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[–]gearhedd 440 points441 points  (39 children)

I've heard hypotheses that media coverage may inspire copycat violence and motivate unstable people seeking notoriety. Have you encountered this in your research? Could media regulations like not publicizing the names and faces of the perpetrators help reduce the motivation for others?

[–]washingtonpost[S] 386 points387 points  (35 children)

From John Woodrow Cox:

We do know that shooters sometimes study previous shooters and aspire to be as famous – or, in some cases, kill more people. Journalists have come a long way on this issue since Columbine, when many media outlets glamourized the shooters in an irresponsible way. We still feel an obligation to tell people who the shooters are and what motivated the violence. That’s fundamental to the job. But we’re also very careful not to repeat the shooters’ names or publicize their images unnecessarily. And I think it’s made a real difference. Whereas most people could name the Columbine shooters, I doubt many could name the Uvalde or Oxford of Michigan State shooters. That’s the product of media outlets taking a more thoughtful approach to the coverage.

[–]MeGotShadowbanned 73 points74 points  (21 children)

I think that a lot of school shooters just want to do something to leave a mark; any media attention is good enough for them whether they are publicly named or not. Committing a mass murder is essentially a suicide mission that leaves a mark on the world. Any media attention makes that mark bigger.

At the same time, the press & freedom of speech are very important and I certainly don't believe in imposing legally measures to prevent or regulate media coverage - not that it would be constitutional to do so anyway.

So I have quite a bit of dissonance.

[–]uristmcderp 21 points22 points  (19 children)

It's not like media coverage (which they usually don't even get to witness because they're dead by then) is the only thing that motivates people to do this kind of thing.

Honestly, if people start arguing amongst themselves over whether to censor someone's mass shooting, being the cause of that dissonance seems like the kind of thing a hate-filled loner would consider an accomplishment.

[–]MeGotShadowbanned 50 points51 points  (18 children)

I mean yeah. We ultimately need to prevent people from getting a point where they just want to do *something* to leave a mark on the world before leaving it. Anything short of that is not a real solution, but a Band-Aid.

My personal belief is that the foundation of most American mass-murders (so not just school shootings) can be attributed to:

  • A society that provides very little family/social support
  • An education system that pushes loners further to the edges of social circles

Both are loaded issues and are tough to solve.

[–]aspiringcreator1 0 points1 point  (14 children)

Funny how you didn't list restricting access to guns as one of the points.

[–]Mostly_me 16 points17 points  (7 children)

Guns do not cause these feelings / impulses. They do make it possible to be acted upon, and should be banned, but they are not the root cause of why these feelings and impulses arrise in certain people.

[–]LazyTheSloth 10 points11 points  (4 children)

How funny you ignore that there is clearly something wrong in society that is creating these people.

[–]blaintopel 292 points293 points  (10 children)

I don't think I can name those shooters because it just happens way too often to keep up.

[–]zeissplanar 54 points55 points  (1 child)

Yeah, I once read an essay arguing the counter point that we really don't over publicize or give undue attention to mass shooters, actually quite the opposite, the media coverage tends to be relatively short and very few people can name even the most famous school shooters.

Where as certain shooters became so famous in other countries, causing resulting legislation, that almost everyone in those respective countries knows who they are.

I don't have the knowledge to support or dismiss that claim but always thought it was an interesting point. I do think it's true that mass shooters are not really famous by name in the same way as other famous people.

[–]johnhtman 12 points13 points  (0 children)

There have been television and movie characters based on mass shooters, particularly the Texas University Sniper, and Columbine.

[–]Drugtrain 23 points24 points  (7 children)

I’m a European. If a school shooting happens here, it’s all over the news and I mourn. It awakes powerful emotions.

Same happened when I read about Columbine and Virginia tech, for example. Nowadays I just shrug and forget it. It’s just normal news. People laugh about it. ”Haha, did you hear? Another school massacre in the US. Wanna bet how many days before the next one?”

[–]Smallios 2 points3 points  (2 children)

Has one happened in Europe in recent memory?

[–]Drugtrain 7 points8 points  (1 child)

School shootings? Last year in Heidelberg. I can happily say I cannot remember when was the last time before that. In Finland two happened in 2007 and 2008.

[–]Smallios 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I hate it here.

[–]TeaWithNosferatu 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same. The only EU school shooting I can think of that happened in Norway but was overshadowed because Amy Winehouse died around the same time.

[–]Vidjagames -1 points0 points  (0 children)

As an American I mainly see cowards with guns. Over compensation.

So then watching those same stupid guns be used to kill children is a terrible experience that is equally brutal and soul crushing.

I will leave my country when I am able.

Edit: Downvotes confirm gun owner's fragile ego. Up vote me cowards.

[–]KILLJOY1945 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I've heard hypotheses that media coverage may inspire copycat violence and motivate unstable people seeking notoriety.

It's not just a hypothesis, crazy people want their 15 minutes of fame.

IIRC, the way news channels covered self-terminators in the 80's (?) seemed to inspire many copy cat self-terminators. When they changed the way they reported on self-terminators in the news they saw a marked decrease in the number of self-destroyers. IMO the way the news reports on school shootings and the like is damn near criminal. SOURCE: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3315075/ There's a lot more if you read around.

Like FFS, we learned this lesson 40 fucking years ago, but how else are we supposed to make money off of this tragedy amirite?/ s

[–]minero-de-sal 130 points131 points  (36 children)

What’s the criteria for being counted as exposed to gun violence?

[–]SickleTalons 54 points55 points  (0 children)

So I found this and it looks like the definition bit broad.

GAO-20-455, K-12 EDUCATION: Characteristics of School Shootings https://www.gao.gov/assets/gao-20-455.pdf

[–]Solomatrix 11 points12 points  (2 children)

They're all in the linked article but it's paywalled. See here https://archive.is/CEzJA

[–]minero-de-sal 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Violence (noun) - behavior involving physical force intended to hurt, damage, or kill someone or something.

I’m having a hard time comprehending how negligent discharges are being tallied as gun violence against the entire school.

[–]AngriestManinWestTX 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I believe it was NPR that did an article on “The School Shootings that weren’t” exposing some of the frankly ridiculous instances that were tallied as shootings alongside Columbine or VA Tech.

Events like the school resource officer having a desk pop or an adult committing suicide on school grounds in the summer we’re treated the same as mass casualty events. It comes across as lazy reporting at best and outright disinformation at worst.

[–][deleted] 13 points14 points  (31 children)

Probably a like some of the other “school shootings” in that a gun went off in a school zone and now that’s a shooting. Or a cop NDed and now all those kids are “exposed to gun violence”

[–]Allogamist 50 points51 points  (5 children)

No. Here is what they counted:

"The Post reviewed more than 1,000 alleged incidents but counted only those that happened on campuses immediately before, during or just after classes.

Shootings at after-hours events, accidental discharges that caused no injuries to anyone other than the person handling the gun and suicides that occurred privately or posed no threat to other children were excluded. Gunfire at colleges and universities, which affects young adults rather than kids, also was not counted."

[–]iama_bad_person 12 points13 points  (1 child)

Shootings at after-hours events, accidental discharges that caused no injuries to anyone other than the person handling the gun and suicides that occurred privately or posed no threat to other children were excluded.

The reason he asked this was almost all other "school shooting" tallys count this as a school shooting, I've even seen some fun discharges across the street at night count as a school shooting, so it's good to see them exclude it.

[–]ReplyingToFuckwits 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Yeah I'm sure it will suddenly change gun owners minds and they definitely won't just find another excuse to ignore it.

[–]Cmss220 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Yeah but they are calling anything “gun violence”

On the front page of their statistics alone, there was one where they counted a couple thousand kids because a rifle accidentally went off and shot a car. The first 5 stats I saw had about 7,000 students counted with 0 deaths and 2 injuries. 4 of the 5 statistics had 0 deaths and 0 injuries. I wouldn’t call that gun violence, maybe a scare but not violence.

Gun violence is definitely an issue but these numbers are massively inflated.

[–]Allogamist 4 points5 points  (1 child)

In the case where the rifle went off and shot another car, they counted 70 kids. And I don't know if you are a parent or not, but I'm definitely calling all of these gun violence if my kid is anywhere in the vicinity. And I'm not giving anyone a pass on school safety if we're hanging our definitions on whether someone shoots and misses or shoots and hits.

[–]Cmss220 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Don’t get me wrong, guns at school are never ok in my book, especially if they are being fired.

I am a father and I hope my kids never have to deal with this type of thing.

However There is a big difference between a gun being shot accidentally and someone actively trying to kill people. There needs to be better terms in place because these people just look foolish comparing columbine to someone’s car being shot. Both scary no doubt but one almost infinitely more life changing than the other.

When I was a kid, one of my classmates shot himself during school. It was terrifying and unbelievably sad. All of my peers I grew up with seemed to be ok in the long run though. I can’t imagine it’s the same for the people who have survived the school massacres and their loved ones.

[–]ayfilm 74 points75 points  (9 children)

All these years later and with so many shootings since, why is Columbine still referenced so frequently both by shooters as an influence and the media as a case study?

[–]doogles 165 points166 points  (6 children)

It's unusual as far as shootings go.

  • It was a pair of shooters

  • They'd constructed a bomb to kill far more people than they planned to shoot

  • Pre-9/11

  • Took place during the Assault Weapons Ban

  • There was lots of video evidence

  • They both talked about committing murder a TON in class and out of class

  • Obtained their weapons via straw purchase and other illegal means

There was a lot of thought and planning that went into the event, but thanks to the stupidity of the shooters, none of their bombs were effective. Hundreds could have died.

[–]johnhtman 46 points47 points  (2 children)

It was also the first real modern mass shooting in the age of cable television. There had been events earlier, but none of them got nearly the attention Columbine did.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

I’m kind of late to this, but do you have the names of the earlier instances? I’m curious to read more about them.

[–]johnhtman 31 points32 points  (0 children)

I'm not going to name any of the shooters, but here are a few instances. There was the Texas Bell Tower Sniper in 1966. A deranged man held himself up in a Bell Tower in Austin Texas, and started opening fire on those below. In total he killed 17 people and injured 30. To this day it remains one of the deadliest mass shootings. Upon his autopsy, a small tumor was found in the brain of the shooter.

There was the Cleveland Elementary School Shooting of 1979 in San Diego. 2 people were killed and 9 were injured. Interestingly enough this was one of the few mass shootings committed by a girl. It was a 16 year old girl who lived across the street from the school.

The 1991 Luby's Cafe Shooting in Killeen Texas. A man drove his car through the wall of a Luby's Restaurant in Texas. While everyone was in a daze from that, he started opening fire with a handgun. In total he killed 23 people, and wounded 27 others, in what was the deadliest mass shooting in the U.S until the Virginia Tech Shooting in 2008.

The San Ysidro McDonald's Massacre of 1984. Prior to Luby's, this was the deadliest mass shooting, with 21 killed and 18 wounded.

There were also several mass murders involving weapons other than guns.

The 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing, the largest domestic terrorist attack in U.S history. A man filled a truck with homemade explosives, and detonated it next to the Federal Building in Oklahoma City. 164 people were killed, and another 680 were injured.

The 1993 World Trade Center Bombing in NYC. A radical Islamic group tried to blow up the Twin Towers prior to the 9/11 attacks. 6 people were killed, and 1,000 injured.

The 1990 Happyland Nightclub Fire in NYC. A man got into a fight with his girlfriend at a nightclub, resulting in him being thrown out. In response he purchased a few dollars worth of gasoline, and set the building on fire. In total 87 innocent people died, and 6 were injured. This attack killed 45% more people than the deadliest mass shooting in U.S history.

The 1927 Bath School Bombing. A disgruntled man blew up a school with dynamite. Killing 45, and injuring an additional 58. This remains the deadliest school massacre in U.S history.

[–]Vaadwaur 6 points7 points  (0 children)

It got a movie.

[–]NorCalAthlete 236 points237 points  (122 children)

Care to comment on The School Shootings That Weren’t by NPR?

[–]doogles 48 points49 points  (3 children)

That sort of data analysis is basically my job. NPR has had some very thought provoking pieces.

[–]NorCalAthlete 34 points35 points  (2 children)

[–]Chief_Kief 3 points4 points  (1 child)

That was a fascinating read. Thanks for sharing it.

[–]NorCalAthlete 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Quite welcome! It’s one of the few data driven articles I’ve seen that actually makes a significant attempt to drive down into root causes and such rather than just general / broad hand wringing about the issue. And it raises some extremely good points IMO.

[–]tyler111762 89 points90 points  (2 children)

Yeah thats not going to happen lmao

[–]TheOddPelican 43 points44 points  (1 child)

Big surprise.

[–]losangelesvideoguy 4 points5 points  (0 children)

The Washington Post sets about as low a bar for “journalism“ as it gets. The National Enquirer is honestly more reliable.

