To the editor:
The Inside Out column on December 21 was a well written, emotional plea for securing your guns so they don’t wind up being used in school shootings by …
To the editor:
The Inside Out column on December 21 was a well written, emotional plea for securing your guns so they don’t wind up being used in school shootings by children.
I cannot argue against the many benefits of being a responsible firearms owner and keeping your firearms secure. On the other hand, I’m certain many young hunters, target, trap and other sports shooters access firearms for positive experiences without incident.
Guns should be demystified by teaching more about them. Many learn about guns from the media replete with inaccuracies, innuendos and falsehoods. They do not learn to respect them and the responsibility that comes with using them. We need more Eddie Eagle and firearms safety campaigns. We need more shooting teams. Educating is the responsible thing to do. More campaigns like Rachael’s Challenge are also needed. Bullying and violence must be more effectively dealt with.
The column cited statistics from Everytown for Gun Safety. Here’s some more perspective. In March of 2018 Harvard’s David Ropeik wrote, after Parkland, in the Washington Post, “School shootings are extraordinarily rare. Why is fear of them driving policy? The statistical likelihood of any public school student on any given day being killed in a school shooting since 1999 are roughly 1 in 614 million. And since the 1990s shootings at schools have been getting less common. The chances of being shot and killed in school are extraordinarily low…far lower than many people assume… Far lower than almost any other mortality risk a kid faces. Including travel to and from school, contracting a life threatening disease while in school, or a life threatening injury playing interscholastic sports.”
Writing for the Intelligencer, Eric Levitz says “there is no epidemic of mass shootings in American schools - at least not under the conventional definition of those terms.”
Levitz goes on to say, “In the immediate aftermath of the Parkland shooting, progressive activists and commentators (including this one), repeatedly claimed there had been 18 school shootings since the start of this year. This proved to be a gross exaggeration. In reality, according to new research from Northeastern University, there have been a grand total of 8 mass shootings (shootings that kill at least 4 people) at K through 12 schools in the United States since 1996. Meanwhile, over the last 20 years, the number of fatal shootings in American schools (of any kind) has plummeted.”
According to Levitz, an American lifetime odds of dying in a mass shooting are 1 in 11,125.
That does not mean school shootings are not deadly serious or that there has not been an increase in violence the last couple of years. It should be addressed, perhaps, by more hands-on parenting, personal responsibility in securing firearms, improved and expanded education and mental health care improvements.
Paraphrasing Sager, “since Newtown there have been no fixes”. Assuming she thinks Cuomo’s, knee jerk fix, the SAFE Act, didn’t fix anything. I cannot argue with that either.
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