One thing that is often overlooked (or ignored) by those seeking political or influential advantage is that schools remain one of the safest places a child or teen can be.
We seek to frighten parents with a constant barrage of scary media and images yet FBI data shows that children are much more likely to be murdered by their own parents than they are to be victims in a school shooting.
During the 2017–2018 academic year, a total of 27 students and 8 faculty and staff members died in school shootings. That’s out of a estimated 50.7 million children enrolled in U.S. K-12 public schools. The fatalities occurred at five different high schools. There are more than 98,000 K-12 public schools in the U.S. Out of the total of 35 deaths, 27 came in just two incidents, Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in February and Santa Fe High School in May.
We have definitely overreacted to some of the factors involved.
Nikolas Cruz is the only person under 21 years of age to use a legally purchased AR-15-style rifle in a school shooting since the Colt AR-15 was introduced in 1964. Only one other person under 21 ever used a legally purchased military-style rifle in a mass shooting: Dean Mellburg, a 20-year-old ex-airman who used a AK-47-style rifle in an attack on Fairchild AFB in 1994.
In fact, you can count the number of mass killers under the age of 21 that used guns that they had legally purchased on the fingers of one hand.
Yet hysteria produced a Florida law that stripped more than 700,000 young adults of their right to purchase any rifle or shotgun. The same hysteria produced policies at Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart that denied young adults across the United States an opportunity to legally purchase a rifle or shotgun. There are more than 12.7 million young American adults in the 18-to-20 age group.
As I have often said, we have created a boogeyman and we have used it to instill fear not only in ourselves but in our children.