[–]WhatsFairIsFair 107 points108 points  (97 children)

At least 53 new school safety laws were passed in states in 2018. Districts are spending millions of dollars to "harden" schools with new security measures and equipment. A blue-ribbon federal school safety commission led by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is holding public events around the country, including one in Alabama Tuesday. Children are spending class time on active-shooter drills and their parents are buying bulletproof backpacks.

Did they... Profiteer off of school shootings? Why get rid of the gun problem if fear of guns is generating revenue

[–]soigneusement 7 points8 points  (2 children)

My district just spent $20 million on a new “boot” system, basically they drill holes into the floor in front of our doors and we put a big hunk of metal there to hold the door shut. We also have to be responsible for iPads connected to the boots that notify law enforcement when we pull them out. During our training the dudes (seem like big thin blue line types) told us it was up to us to “choose to survive” lmao. It’s all a big racket and there’s definitely money to be made there unfortunately.

[–]_TheNecromancer13 1 point2 points  (1 child)

$20 million? I could accomplish the same thing by spending a couple minutes at each door with a hammer drill and handing each teacher a piece of iron pipe. The way the government inflates costs at every opportunity sickens me.

[–]soigneusement 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Yep I know… it’s not the government in this case, but a private company.

[–]NorCalAthlete 202 points203 points  (93 children)

Out of all “gun violence”, the vast majority every year - roughly 2/3 - are suicides. That leaves around 12k homicides.

That includes police involved shootings, by the way.

It’s not even close to the top 10 causes of death in the US - even if you include suicides.

Bloomberg (the former mayor) and other billionaires throw tens of millions of dollars to fund gun control groups. His spending alone utterly dwarfs the NRA’s spending, and he is on record stating if they start to catch up he’ll just dump more at it to outspend them. As a billionaire, he has the ability to do this, and at least he’s putting his money where his mouth is.

But make no mistake - the vast majority of gun control efforts are every bit profiteering as much as they accuse gun manufacturers of doing. “Common sense” legislations with holes so big John Madden could fill an hours long podcast with commentary on. Blatantly unconstitutional measures that fall afoul of multiple amendments, let alone the 2nd, that they KNOW will get struck down in court - and they’ll leave the people involved hung out to dry, like when they lost the Sandy Hook suit.

All of this is spurred on by media like the OP here, who stir, stir, stir the fear pot.

Don’t get me wrong - I do have sympathy for people who have had to live through events like this. I was stationed at Fort Hood in 2009. That one happened right across the parking lot from my company’s building, and I had friends in there who barely escaped. There is a lot of raw emotion surrounding gun violence. But we cannot make progress on addressing root causes if we are constantly whipped into a hyperbolic frenzy about the gun itself. There are over 600 million guns in the US, and that’s just the ones we can track. Pandora’s box was opened and there’s no going back from it. We need to find ways to work around it and live with them and move forward together, and those solutions do not include getting rid of all the guns. That’s an idealistic pipe dream.

Maybe if we didn’t hold guns up on this pedestal of being some super powered mythical instant win command respect or fear thing, it wouldn’t be the first thing disturbed and deranged people turn to when they lash out. Maybe if we looked at why they felt disenfranchised in the first place and took the hard steps to assess and address those issues (commonly poverty / economic opportunity, no social safety net, etc) we would make more progress.

Roughly 6,000 veterans per year commit suicide, with half (a little over 3,000) choosing a firearm.

Roughly 500 people a year are killed with an “assault weapon”/“AR15-style” rifle.

So by simply addressing veteran issues you’d do more to save lives than an assault weapon ban.

That’s not a sexy fundraising issue though. Bloomberg isn’t shelling out tens of millions and making big public statements about funding veteran support programs or job retraining (though he has enough philanthropic efforts I’m sure he’s got some token thing going around that).

Gonna cut myself off here because this is getting long but yeah. It’s frustrating to see posts like this AMA that are designed to just rile people up enough to pass some other BS nonsensical gun control legislation that won’t budge the needle on violent deaths and will be struck down in a few years anyway.

[–][deleted]  (20 children)


    [–]NorCalAthlete 21 points22 points  (11 children)

    Having to chop this into 2 parts as I hit Reddit’s comment limit, sorry -

    Posting this as a separate comment for further discussion: I feel like many times we never get much further than shooting down each other’s arguments, so I’m going to attempt to drive past that with some proposals of gun control measures I think actually might do some good.

    1. No more law enforcement exemptions. Equal footing across the board. Quit the class warfare. Of law enforcement gets full auto SBRs, so should the average person. Body armor? You betcha. Armored vehicles? Sure, why not. Either we all have access or nobody does.

