Schools account for less than 1 one-hundredth of 1% of America’s shootings

Are schools and campuses “full of angry kids” waiting to commit mass shootings?

More than 10 percent of our nation’s teenagers may be inclined toward violence, and more than 2.5 percent of them could be considered dangerous, meaning they have both the propensity toward violence and the means to accomplish it. —Lethal Violence in Schools: A National Report,” Alfred University, August 2001

“Parents, how safe do you feel sending your kids to school?” –MSNBC viewer poll, April 17, 2007

“We’re not recognizing this violent thinking in these kids who are out there.” —Pat Brown, “criminal profiler,” CBS Early Show, April 17, 2007

BALONEY. Our schools are safer than Denmark (

April 16’s tragic mass shooting at Virginia Polytechnic University, like the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School student massacre, has opened the floodgates to a cascade of senseless hysteria about the “safety of schools.” By safely pigeonholing these as “school shootings” by “disturbed students,” officials and media commentators have sunk into easy scapegoating of young people and their schools for a national violence epidemic of which youth and campuses comprise only a tiny fraction.

Does the United States have a gun violence problem? Yes—among the world’s worst.

In the three-year, 2003-05 period, the FBI reported 49,368 murders in the United States. Of these, 29,144 were by guns.

Including murders, suicides, accidents, and undetermined shootings, 89,947 Americans died by guns in the most recent three years.

Now… Do our schools and campuses suffer epidemics of shootings?

First, guess: Of America’s total of 49,000 murders and 90,000 gun deaths over the last 3 years…

How many murders do you think took place on a college campus?

… At an elementary or secondary school?

How many normal>total firearms deaths occurred at an elementary or secondary school?

The answer is at the bottom of the page.*

(By the way, “when asked, high school students typically supposed the (school violent death) toll was in the tens of thousands annually.” –Neil Howe, Bill Strauss, normal’>Millennials Rising, 2000, p. 39).

*Answer: In 2003-05, there were a total of:

  • 27 murders tabulated by the FBI’s survey of 600 college and university campuses (enrollment 14.4 million).
  • 34 murders tabulated by the National School Safety Center’s School-Associated Violent Deaths report on the nation’s elementary and secondary schools (enrollment 49.2 million).
  • Of the 75 total deaths at school (54 by gun, 21 by other means) in the three-year period, 34 were homicides, 8 were suicides, 2 were accidents, and 31 were unknown.


(In contrast, the country of Denmark, which has 5.5 million people, had approximately 150 murders and 300 gun deaths during the three-year period).

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