Gun-loving America watched with shock and awe the latest carnage at an elementary school in Connecticut, where at least one well armed gunman targeted children and their educators resulting in at least 30 casualties. Similarly, Gun-hating America followed these events with grave concern.
“It is sad, ” a prominent member of the NRA was quoted by the media as saying, “but still it is a small price to pay for keeping our guns and our freedom.”
We still do not know a lot of the specifics of this shooting, but one thing is clear to all, as it was elegantly stated by James Alan Fox of Northeastern University’s School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, “If someone is interested in punishing society where it’s most vulnerable, they know that a school is a place where lots of young, innocent children, our most cherished members of society, are congregated and under their gun — literally.”
Children are often seen as “easy targets to get even with society – or maybe it was the school. We don’t know what the primary target was, and the primary motive. ”
Still, over the past few years, shootings in K-12 schools have become increasingly rare. After reaching a high of 63 deaths in the 2006-2007 school year, the number of people killed in “school-associated” incidents dropped to 33 last year – lowest in two decades, according to the U.S. Department of Education.
While a few dozen children are killed each year in school, statistically speaking it remains the safest place a child will likely ever be, with the lowest chance of being killed. “When you consider the fact that there are over 50 million school children in America, the chances are over one in two million, not a high probability,” said Fox. “And most cases that do occur are in high schools and less so in middle schools — and hardly ever in elementary schools.”
The Obama administration has yet to comment on the event, but a close advisor to the president privately said that “without our efforts at restricting heavy machine guns and other military gear from public sale, it would have been much much worse.”
As of press time according to the Department of Commerce, handguns remain the most popular holiday gift item, followed closely by smart-phones and videogames.