Yesterday’s two school shootings at high schools in North Carolina and Kentucky indicate that there’s still plenty of work to do when it comes to strengthening gun laws in America, and the rash of gun violence in our schools isn’t going away. Yesterday’s shootings – only hours apart – were the 85th and 86th school shootings since the mass shooting that took place at Sandy Hook Elementary School nearly two years ago, according to Everytown for Gun Safety, who chronicles all incidents of gun violence that takes place on school property.

The shootings occurred on the heels of a new report from the FBI on the increasing number of ‘active shooter incidents.’ Unlike Everytown, the FBI report looked specifically at events where “individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in populated areas.” (Not every school shooting is tied to a shooting spree; often shootings in school involve a single target.)

Here’s what “active shooter” violence, on the uptick, looks like in the past 13 years:

The study, titled “A Study of Active Shooter Incidents in the United States Between 2000 and 2013” contains a full list of the 160 incidents that ahve been classified as “active shooter violence”, including those that occurred at Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook Elementary School, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, Fort Hood, the Aurora (Colorado) Cinemark Century 16 movie theater, the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin, and the Washington Navy Yard, as well as numerous other tragic shootings.

The study found that active shooter incidents are becoming more frequent—the first seven years of the study show an average of 6.4 incidents annually, while the last seven years show 16.4 incidents annually. The number of casualties and injuries trended upwards.

Screen shot 2014-10-01 at 10.11.42 AM

Total, these incidents resulted in a total of 1,043 casualties (486 killed, 557 wounded—excluding the shooters). In 21 of the 45 incidents where law enforcement had to engage the shooter to end the threat, nine officers were killed and 28 were wounded.

The FBI also found that the largest percentage of incidents—45.6 percent—took place in a commercial environment (73 incidents), followed by 24.3 percent that took place in an educational environment (39 incidents). Active shooters who are under the age of 18 are, of course, more likely to target environments that they share with their peers.

Screen shot 2014-10-01 at 10.27.02 AM

Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action for America said of the shootings yesterday, “My heart goes out to those affected by these shootings in North Carolina and Kentucky. Last year we started counting shootings in American schools. The list hit 36 in 2013 and so far it stands at 50 in 2014. We should all be asking our leaders to do everything they can to prevent the next tragedy – the NRA’s solution to arm teachers and students isn’t an answer.”

[Image Credits: All charts courtesy of Federal Bureau of Investigation]

By Hypatia Livingston

"Reserve your right to think, for even to think wrongly is better than not to think at all."Writer, thinker, researcher, philosopher.

6 thoughts on “School Shootings Signal America (Still) Needs To Strengthen Gun Laws”
  1. Strengthening gun laws is not going to solve this problem. The problem isn’t guns; the problem is today’s youth. Society has bent over backwards to coddle our kids today. Parents are either absent or not allowed to discipline kids anymore. We need to get back to the concept of ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ and stop letting our youth wander through their formative years without guidance.

    1. The thing is, these school shootings are often perpetrated by people who aren’t in school. They’re adults who want to kill kinds, like in Newtown. So how is that the kids’ fault? A 24 year old man is not a child

  2. WOW this is what happens when the shooter perceives ——-that the place where the shooting occurred is a “GUN FREE ZONE”——-solution more CCW permits —–and more armed citizens—to WASTE pukes like this

    1. When you’re shilling for the Koch brothers or whoever, can you at least read the article?

      This article isn’t about a singular shooting. “Pukes like this” — you mean murderous crazies with guns? That’s what better background check laws would help with, as would closing the loopholes that allow murderous jerks to buy guns without backtround checks on the internet or at gun show

      1. Comprehensive background checks (which have existed for decades) would have done nothing to stop the Newtown mess. Facts hurt.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *