Since the horrible mass shooting in Columbine, Colorado in 1999, it appears as though school shootings have become a regular occurrence. It seems like every time you watch or read the news, there is another report of another shooting. But how are things really going with regards to school shootings in 2018? Is this America’s worst year so far for this kind of violent tragedy? Let’s take a closer look.
Is 2018 the year of the gun? With recent school shootings raising a red flag for most Americans, it’s time to take a look at school shootings in 2018. We’re also going to compare these shootings to ones from previous years.
School Shootings in 2018
How many school shootings have there been in 2018? It depends on your definition of school shooting. For the purposes of this article, we are going to narrow down the field. The following are shootings that have occurred in the United States from January 1 to February 15.
These shootings happened on school grounds and must have injured or killed at least one person. The schools’ students range in age from kindergarten to university level. The shootings do not only include mass shootings but also gang violence, accidental shootings, and specifically targeted subjects.
Even with this narrowed field, there have been eight school shootings in the United States since January 1, 2018:
- January 20, 2018: Winston-Salem State University football player Najee Ali Baker was shot dead on the campus of Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.
- January 22, 2018: A 15-year-old student allegedly fired a handgun, wounding another 15-year-old student at Italy High School in Italy, Texas. The suspected shooter was quickly apprehended.
- January 23, 2018: Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, was rocked by an assault. Gabe Parker, 15, is accused of killing two students and injuring 14 others with a handgun. Four others were injured in the ensuing chaos.
- January 31, 2018: During a high school basketball game, a fight broke out and a 32-year-old man, Ralph Kennedy was shot and killed in the parking lot of Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- February 1, 2018: An unintentional discharge of a firearm at Sal Castro Middle School in Los Angeles, California, left a 15-year-old boy dead and a 15-year-old girl wounded in the waist. A 12-year-old girl had brought a semi-automatic gun from home.
- February 5, 2018: A student survived being shot in the parking lot at Oxon Hill High in Oxon Hill, Maryland. Two teenagers described as the victim’s acquaintances have been charged.
- February 9, 2018: In Nashville, Tennessee, 17-year-old DeMario Crowder was shot five times in the parking lot of Pearl-Cohn High School.
- February 14, 2018: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida was the site of a mass shooting. By the time the smoke had cleared from an AR-15, Nikolas Cruz had allegedly killed 17 students and staff and injured 14 others.
2018 Compared to 2017 and 2016
In total, there were a total of eight school shootings that met our strict criteria. Following the same criteria, there were only three school shootings in 2017 in a similar time period, from January 1 to March 21. The 2017 shootings include:
- January 20, 2017: At West Liberty-Salem High School in West Liberty, Ohio, a 17-year-old allegedly fired twice at another student with a shotgun. The victim survived.
- January 20, 2017: During a protest against the visit of far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos at the University of Washington in Seattle, a 34-year-old man was shot in the abdomen. He was critically injured but survived.
- March 21, 2017: In King City, California, an 18-year-old King City High School student was shot outside of the auditorium. The victim suffered life-threatening injuries but survived.
Using similar criteria and data, there were only two school shootings in early 2016. The 2016 shootings include:
- February 12, 2016: Two 15-year-old girls were found dead near the cafeteria in Independence High School in Glendale, Arizona. One girl had shot the other and then turned the gun on herself.
- February 29, 2016: Four Madison High School students were injured when a 14-year-old boy opened fire with a .380 caliber handgun.
It should be noted that current statistics do not necessarily mean that school shootings in 2018 will continue to rise. Even though it seems that there are an overwhelming number of threats in the news these days.
Related Article: Multiple School Shooting Threats Create Fear Psychosis: Attempt at Whittier School Foiled!
After the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, there has been a movement for political change with regards to gun laws. Should gun reform be implemented, the number of future shootings may decline.
Something as simple as raising the age limit for firearm purchases to 21 may make it harder for many would-be shooters to get a hold of a gun.
In fact, President Donald Trump continues to look at a variety of solutions to the deadly problem of guns in schools.