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February 28, 2018

‘There Is Not an Epidemic of School Shootings’

According to a new study, four times more students were killed in school shootings in the 1990s.

A new study out of Northeastern University concludes that schools today are actually safer than they were in the 1990s. James Alan Fox, professor of criminology, law and public policy at Northeastern, said that based upon the study’s findings, “There is not an epidemic of school shootings.” One death from such violence is too many, but he noted that more children die in pool drownings or bicycle accidents each year than gun-related deaths. The study also found that the number of students killed in school shootings today is one-fourth what it was in the early 1990s — a somewhat surprising fact given the 24/7 media hysteria surrounding atrocities like Parkland.

Contrary to the dubious claim of the anti-gun activist group Everytown for Gun Safety that there have been nearly 300 “school shootings” in America since 2013, Fox asserts, “These [school attacks] are extremely rare events.” Importantly, the research defines mass shootings as involving four or more deaths (not including the perpetrator), not the ridiculously broad criteria used by Everytown. Researchers found that, “Since 1996, there have been 16 multiple victim shootings in schools, or incidents involving 4 or more victims and at least 2 deaths by firearms, excluding the assailant. Of these, 8 are mass shootings, or incidents involving 4 or more deaths, excluding the assailant.”

Further clarifying the data, Fox and his co-researcher 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.” Simply put, since 1996 there have been eight mass shooting attacks at schools, which is unacceptable but hardly epidemic. In fact, since the 1990s “shooting incidents involving students have been declining.” Of the 55 million school children in the U.S., the study found that “on average over the past 25 years, about 10 students per year were killed by gunfire at school.”

While every one of these school atrocities is indeed deplorable and shocking, the facts on the ground do not support the hysterical overreaction currently present within national politics and mainstream media.

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