Do you know that bullet-proof backpack sale is rising this year when students are returning to school? Instead of preparing for new class materials, and making new friends, students now have to worry about staying safe, too.
Only so far this year (2022), there have been 35 school shootings that resulted in injuries or deaths - that is more than any year in the last two decades.
So Why is the Number Rising?
According to an estimation, 4.6 million American children live in a home where at least one gun is kept loaded and unlocked. This means that a significant percentage of children nowadays can access guns, which evidently has caused many threats and injuries to people - each day, every 12 children in America is killed by guns!
Research has supported that students being hurt, bullied, or isolated at school have a higher chance of committing school shooting crimes. However, in an article from The New York Times, they argued that the statistical correlation between people's mental health and shooting is not significant. According to a 2015 study, mental illness was responsible for only 4% of all gun deaths in the United States. The correlation between violent media, such as video games, and shooting rate, is also not confirmed by data.
Hence, the motive behind this crime lies in a different aspect of school life.
Most of the time, data from studies suggests that the rise in shooting crime always runs back to one clear main reason: guns. The United States is a country that let people own a gun too easily, then does not control the use of it carefully. Although the result of crimes is usually blamed on social media, consuming violent content, or mental health issues, researchers don't say so. Other countries in the world seemed to be dealing with the same problem, but their rate of gun crime is extremely lower. At the end of the day, it all ties back to the right to have guns and the lack of control over their use.
Let's Take Action, Together!
We, as individuals, can not change the rule of gun control, but can always spread awareness together. Here are some ways to start doing it:
Talk about that more openly: Shooting, especially school shootings, sometimes are considered a sensitive topic, and thus may not be discussed enough. Sharing each other stories and directly addressing ways to protect ourselves and our community is the important first step to reducing anxiety and spotting dangerous potential.
Educate yourself to stay safe: Always be prepared for your safety is needed! When an incident happens, we all have to know where to run away, who to call, and what to do in the first place.
Don't be too anxious: Sometimes, the stories seen in the media and the number can make us scared of going to school. Although the risk is real, we should not let the anxiety ruin the experience of education. Seek help from people around you if you need to talk about it.