Monday, April 20, 2009

Firearms and Schools

I received an email this morning inviting me to visit this site. Assuming the site doesn't change much, the very first thing I see is a large US map with points showing locations of school shootings. Upon looking at that map the first thought that occurred to me was: is there any correlation between the number of school shootings in a state and the severity of gun control laws in a state? Looking at that map I'd have to say there is not.


Stopped Clock said...

Without having any comment about the site itself, I do notice there are a few errors on the map. For example, Colorado has 3 red dots, but one of them seems to belong in Louisiana. And one of New Hampshire's belongs in New York.

I think it's necessary to look closely at the data to really understand this map. For example, of the six yellow dots in Massachusetts, three of them took place out on the streets when school was out, and seem to be more or less due to gang violence, not "school shootings" in the sense that most people think of. One was an adult who broke into the school and held staff hostage, and two were teenage suicides unrelated to happenings in school. But the seventh, red, dot is definitely a classic school shooting.

Anonymous said...

What they don't realize is that criminals certainly won't obey "gun free school zones." They are helping to create helpless fish in a barrel, just waiting to be shot.

They should be working to allow folks the right to shoot back while on school grounds.


Curmudgeon said...

The last thing I'd want in untrained teachers waving guns around trying to eliminate a shooter, but I digress.

I only clicked a few of the markers, but most seemed to be different than the "School Shooting" model that the name implies.

Several say "unknown shooter" but then the description says "killed himself in his garage" or "killed himself in his car in the school parking lot" - hardly a "school shooting."

Others seem to be gun violence that's associated with a school only by a great stretch of geography.

I guess the site means well, but the data it shows sure don't mean "school shootings" to me. Even the one in Vermont: "Gunman Christopher Williams, 28, shot and killed two people in a rampage through two houses and the elementary school, which was not in session at the time. The victim, teacher Alicia Shanks, was fatally shot in her classroom as she and other teachers were preparing for the opening of the school." Lunatic kills his ex-girlfriend who happens to be a teacher. The lunatic is the problem, not the gun.

Despite all that, I would be interested to see if there is a correlation with Brady Law restrictions, CCW and OCW laws and the crime rate.

I recall Howard Dean saying on Canadian TV (he was defending why he never passed or attempted a gun-control law in VT) that he'd pass a gun-control law if he could ever find one that worked. He never did, so he never did.

Food for thought.

Anonymous said...

This is how right wingers mark the 10 year anniversary of the Columbine massacre.

Darren said...

Any point, besides the one on your head?

I didn't think so.

allen (in Michigan) said...

> The last thing I'd want in untrained teachers waving guns around trying to eliminate a shooter, but I digress.

You and that unnamed shooter have something in common then.

Deputy Barney Fife and his lone, .38 round look pretty appealing compared to the big nothing the kids trapped with Seung-Hui Cho in that room in Virginia Tech had on their side.