Is School a Place Where Children Die?

Is School a Place Where Children Die?

Malala Yousafrzai
Malala Yousafrzai

Has going to school become a risk for our children, even in the United States?

This is the question I ponder after receiving an automated message saying that a threat in our district has resulted in increased security– even here, at our tiny elementary building in rural Vermont.

Of course there are no “even here’s” anymore. Shootings can “even” happen in first-grade classrooms during morning circle time in a “safe”  New England town, not just in crowded high schools across the country.

Columbine. When my husband considered shifting from elementary to high school, his safety was my first concern. Who knew that within a decade, violence wouldn’t be limited to teenagers.

Map delineating 387 school shootings since 1992.
Map delineating 387 school shootings since 1992.

“What will be our new normal?” asks a friend.

I think it has already come.

Sobering statistics creep up on us revealing that 387 school shootings have taken place since 1992; and that children in America are 13 times more likely to be murdered with guns as children in other industrialized nations.

“I’m not going to school tomorrow, Mom,” my oldest tells me after we get the call about the threat. “What I learn in a day  isn’t worth my life.”

What about 14 year-old Malala Yousafzai–shot in the head for encouraging fellow girls to pursue an education in Pakistan? Shouldn’t education in the land of the free be that valuable?

Or have we become that cheap?

Kelly Salasin, lifelong educator, mother of 2, January 2013

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7 thoughts on “Is School a Place Where Children Die?

  1. And all of the shootings since 1990 have been in “Gun Free” zones.
    Curious how attacks targeting unarmed children have increased so much since Democrats passed that “feel good” law.
    Criminals do not obey the law.
    But anti-gunners don’t care about facts.
    Or our children’s safety.

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    1. I’m pretty sure children’s safety is what everyone cares about in this debate. And it’s true that criminals don’t obey the laws — so wouldn’t it be sensible to institute universal background checks so criminals can’t waltz into the nearest gun show and arm themselves?

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      1. Unfortunately, democrats are on the warpath against law abiding gun owners, not against criminals. When the NRA (which I am NOT a member of) suggested the removal of Gun Free zones they were chastised as not being serious about protecting our kids.
        We have a background check system already. It was used 2.8 million times in December.
        How many criminals buy their guns in a gun store? When they perform a background check and the person registers as a wanted felon, the police are immediately dispatched to the gun store.
        What SHOULD be done to protect our kids?
        1. Repeal of Gun Free zones act
        2. Enforce/enact legislation against “straw purchasers”
        3. Teach children gun safety
        4. Bolster the mental health laws
        5. Enforce laws already on the books (20,000) and do not let violent criminals “get off easy”.

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      2. I completely agree with you on items #2-5. Let’s make sure that happens!
        As for the background check system already in place, it only covers 60% of gun purchases. That leaves a huge opportunity for criminals to obtain weapons, and they go right through that giant opening. 83.6% of offenders prohibited under current state or federal law from possessing a firearm reported getting their gun from a supplier not required to conduct a background check.

        As for the gun free zone act, research has proven that the higher the number of guns, the higher the likelihood of violence. Even a lot of gun shows prohibit attendees from bringing in a loaded weapon. Here’s a quote from the Crossroads Gun Show: “We respectfully request that you do not bring any loaded firearm into the gun show. Safety is our Number One Priority, and a safe environment in the show can only be maintained if there are no loaded guns in the show.”

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      3. The 40 percent number that is bandied about by anti gun advocates uses statistics used were somehow collected BEFORE background checks were enacted!
        http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/338735/40-percent-myth-john-lott

        Crime stats
        http://www.nij.gov/topics/crime/gun-violence/welcome.htm
        Violent crime had decreased in this country has every year since the 1994 AWB expired.
        The stats can be found on the FBI and Dept of Justice websites.
        Do not believe the “cooked” statistics by the Brady Campaign.
        The data they use for their charts is skewed by selective use of data.
        While we think of “violent crime” as a bad guy shooting a homeowner during a robbery, the Brady bunch will also include the numbers for suicide, accidental injuries, and criminals shot by police officers. This gives them much higher numbers to scare their believers.
        How can their statistics be true when in the last 2 months over 5 MILLION new guns were purchased? We should be rolling in bodies, but we are not…
        More guns = less crime.
        Criminals are not afraid of the police, but they are afraid of armed citizens.
        ABC News did a report many years back and asked inmates if they thought the homeowner was armed would they break in… They said they would pick a different house.
        The gun shows that are doing this voluntary disarmament are not being forced by law. When a criminal sees this as an opportunity, we may see our first mass murder at a Gun Free gun show…

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      4. I am NOT saying get rid of all guns. I agree a criminal would not continue to try to rob a house if they’re being stared down by a gun themselves. That said, that criminal is going to be hightailing it out of there as soon as the first bullet is shot (if not as soon as they see the gun.) There is no reason people need high-capacity magazine for self-defense. The goal should not be to kill the perpetrator; it should be to keep one’s family safe.

        You refer to the “cooked” statistics of the Brady commission, but let’s think about this for a minute. The NRA is the mouth-piece for the firearms industry, which can keep making money hand over fist as they try to convince everyone that they need a Bushmaster to effectively defend themselves. Who has more motivation to “cook” their statistics?

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  2. You, may not want to ban all guns, but the democratic lawmakers DO want to ban all guns.
    It has been their goal since 1961 when JFK released his treatise on Global Disarmament.
    The state of California is pushing new legislation (go read it before you reply) that bans all semi auto firearms and makes owning a hollow point bullet a felony! A felony for possession of an inanimate object? A felony should be reserved for serious crimes like kidnapping and murder.
    The goal of the democratic party is CONTROL of the population.
    Even if you think that “some” gun control is warranted, no one should support these outright infringements on the constitution.
    We hear from the left-owned media that they want a discussion… That’s AFTER they shove their bills through and the only thing anyone can do is voice an opinion after the fact. That is NOT how legal discussions on proposed laws are supposed to be done.
    As for statistics, I look at the FBI crime reports, compare them to news reports from various media, and make conclusions from there.
    Did you know that there were ZERO gun deaths in VT in 2009?
    Did you know that there were ZERO hunting accidents in 2012?
    These facts are NOT reported by the Brady Campaign’s propaganda machine.
    Why do democrats want to take away or infringe on our rights in VT, when fifty percent (50%) of the gun deaths in VT in 2011 were caused by out of state killers with out of state weapons?
    Oh, and that 50%, the actual number is TWO. See how statistics are misleading?
    This is what gun grabbers use to terrify the uninformed. It does sound scary doesn’t it? 50%!
    I have not supported the NRA but when they do state facts, it doesn’t have to fit an agenda. Facts are facts. Gun grabbers in office are far worse than any private organization who is actually supporting the Constitution!

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