We’re scaring the kids
School shootings are extraordinarily rare, writes David Ropelik, author of How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don’t Always Match the Facts.
Since the Columbine massacre in 1999, “approximately 200 public school students have been shot to death while school was in session,” he writes. The “likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. And since the 1990s, shootings at schools have been getting less common.”
(The risk is) far lower than almost any other mortality risk a kid faces, including traveling to and from school, catching a potentially deadly disease while in school or suffering a life-threatening injury playing interscholastic sports. . . . Far more kids are shot outside school than in one — 7,100 a year between 2012 and 2014 , or 19 every day (compared with about 60 shootings at schools each year, according to the Gun Violence Archive). More than 1,000 of them die. Fear focused on military-style “assault” rifles diverts attention from the larger issue of gun control, which has much more to do with the lethality of guns generally than with what the machine looks like.
In addition, Ropelik worries about the psychological risks of active shooter drills. “What do constant messages of potential danger in a place that’s supposed to be safe do to their sense of security in the world?”