We all remember the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings that took place two years ago on December 14, 2012. It was the deadliest mass shooting at a grade or high school in United States history with 20-year-old Adam Lanza fatally shooting 6 adult staff members and 20 children ranging from six to seven years of age.
What is little publicized is the number of school shooting incidents, both fatal and nonfatal as well as suicides and non-intentional shootings, that have taken place since Sandy Hook. A website, Everytown for Gun Safety, a movement of "Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities" tracks these shootings on its website and in this report. An incident is classified as a school shooting when a firearm is discharged inside a school building or on the grounds of a school. Incidents in which firearms were brought to school and not discharged are not included in the statistics.
Current to December 9th, 2014, in the two years since Sandy Hook, there have been at least 95 school shootings or nearly one each week. Here is a map showing the locations of the school shootings over the past two years:
The ninety-five school shootings took place in 33 states with 49 taking place in Kindergarten to Grade 12 schools and 46 taking place on college or university campuses. In 35 of the shootings, the firearm was used after a confrontation or verbal argument intensified. In 65 of the incidents, the perpetrators intentionally injured or killed another person with a firearm. Of the 65 incidents that resulted in a casualty, 23 incidents ended up in a least one homicide. In 16 incidents, the perpetrator attempted to or was successful at committing suicide with 6 perpetrators attempting to commit suicide after using a firearm to either kill or wound another person.
Let's focus on the statistics related to shootings at Kindergarten to Grade schools. On average, over the past two years, an average of two shootings per month took place at K-12 schools. Of the 40 incidents where the shooter's age was known, 28 were perpetrated by minor with 10 of the shooters using a gun that they obtained from their own home. Here are two examples:
1.) On October 21, 2013, 12-year-old Jose Reyes entered Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nevada with a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun that was stored in a locked gun case stored in a kitchen cupboard and shot and wounded another 12-year-old student. A teacher, Michael Landsberry, intervened and was shot in the chest and killed by Reyes. The perpetrator then wounded another student in the abdomen and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head. Reyes took the actions because he was bullied by other students, however, police stated that the actions did not rise to the level of bullying described by Nevada law.
2.) On October 24, 2014, 15-year-old Jaylen Fryberg entered the school cafeteria at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington and fired eight shots from a .40-caliber Beretta handgun, killing four before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot to his head. Fry berg had lured his victims to lunch in the school cafeteria using a text message. Two of the casualties were cousins of the perpetrator. The firearm used in the killings belonged to a family member.
Here is a graph showing the age of the shooters involved in K-12 school shootings over the past two years noting that the age of the shooter could not be determined for 9 of the shootings:
In closing, here is a listing of all shootings and their outcomes at American schools since December 15, 2012:
Considering that schools should be viewed as one of the safest and non-violent havens for American children and young adults, these statistics show that America's 98,817 public schools and 7021 post-secondary institutions are not as safe from gun violence as we would hope.
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