    2. Secure background checks available to all, instantly. It doesn’t have to retain your info, but we live in a day and age where we can pull up medical and criminal records on our phones on the fly - I see no reason we can’t have a system where NICS can be available to everyone, not just FFLs, so that even a private party transfer can have someone input their info and it simply spits out a green light / red light “yes they’re good to go” or “no they’re a prohibited person”. Doesn’t need to track whether or not they already own a gun, doesn’t need to retain information that they just made a purchase, just “at this time this person is good to go.” THAT is a “universal” background check that I think everyone could get on board with, vs the current only-available-to-FFLs system.

    3. Reimplement gun safety training in schools. If we can do sex ed, drugs, etc, under the guise of “they’re going to encounter it sooner or later, they should be prepared to understand and know the consequences”, I see no reason not to include basic firearm safety with this. They don’t have to shoot live ammo or blanks or actually get any range time, but SHOULD understand how to safely check to see if a gun is loaded and unload it. They should understand to keep it pointed in a safe direction, keep their finger off the trigger at all times, and assume every gun they encounter is loaded until proven otherwise. It’s not difficult.

    4. Take suppressors off the NFA list. It’s only courteous. Or at least allow threaded barrels and such so that they may be rented or freely available for use at practice ranges. Contrary to Hollywood belief suppressed gunshots are still LOUD and recognizable as gunshots. It just lessens the hearing damage and noise pollution from outdoor ranges.

    5. If you’re going to insist on licensing, then I’m going to insist on tiered licensing and compromise (speaking to the general “you”, here, not necessarily the person I’m replying to). So for example at tier 1, you have to pass a basic safety test, and then can buy anything up to say, a 9mm semi-auto, a 20ga shotgun (semi or otherwise), or .22 rifle (any kind). Renew every 10 years. Tier 2 might be something like Tier 1 + you can go up to a .44 mag pistol, .30-06 rifle, 12ga shotgun, plus mail order ammo to your house in bulk, etc. Renew every 5 years. Tier 3 is Tier 2 + CCW, NFA items (ie full auto, SBRs, suppressors, etc). Renew every 2 years.

    [–]NorCalAthlete 23 points24 points  (5 children)

    1. Waiting periods. 7 days so as to coincide with consistent days off / work schedule / weekend, only apply to your first gun (the aforementioned NICS flag is easy to make where it simply is a Boolean true/false for “already a gun owner” status), and exemptions for urgency such as a restraining order / stalker, immediate threats, etc. It makes no sense that under current versions of so-called “cooling off” waiting periods I can literally walk into a gun store with a gun on my hip and still have to wait another 10 days for the next gun.

    2. Quit the shenanigans with treating gun ranges the same way Texas/red states do abortion clinics. I’d rather have people who can aim and hit their target over people who spray and hit bystanders. Most homicides are targeted beef. Let it end with that and not catch 6 other people 100 yards away down the block if someone is pissed off enough to abuse it. I’m not saying gun ranges should be as plentiful as Starbucks, but from a safe use perspective, you shouldn’t have to drive 2 hours away to get some practice in, either. Not everyone has that option. No random requirements that seem reasonable but magically preclude a gun range from operating.

    3. Mandatory sunset clauses. If new gun control laws cannot be proven to have had the measurable impact on gun safety they were purported to in order to pass, they get rolled back. Quit piling on when you know it’s not going to do anything.

    4. Ease up on the plea bargains. Gun charges for people who have actually used them to commit crimes from murder to robbery are often the first thing dropped in sentencing. Fuck that. If you’re going to pound the gun control drum for assault weapons and everything, don’t then turn around and pardon [https://www.turnto23.com/news/crime/bakersfield-family-asks-for-justice-after-gov-newsom-pardons-killer](grant clemency to someone who straight up executed a store clerk with a shotgun blast to the back of the head) while he was already on the ground wounded from the first shot to his back. They shouldn’t be bargaining chips. And I’m not talking about “oh he got a DUI and happened to have a gun in the car”, by all means negotiate on dumb stuff like that where nobody was hurt. But if someone literally killed another person with a gun during a robbery or something…no plea bargain. None. Maaaaaaaybe if they’re giving up a bigger fish, but that’s it. In a similar vein - lying on a background check form 4473 is currently punishable by up to 10 years in jail and a $250,000 fine. Out of hundreds of thousands who have failed their background check, fewer than a couple dozen have actually been charged for it. That’s some really, really low hanging fruit not being enforced. So the fact that we have people clamoring for more laws while ignoring criminals handing themselves to law enforcement on a silver platter just doesn’t make sense to me.

