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The American Nightmare: School Shootings

In America mass shootings at schools have become something that has almost been accepted as a public norm. Mass shooting after mass shooting the debate goes on whether it is a gun problem or a mental health problem, and each time nothing gets done. Being half way through the second month of 2018 America has already seen more than 8 school shootings, thats one a week at least.

The most recent shooting took place in Parkland, Florida. This school shooting was carried out by a 19 year old ex-student which had been expelled and known to be violent claiming 17 lives and wounding 20 others. Last month a 15-year-old killed two of his peers (and injured 18 others) at his high school in Kentucky.


The United States is suffering from a gun-violence epidemic, one that has been spilling into schools. Since 2000, there have been more than 188 shootings at schools and universities. Its a struggle for researchers to determine the exact numbers as the CDC isn’t allowed to research gun violence in America. Overall more than 200 students have been killed, and least 200 more have been injured.

In 2015 the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis collected data on school violence from around the globe. They took a broad look at incidents where someone was killed, or a murder was attempted, and charted every one that had two or more victims. The study found that between 2000 and 2010, they recorded 57 incidents in 36 countries around the world. Half of those incidents occurred here, in the United States.

(Researchers left out single homicides, off-campus homicides, killings caused by government actions, terrorists.)


In U.S. schools, there was as much violence as schools in:


In 2010, the United States had about 309 million residents. The population of the other countries at the time totaled to 3.8 billion. It’s worth noting, too, that 13 of those countries have never experienced a school massacre.

Violence in U.S. schools is much more likely be carried out by a gun, too. According to a study done by Quartz:

“In the vast majority of US killings, perpetrators used guns. By comparison, China — with the second-greatest number of incidents — saw 10 mass killings, but none involving firearms. Germany saw three mass shootings; Finland saw two. Thirteen other countries each saw one incident with at least one person being wounded or killed; in the rest nobody was reported as hurt.”


School shootings aren’t a trend in other countries, nor are they something the public has come to accept as normal. Is it due to lack of mental health coverage in America? Is it the fact that Americans have a disproportionate number of guns (at least 300 million, about one per person), especially handguns and semiautomatic weapons.

Weapons used in war have no place in civilian hands at home, A bullet from an AR-15 rifle, which the shooter used in the Florida attack Wednesday, can penetrate a steel helmet from five hundred yards. When fired from close range at civilians who aren’t wearing body armor, the bullets from an AR-15 don’t merely penetrate the human body they tear it apart.

These are tools meant for war and to be used by trained and authorized people. Normal day civilians with no background check or mental screenings should be allowed to own a firearm. How many more mass shootings will America let happen before congress steps in.


Featured photo via RT

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