This guest post was submitted by Raheem Williams, the policy director for the North Dakota Young Republicans.
Recently Democratic Rep. Pam Anderson was quoted in the Forum saying, “My American dream is that my grandkids don’t get shot in school.”
Well, thanks to sensationalist media, most of our friends on the left are severely misinformed on the issue of school violence. Agenda-driven journalists looking to drive up ratings and clicks have grossly exaggerated the scope of this problem to push the gun-control agenda as a moral imperative. They seek to shamelessly dangle the bodies of dead children in our faces in an attempt to prey on our deepest fear, the fear of losing a child.
However, the fright of school shootings, much like that of flying, doesn’t actually reflect risk or current trends. Researchers Dr. James Alan Fox and Emma E. Fridel of Northeastern University utilized data collected from USA Today, the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, Congressional Research Service, Gun Violence Archive, Stanford Geospatial Center and Stanford Libraries, Mother Jones, Everytown for Gun Safety, and the NYPD report on active shooters to study the issue.
After analyzing over 20 years of data from 1992 to 2015, Dr.Fox found, “There is not an epidemic of school shootings,” adding that “more kids are killed each year from pool drownings or bicycle accidents.” Dr. Fox concluded that school shootings have actually decreased substantially. When adjusted to the student population, violent homicides are near historical lows in American schools. This is also reflected in official government statistics and additional research from the Youth Violence Project at The University of Virginia.
In short, school shootings are extraordinarily rare. This truth is very hard to reconcile with popular narratives. In America, children are far safer in school than they are outside of school. When children die tragic deaths, we are all heartbroken. However, politicians spreading fear to attack our constitutional rights offer no solution. We don’t need more armed guards and we don’t need more gun control. Rep. Pam Anderson may better serve her grandchildren by emphasizing pool and bicycle safety in schools.