As criminologists have built a comprehensive database to log all school shootings in the U.S., we know that deadly school gun violence in America in now a regular occurrence – with incidents only becoming more frequent and deadlier.
Records compiled by The Conversation show that seven more people died in mass shootings at U.S. schools between 2018 and 2022 – a total of 52 – than in the previous 18 years combined since the watershed 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
Since the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, moreover, more than 700 people have been shot at U.S. schools on football fields and in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias and parking lots.
Many of these shootings were not the mass killing events that schools typically drill for. Rather, they were an extension of rising everyday gun violence.
There have been shootings at U.S. schools almost every year since 1966, but in 2021 there were a record 250 shooting incidents – including any occurrence of a firearm being discharged, be it related to suicides, accidental shootings, gang-related violence or incidents at after-hours school events.
That’s double the annual number of shooting incidents recorded in the previous three years – in both 2018 and 2019, 119 shootings were logged, and there were 114 incidents in 2020.
With more than two months left, 2022 is already the worst year on record. As of Oct. 24, there have been 257 shootings on school campuses – passing the 250 total for all of 2021.
Many of these incidents have been simple disputes turned deadly because teenagers came to school angry and armed.
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