security we should expect from our educational institutions in this country. Two years ago, the NRA called for arming teachers – that’s their solution – more guns for everyone, everywhere, anytime,” said John Feinblatt, President of Everytown for Gun Safety in a press release.
“The gun lobby wants schools and college students to join the country’s arms race and buy more guns,” Feinblatt continued. “Instead, we can and should do more to prevent gun violence – that’s why we’re fighting for common-sense public safety measures that respect the Second Amendment and keep guns out of the wrong hands.”
Everytown’s main legislative objective is to push for universal background checks on all gun transfers, including those made between private buyers and sellers.
“The inconceivably tragic mass shooting at Sandy Hook woke up millions of Americans to our country’s pervasive culture of gun violence. We do not send our children to school to learn how to hide from gunmen, nor should we expect sharpshooting to be a job requirement for educators. For far too long, our lawmakers have asked children and teachers to stand up to gunmen because they are too afraid to stand up to the gun lobby,” said Shannon Watts, Founder of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.
“You may not have heard about all of these shooting incidents on the national news, but when a lockdown is announced over a school intercom – for whatever reason – it strikes fear across the community” added Watts. “We will not allow the constant threat of gun violence at our schools to become the new normal – it’s time our elected leaders take a stand for the safety and future of our children.”
The way I see it is there will always be armed individuals who want to take innocent lives, irrespective of the laws on the books or the cops on the beat. Therefore, as citizens with a Constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms the onus is ultimately on us to prepare for threats when they arise. The alternative is to hope and pray that you don’t become a hapless victim.