A new analysis by the Washington Post found that more people have been killed in schools across the United States than have been killed while serving in the US military—and that’s just for the first four-and-a-half months of 2018.
The shooting deaths of ten people at a Texas high school on Friday brought the total to 29 deaths in 16 different incidents in the US. According to Defense Department data, only 13 service member fatalities were recorded in seven incidents during the same time period.
As The Hill point out, the Washington Post is not suggesting that schools are more dangerous than combat zones. Last year, the number of military fatalities was significantly greater than the number of people killed in school shootings.
The Post noted that there are more than 50 million students in public schools but only 1.3 million members of the armed forces. Service members are still about 17 times more likely to be killed than someone in a school shooting.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting “one of the most heinous attacks that we’ve ever seen in the history of Texas schools,” according to ABC News.
Two weapons were used in the massacre—a shotgun and a .38 revolver—both of which appear to be legally owned by the suspect’s father, Abbott said, adding, “I have no information if the father was aware the son had taken these weapons from the father.”
Explosive devices were also found at the school, and devices including a Molotov cocktail were found in a car and a home, authorities said.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos issued a statement that frankly says little and means even less:
My prayers are with each student, parent, educator and first responder impacted. Our schools must be safe and nurturing environments for learning. No student should have to experience the trauma suffered by so many today and in similar events prior.
We simply cannot allow this trend to continue. Every day, the Federal Commission on School Safety is working to identify proven ways to prevent violence and keep our students safe at school. Our work remains urgent. Our nation must come together and address the underlying issues that lead to such tragic and senseless loss of life.
Except, of course, effective gun control, which no one in the Trump administration and few in the GOP-controlled Congress have any interest in implementing, virtually ensuring a steady stream of dead students for years to come.
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