Many teachers are veterans.
Many serve as reservists in their states’ national guards.
But serving students as a classroom teacher is not tantamount to military service.
Based on data from Defense Department (DOD) news releases, a new Washington Post analysis finds more people have been killed in school shootings this year than those serving in the U.S. military. In fact, since 1968, more Americans have fallen to gun violence than to all wars in U.S. history.
As of Friday, after a Santa Fe, Texas high school student killed ten people and wounded others, the Post‘s database records 29 deaths in 16 separate incidents in the U.S. Contrast this with DOD data that cites 13 service member deaths in seven incidents.
The Post is not suggesting schools are as dangerous as war zones. But statistically, there are over 50 million public school students in the U.S. today compared to 1.3 million armed service members. The fact that soldiers are 17 times more likely to be killed than someone in a school shooting does not negate the fact that at least 1,686 mass shootings since the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut have left at least 1,941 people killed and 7,104 wounded.
According to a Harvard School of Public Health analysis, mass shootings are increasing as long we refer to a “mass shooting” as one that occurs in public and results in four or more victims. This does not include domestic, gang, and drug violence.
Northeastern University criminologist, James Alan Fox, defines a mass shooting differently. He argues any shooting in which at least four people are murdered constitutes a “mass shooting.”
By his rubric, some argue mass shootings are not increasing.
Harvard School of Public Health researchers argue Fox’s definition is too general, though, since it includes domestic, gang, and drug violence they do not count.
The Gun Violence Archive‘s definition is even broader than Fox’s, counting injuries as well as deaths.
According to United Nations (UN) data, the U.S. experienced 29.7 firearm homicides per 1 million people in 2012; Switzerland experienced 7.7 million; Canada, 5.1 million; and Germany, 1.9 million.
The U.S. comprises about 4.4 percent of the global population but has 42 percent of the world’s civilian-owned guns. Empirical research proves settings where more guns are present increases the likelihood gun violence will ensue.
And yet, the National Rifle Association (NRA) is doing all it can to make sure we are more armed than we already are.
With this objective, one could assume the recent NRA-Institute for Legislative Action’s leadership forum would be awash in gun-toting second amendment idealogues.
All firearms were banned during Vice President Mike Pence’s keynote address.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student, Matt Deitsch, who helped organize the March 24 “March for Our Lives” protest, tweeted:
“Wait wait wait wait wait wait you’re telling me to make the VP safe there aren’t any weapons around but when it comes to children they want guns everywhere? Can someone explain this to me? Because it sounds like the NRA wants to protect people who help them sell guns, not kids.”
Image credit: Snopes.com