    5. Capping this list at 10 for now it’s long enough as it is. I’ve probably managed to upset both some pro-gun people and anti-gun people with this list. That’s fine. That’s how you know it’s actually a compromise. So to finish the list: taxes. Gun control has become (well, maybe always was) a class warfare issue. If you’re wealthy enough, no matter what state you live in, you can get any type of firearm you want. Yes, even in California. And yes, even tanks! Gun control advocates have proposed severely increased taxes and fees on guns, ammunition, and gun parts, ignoring that they’ve already been sharply increased several times in the past. If you think $20 is too much for a voter ID, and impedes the right to vote, then you should also be upset at things like a $200 tax stamp to get a suppressor for a firearm - it’s not even the actual firearm, just a part! When the NFA was passed, if adjusted for inflation it would be like being asked to pay $3500 for a gun part. That puts it squarely out of reach of most lower and even middle class people. Guns are an extension of the right to self defense and bodily autonomy, among other things. Guns are not solely for the wealthy, or for Hollywood. As long as they are manufactured to a certain minimum safety standard, ie don’t go off randomly when dropped or something.

    [–]triessohard 6 points7 points  (0 children)

    Thought responses from you. Appreciate that.

    [–]Hrafn2 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    The link that the other poster made to the Rand Corporation meta analysis on what the science says about gun policy effectiveness vis a vis violent crime and suicide was really interesting!

    "As part of the RAND Gun Policy in America initiative, we conducted rigorous and transparent reviews of what current scientific knowledge could tell the public and policymakers about the true effects of many gun policies that are frequently discussed in state legislatures.

    We restricted our analyses to only those studies using methods designed to identify possible causal effects of the policies. "

    The policies that showed the most promise for impacting violent crime were:

    • Prohibitions Associated with Domestic Violence
    • Removal of Firearms from Prohibited Posessors
    • Background Checks for Prohibited Posessors
    • Waiting Periods
    • Child Access Prevention Laws
    • Concealed Carry Laws (these increase violence)
    • Stand Your Ground Laws (these increase violence)

    (For each policy area, they also state would the policy decrease total violent crime / homicide, in addition to firearm specific violent crime / homicide)

    The policies that showed the most promise for decreasing suicide were:

    • Minimum Age Requirements for Purchasing Firearms
    • Waiting Periods
    • Child Access Prevention Laws


    [–]Bandit400 2 points3 points  (3 children)

    I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

    [–]NorCalAthlete 11 points12 points  (4 children)

    Thanks for the latest. I don’t know how much of the recent shift in proportions can be attributed to normal issues vs pandemic issues though.

    On average, over the last few decades, it has held relatively steady at (rounding for numbers sake) something like:

    30k deaths, out of which

    20k are suicides

    8k are gang related

    1k are police involved

    Leaving 1k unjustified including mass shootings and the like.

    The numbers HAVE spiked in the last few years. The pandemic has introduced new stressors, there have been more instances of police brutality sparking protests, under the cover of which bad actors have preyed on other innocents, leading to further loss of life. The economy has been all over the place, and loss of job is a pretty common factor in suicide.

    And yet. From your most recent figures the majority of “gun violence” deaths are STILL suicide. Homicides, even factoring in gang related (and, by the way, the Guardian link on locality bears reposting) still remain relatively low. 25k / 330,000k.

    Can we do better? Absolutely. I simply disagree about how we might go about that, and believe that if we campaigned for, funded, and preached about things that would actually move the needle instead of just “rah rah ban guns”, we would have made more significant progress by now.

    Gun control, imo, is a losing cause, and always has been. I would wager that a significant enough chunk of single issue voters would vote Democrat, if not for gun control, that Democrats would win in an overwhelming landslide in any state or election that wasn’t staunchly a Republican stronghold. And the way they’ve been imploding lately, I would say even those areas might be winnable….if not for gun control.

    Gun owners are quite possibly THE most diverse voting demographic in the US. I say winning them over is worth it if we gain a proper social net, but what do I know.

    [–][deleted]  (3 children)


      [–]NorCalAthlete 6 points7 points  (2 children)

      Per your CDC link if 9.7% (let’s just round to 10%) of homicides are gang related, out of 67,000 homicides that puts the number pretty close to the 8k I cited. Or at least within a fuzzy margin of error given the difficulties in tracking it (for example, a gang member robbing an innocent person may not get categorized as gang related, while a shootout between rival gangs [hopefully] would).

