Yesterday’s events in Parkland, Florida were horrible. It was every parent’s worst nightmare, and at least 17 families had a long, heartbreaking night of grieving.
I wish I could say this was the worst of the worst, but it isn’t. We’ve had school shootings that surpassed 17 dead. The worst would be the Virginia Tech shooting of April 2007, which was listed as not just the worst school shooting, but the worst mass shooting in our nation’s history (until Stephen Paddock’s attack in October 2017).
In that shooting, 23-year old Seung-Hui Cho, an English major at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University shot and killed 32 people, before taking his own life.
I remember being part of a candlelight vigil on my own college campus, the prayers, and reading the names of the victims aloud.
Yesterday’s shooting, just as it is every time, sets off a mix of grief and anger. Everyone wants something to be done, but how and what should be done is the topic of hottest debate.
Then, of course, there are the super-hot takes of the anti-gun left. It’s always the fault of guns, never the fault of the person wielding the gun.
It’s only February. This gave some devoted gun grabbers opportunity to indulge in a bit of truth-twisting, in order to get their message across, thanks to the help of media.
According to reports being screamed at us from our TV screens, there have already been 18 school shootings in America, this year.
I heard it on Fox News (No, I didn’t have it on, but my elderly mom only knows one channel for cable news). I stopped and thought I must have heard it wrong, but then my mom comes to ask me if that was correct.
It certainly didn’t sound right. Wouldn’t we have heard about 18 school shootings?
I guess it’s a case of how you view “school shootings.”
Most of us probably think of events like yesterday in Parkland, or Columbine.
The number being pushed yesterday through media came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety – an anti-gun group. To say their numbers are a bit “finessed,” would be generous.
The Daily Wire was good enough to give the breakdown of those “school shootings” in 2018.
On January 3, a man drove himself to his former school’s parking lot and shot himself.
On January 10, an Arizona teenager went into an elementary school bathroom and shot himself.
Four times, a bullet was fired through a school or dorm’s window: on January 4, a gunshot was fired at a high school in Seattle through an office window; no one was hurt. On January 10, a shot was fired shattering a California State University classroom window. No injuries were reported. The same day, in Texas, a bullet was accidentally fired through a classroom wall at the Grayson College Criminal Justice Center. No one was injured. On January 15, a bullet traveled through a residential hall’s dorm room. No injuries were reported.
Ok. That’s 10 “school shootings,” by mid-January, if you take a very broad view of what counts as a school shooting.
On January 25, a Mobile, Alabama, high school student fired a gun on campus. No one was injured. On January 26, in Dearborn, Michigan, shots were fired from a car in a parking lot; no injuries were reported.
On February 5, in Maplewood, Minnesota, a third-grader pulled the trigger on a cop’s gun. No one was injured. On February 8, in New York, a shot was fired inside Metropolitan High School. No one was injured.
That’s 14, and so far, only 2 dead (self-inflicted).
January 22, Italy, Texas: a teenage girl was wounded by shots from a semi-automatic handgun. The same day, in Gentilly, Louisiana, a 14-year-old boy was injured in a shooting. February 1, Los Angeles, California: five children were injured in an accidental shooting. February 5, Maryland: a teenager was shot and injured outside of a high school.
As for actual fatalities:
January 20, Winston-Salem, North Carolina: A football player was shot and killed. January 23, Benton, Kentucky: Two people were killed and another 15 were shot at Marshall County High School. January 31, a fight broke out at a Pennsylvania high school; a 32-year-old man was shot and later died.
A lot of injuries, few deaths, and most with only a thin connection to school, or school activities.
That’s not to lessen the pain of those who lost loved ones, or who were injured. Not in the least.
Every life lost is a tragedy.
Every single one.
It’s obvious that something needs to be done, but the rush for gun control, every time there’s an attack is not it.
Outright twisting of the facts, such as what has gone on with Everytown and their media enablers is absolutely wrong.
You’re not going to stop bad people from doing awful things. The problem isn’t what they use, but that their hearts are corrupt, and until you fix the root of man’s heart, you’ll see these things happen, over and over again.
What we can do, in the immediate, is make soft targets, such as schools, less soft.
Armed guards on campus, metal detectors and bag checks upon entering school, metal detectors and automatic door locks to be activated after school has begun – these are all options.
We hate to think of our schools being treated like prisons on lockdown, but if inconvenience is the price of saving the lives of our kids, it’s worth it.