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Sunday, February 25, 2018

Shooting deaths in schools - a brief study

Murder rate decline
Why have shooting deaths in schools increased in an era of generally decreasing violent crime?

According to Statista, the violent crime rate was 758.2 per 100,000 in 1991; this rate decreased to a low of 361.6 per 100,000 in 2014.  In 2016, the last year for which Statista published data, the rate has upticked somewhat to 386.3 per 100,000.

Before 1990, there were school shootings and deaths but the rate was lower.  To refer to Wikipedia's  article on school shootings:

In the 1960s, there were 44 shooting deaths in schools during the entire decade.  The 1960s were a decade of social upheaval.

In the1970s there were 37 shooting deaths in schools.  The 1970s were also a decade of social upheaval.

In the 1980s, there were 50 shooting deaths in schools.

Then the Gun-Free School Zones Act (GFSZA) (18 U.S.C. § 921(a)(25)) was enacted in 1990 (and re-enacted as amended in 1996).  Since 1990, school shootings increased in frequency and ghastliness.-

School shootings increase
1990s - 87 shooting deaths in schools.

2000s - 108 shooting deaths in schools.

2010 - 2018 - 165, so far.

There is negative correlation of "easy availability of guns" and school shootings.  Guns were easier to get in the 1960s -- guns could be mail ordered, yet the data show there were fewer shooting deaths in schools during the 1960s.
 
There is a positive correlation between schools being "Gun Free Zones" and school shootings.  This makes sense since such gun intolerance would mean there is no legal way for self-defense.  Therefore schools would represent an mass of easy victims.

Gun free school zones represent a tempting cookie to a psychotic.  The Gun-Free School Zones Act should be repealed.

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