Sohn: School shootings more numerous than reported

Sohn: School shootings more numerous than reported

May 11th, 2019 by Pam Sohn in Opinion Times

Officials guide students off a bus and into a recreation center where they were reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Photo by Associated Press /Times Free Press.

We are 19 weeks into 2019, and CNN can count 15 school shootings — almost one a week — from Georgia to California, at elementary, middle and high schools and on college and university campuses.

As the school year draws to a close in most parts of the country, children at those schools will walk out the doors emotionally scarred by shootings they've seen or heard.

School shootings by year.

School shootings by year.

Photo by Contributed Photo /Times Free Press.

Five students will never return, never graduate, never take another breath because they died at the hands of the shooters.

Another 23 students suffered physical wounds, and scores of students and teachers will always carry the horror of seeing blood on the floors, walls or doors of their schools, buses or college classrooms.

Most recently the violence occurred at a university in Charlotte, North Carolina, and a secondary school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado.

But just think how many school shootings we might be trying to count had some of our would-be shooters were not found ahead of time and disarmed. That's happened even here in Hamilton County.

Now we no longer have to rely on news organizations to count school shootings for us.

Now we can find the really scary numbers — the complete numbers — compiled in a report and K-12 School Shooting Database as part of the Advanced Thinking in Homeland Security program at the Naval Postgraduate School's Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

The database came to be as the result of this sentence, underscored in an August 2018 National Public Radio investigative report: "How many times per year does a gun go off in an American school? We should know, but we don't."

Now we do. The online K-12 school shooting database (www.chds.us/ssdb) includes "each and every instance in which a gun is brandished, fired, or a bullet hits school property for any reason, regardless of the number of victims (including zero), time, day of the week, or reason (e.g., planned attack, accidental, domestic violence, gang-related)," according to the report's introduction.

The database shows more than 1,360 K-12 school shootings from 1970 through Friday.

Unlike CNN's count, the database does not include college shootings. Also unlike CNN's count, the database has found 30 K-12 school shootings and 7 deaths this year. That's twice as many shootings as CNN knew of.

What about last year? Brace yourselves.

In 2018, 56 people died in 97 school shootings. That was double the number of school shootings in each of the two previous years, and six times the number cataloged 40 years ago.

If fixing this were easy, someone would have done it already. At least knowing the right numbers gives us a start.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Chattanooga Times Free Press Comments Policy

The Chattanooga Times Free Press web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Times Free Press web sites and any content on the Times Free Press web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Times Free Press, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Times Free Press websites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Chattanooga Times Free Press
400 East 11th Street
Chattanooga, TN 37403
Phone: 423-757-6315
Email: webeditor@timesfreepress.com


Loading...