Tragically, America experienced two more shootings this week in Las Vegas and at a school in Oregon. Yet, unlike the CNN headline - "This is becoming the norm -" mass shootings, including the ones at school, aren't on the rise. In fact, America is less violent than it's ever been in nearly 20 years.
As CNSNews reported earlier, gun-related homicides dropped 39% between 1993-2011; Pew noted a 49% drop between 1993-2010. In the first six months of 2013, violent crime murders declined 6.9%, rapes declined 10.6%, and aggravated assaults decreased by 6.6%, according to the FBI. In all, we're holding steady on a 25-year trend where violent crime is declining.
James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Northwestern University, has been tracking mass shootings with four or more fatalities since 1976. It wasn't surprising to see that mass shootings aren't on the rise. In fact, the rate of such incidents has pretty much remained flat since the 1970s. There hasn't been a rise in the number of school shooting victims either, according to a new report conducted by the Bureau of Justice Statistics and the National Center for Education Statistics:
Since the Sandy Hook incident, preliminary counts from media reports indicate that there were 17 school-associated violent deaths between December 15, 2012, and November 14, 2013; of these deaths, 11 were homicides and 6 were suicides. Six of the victims were identified as being between the ages of 5 and 18.
Between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011, there were 31 school-associated violent deaths in elementary and secondary schools in the United States
Of the 31 student, staff, and nonstudent school- associated violent deaths occurring between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011, there were 25 homicide and 6 suicides. Data for school-associated violent deaths for the 2010-11 school year are preliminary until interviews with law enforcement personnel have been completed.
The percentage of youth homicides occurring at school remained at less than 2 percent of the total number of youth homicides over all available survey years, even though the absolute number of homicides of school-age youth at school varied to some degree across the years. Between the 1992-93 and 2010-11 school years, from 1 to 10 school-age youth committed suicide at school each year, with no consistent pattern of increase or decrease in the number of suicides. The percentage of youth suicides occurring at school remained at less than 1 percent of the total number of youth suicides over all available survey years.
While tragic, these aren't levels that suggest epidemic levels of violence at our schools; they're not shooting galleries either. In fact, if you look at the chart, there's a downward trend.
Regardless of the statistics and the fact, the rabid anti-gun left will continue to peddle unadulterated drivel about gun violence. Case in point, Bloomberg's Everytown for Gun Safety's made a map tracking school shootings since Newtown and found 74 incidents since Newtown. There are a few problems. First, some shootings included were gang-related, off campus, suicides, and on college campuses. In all, there are 35 suspect incidents on that map (via Reason):
(Of the 74 incidents listed by Everytown, 35 occurred [sic] on or near a college campus.**) The map also includes nonfatal shootings, including accidental discharges and at least four events in which no one was injured at all. And some of its items qualify as "school shootings" only under a rather broad understanding of the phrase. While this killing, for example, did take place in an elementary school parking lot, it happened at night, long after the students and teachers had gone home. The victim was 19.
This much is clear: If you're wondering where kids are likely to die, the answer plainly isn't a classroom.
America is actually less violent that it was twenty years ago; gun-related homicides are down; school and mass shootings are either on the decline or have remained flat in terms of frequency. In fact, since 2012, experts have noted mass shootings aren't on the rise.
Regardless, anti-Second Amendment folks will rally to destroy this country's oldest civil right - all 12 of them.