      Admittedly though I’ve had a couple glasses of wine and am laying down to sleep. Will check notifications in the morning, and I appreciate the rational calm cordiality debating this highly controversial and often inflammatory topic.

      [–][deleted]  (1 child)


        [–]NorCalAthlete 2 points3 points  (0 children)

        Correct. Your link says 67,000 homicides in a single year. So 9.7% of that is 6,499 which isn’t that far off of 8k.

        I’ll have to read your link in more detail give me a bit. I just glanced through it real quick and saw the total numbers, crunched the numbers briefly, and went “yeah that’s pretty close, I don’t see an issue here”

        [–]FaustusC 72 points73 points  (24 children)

        One thing you left out:

        Every goddamn piece of legislation aims at bloody rifles. Big scary rifles. Whereas, most of the violence is committed with pistols.

        There's also no research on how many weapons used in gun crime are legally owned. Because, you know, pointing out the inconvenient truth that criminals do illegal things irregardless of the law and more laws won't help isn't going to make headlines.

        [–]NorCalAthlete 59 points60 points  (0 children)

        No real reason to point it out specifically. But since you brought it up, the gun control groups are well aware of this. Their strategy playbook literally outlines it. And it's been that way for 30+ years. They realized that it would be too much of a massive overreach to try and ban handguns - they tried and failed. So they shifted to rifles, and launched a smear campaign against semi-automatics with intentional disinformation.

        The term "assault weapon" became widely used starting the late 1980s. Many attribute its popularization to a 1988 paper written by gun-control activist and Violence Policy Center founder Josh Sugarmann and the later reaction to a mass shooting at a Stockton, Calif., school in January 1989.

        Sugarmann, who happens to be a native of Newtown, argued that the American public's inability to differentiate between automatic and semiautomatic weapons made it easier to get anti-gun legislation passed.

        "The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons," Sugarmann wrote.

        From OP's own Washington Post.


        [–]ammonium_bot 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        things irregardless of

        Did you mean to say "regardless"?
        Explanation: irregardless is not a word.
        Total mistakes found: 1758
        I'm a bot that corrects grammar/spelling mistakes. PM me if I'm wrong or if you have any suggestions.

        [–]Bandit400 29 points30 points  (1 child)

        This was articulated perfectly. This needs to be posted every time this argument comes up.

        [–]Juice355 22 points23 points  (0 children)

        Very well said. I’d give this 100 upvotes if I could.

        [–]NiteQwill 1 point2 points  (2 children)

        My unit was in that building in 2009. I lost 2 friends that day, including my platoon leader. That was the hardest funeral detail I've ever done.

        100% agree with this post and your subsequent posts.

        Gun control is an emotional mess, where most legislation is focused on those emotions instead of data. Examples include banning "50 caliber weapons, (legal) concealed carry in public, etc." Legislation similar to these ridiculous outreaches on preventing violence (they don't) shows how inept and uninformed people are when it comes to addressing real issues; since none of those laws prevent bad people from doing bad things or making bad choices.

        [–]NorCalAthlete 1 point2 points  (1 child)

        Hope you’re doing ok these days

        [–]NiteQwill 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I am. Thank you. I wear a memorial bracelet of their names to remind me of several things: 1. I was blessed to be friends with true heroes (they fought that fucker Hasan before being shot) 2. No one is going to save you other than yourself, and even then you may still die 3. Defending oneself by any means necessary is a core human right, someone who tries to take that away from you is not your ally.

        Finally hanging up the boots after 21+ years. It's been a good (and at times, bad) ride but made lifelong friends.

        [–]Weary_Ad7119 14 points15 points  (2 children)

        I guess /u/Washingtonpost is too busy to notice this one!

        [–]SpaceElevatorMusic Moderator 24 points25 points  (1 child)

        The AMA ended 3 or 4 hours before this question was posted.

        [–]NorCalAthlete 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        I got the question in under the wire before they stopped, but yeah it had already been going for a couple hours by the time I saw it in my feed.

        [–]bill_gonorrhea 2 points3 points  (13 children)

        Just like some definitions of mass shootings. If I fire my gun into the air and 4 people running away stub their toe, I am a mass-shooter according to some agenda-driven gun statistics.

