It’s time to speak out some hard truths to the children participating in the so-called “student-led” national walkout and the broader “school safety” movement.
Let’s call it speaking truth to power, because there are some very powerful forces blocking most of these young people from hearing these truths — the traditional media, Hollywood and the rest of the culture movers, Democratic leaders, most school leaders and the big activist organizations using the children as pawns for their own agenda.
First, despite all the hot air from the above groups of people, all Americans agree on a few things.
First, students are fearful. Well rightly so, the world is a dangerous place. Second, they want to be in a safe school. Also rightly so.
But what if they were told they already were in a safe place? In their schools. This is where they need some educating in a way they will not get from a fawning media, from manipulative activist organizations such as the Women’s March and Black Lives Matter or, alas, from too many of their schools.
Apologies ahead of time for those who do not want facts to mess with your feelings and political agenda, but here are some truths based in fact that could change the whole discussion — if they ever got past the kids’ gatekeepers.
You’re not in imminent danger in your schools. It feels like it because of the overwhelming media coverage suggesting it, and irresponsible adults twaddling on about how school kids “risk their lives” every day just by showing up at school. But actually they do not. These adults should get an “F.”
The lifetime odds of an American dying in a mass shooting committed in any location is 1 in 11,125 (more on this inflated number in a moment). This is just a fraction of the odds of dying other ways. Dying of accidental drug overdose is 1 in 86; dying from riding in a vehicle (not motorcycle) is 1 in 491; dying from drowning is 1 in 1,133; dying from being assaulted with a sharp object, usually a knife, is 1 in 2,517; dying from choking on food is 1 in 3,461; dying from bicycling is 1 in 4,030.
Let’s do the math a little more. A student is 129 times more likely to die from a drug overdose than of a mass shooting of any kind; nearly 23 times more likely to die from riding in a car than a mass shooting; 10 times more likely to drown; more than four times more likely to die from knife assault and nearly three times more likely to die riding a bike.
All of these are a long ways from dying of mass shootings. But that mass shooting number includes not just non-school mass shootings, but all shootings of more than three fatalities — including gang shootings, which is actually the largest element.
The reality is that criminal victimization in American schools has completely collapsed along with the sharp decline in the crime rate. American classrooms are safer today than at any time in modern history.
So yes, being fearful is understandable. Stay away from drugs! But being fearful of mass shootings actually is not. Being fearful in school actually is not. According to the facts.
Immediately following the Parkland shooting, the media and the progressive organizations seeking to use the tragedy trafficked in the claim that there had been 18 school shootings in the U.S. in the first 45 days of 2018. ABC News, Politico, TIME, CNBC and other national media reported this as fact, despite being provided by a very biased anti-gun organization called Everytown for Gun Safety. The organization is quoted regularly.
But Politifact, Snopes and others have totally debunked the claim as untrue. Everytown’s numbers include accidental discharges, suicides, college sorority disputes and so on. In fact, if you look at Everytown’s own chart breaking down the 18 shootings, very few even had an injury. Obviously the number is cooked to make it look much worse. But it is now alive forever in social media and many students buy it.
Researchers at Northeastern University report there have been a total of eight mass shootings (killing more than three people) at K-through-12 schools in the United States in the past 22 years. Further, the number of fatal shootings in American schools over the past 20 years has plummeted.
Schools are actually relatively safe.
Outlawing certain types of guns or magazines simply won’t make schools significantly safer in any respect.
Despite all of the red-meat language about “assault rifles”, no one of a serious nature is pushing for the banning of all semi-automatic weapons, which is what would be required by taking this route. Why? Semi-automatics are guns that automatically chamber the next round each time after the trigger is pulled and the gun fires. So this actually includes old western revolvers. What is left is single-shot rifles, shotguns that are not semi-automatic and single shot handguns. These require loading each bullet.
Such laws would mean probably hundreds of millions of guns being confiscated, or at least none allowed to be sold but still owned by Americans.
There are more than 300 million guns in private Americans’ hands in the United States. The majority, it appears, are semi-automatics. There are no overall statistics on types of guns in the U.S., but the most popular rifle purchases are the AR styles, and the most popular handgun purchases are semi-automatics.
Limiting the size of magazines is a marginal impact at best because reloading a clip takes literally seconds.
So what are the “assault weapons” bans being talked about? Generally, guns that look like an AR-15. But a WWII M-1 would also count. Perhaps any semi-automatic .22 would count. And that’s the rub. It’s not practical, even if it were Constitutional.
So this is all just talk for politics and power.
The truth is that Americans have always owned a lot of guns. It’s part of our history and heritage. But mass killings are a relatively new phenomenon. Even when machine guns were legal to own, the only “mass shootings” were gang-related and usually during Prohibition. No one at all was shooting schools, or movie houses or government buildings. Want to get to the core issue? Find out what has changed in our culture.
All of this points to one, simple, overarching truth: Guns are not the problem.