        [–]Allogamist 13 points14 points  (1 child)

        Maybe there are some studies out there like that, but not this one. Here's what they included:

        "The Post reviewed more than 1,000 alleged incidents but counted only those that happened on campuses immediately before, during or just after classes.

        Shootings at after-hours events, accidental discharges that caused no injuries to anyone other than the person handling the gun and suicides that occurred privately or posed no threat to other children were excluded. Gunfire at colleges and universities, which affects young adults rather than kids, also was not counted."

        [–]burnsrado 11 points12 points  (10 children)

        But there is still a very clear gun violence problem in the US. What are you trying to say by this?

        [–]Akainu14 18 points19 points  (3 children)

        That it's not moral or ethical to make up fake mass shootings and lump them in with real tragedies? there's one I believe it was "mass shooting tracker" or something like that where a closer look revealed that incidents like a gun going off in a school parking lot with no injuries was counted as a mass shooting

        [–]NJBarFly 3 points4 points  (0 children)

        To address the issue we need an honest and accurate understanding of the problem. Grossly inflating statistics to serve your agenda helps no one and gives ammunition (no pun intended) to the detractors.

        [–]jradio 28 points29 points  (3 children)

        Why did you choose to start at 1999? As a '98 grad, I'd love to see data from the 80's and 90's.

        [–]boogetyboo 16 points17 points  (0 children)

        Columbine would be my guess

        [–]Grzzld 69 points70 points  (70 children)

        My school district just announced they are going to have armed guards in the near future. What does the data say about how effective this is at preventing a school shooting?

        [–]washingtonpost[S] 110 points111 points  (69 children)

        From John Woodrow Cox:

        It’s impossible to know how many shootings didn’t happen because a potential gunman knew an armed guard was present, but we do know that they’ve been unable to prevent dozens of school shootings. Across 366 shootings, we have identified just two instances in which a resource officer gunned down an active shooter. To put that in perspective, at least nine shootings have been halted by malfunctioning weapons or by the attacker’s inability to handle them.

        [–]GDop26 64 points65 points  (1 child)

        Do you have the statistic for how many of the 366 shootings had armed guards established at the school? Maybe that could suggest how effective armed guards are at preventing shootings in the first place.

        [–]solid_reign 6 points7 points  (2 children)

        It’s impossible to know how many shootings didn’t happen because a potential gunman knew an armed guard was present.

        You can always compare similar schools and find whether the ones with guards have less shootings.

        [–]Bangarang_1 4 points5 points  (1 child)

        You'd have to decide what "similar" means and come up with a definition that a majority of people (at least subject matter experts) agree on. Considering how many school are in the US and how different each one is in terms of the student body, staff, historical location and incidents, local culture, etc., that's a very daunting task. You'd literally never be done defining things in order to actually review the data.

        [–]solid_reign 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        This is one of the most common ways of analyzing data there is. I'm not sure why you're saying it would be an impossible task, but this is done all of the time with much more complex tasks. For example, in order to measure the effects of zapatismo in Mexico, a study was done that would find different municipalities but with similar indicators of poverty, access to roads, tourism, etc, and compare them to see if zapatismo had a positive, negative, or neutral effect on wellbeing.

        I don't know what the relevant markers are for school shootings but it really isn't such a big deal as you're making it out to sound. Sure, it's work.

        [–]SupraMario 146 points147 points  (17 children)

        Your data is paywalled, but does your data include after hours gang violence on school property? It's a common theme that drug/gang violence seem to be a major player in most of these gun violence events. Does your data also include if someone just brought a firearm to school? Or if someone reported that a student was talking about firearms?

        [–]Allogamist 15 points16 points  (5 children)

        Here's their methodology:

        "The Post reviewed more than 1,000 alleged incidents but counted only those that happened on campuses immediately before, during or just after classes.

        Shootings at after-hours events, accidental discharges that caused no injuries to anyone other than the person handling the gun and suicides that occurred privately or posed no threat to other children were excluded. Gunfire at colleges and universities, which affects young adults rather than kids, also was not counted."

        [–]Rebelgecko 69 points70 points  (4 children)

        As a followup, does it include things like cops who accidentally shot themselves while in a parked at a school on a weekend? I saw that in the Mother Jones database and thought it was kind of a stretch.

        [–]SupraMario 29 points30 points  (2 children)

        Well even mother Jones rejected the gun database from the gun violence archive.

        [–]NorCalAthlete 28 points29 points  (1 child)

        Which should tell you something when you see massively inflated numbers like WP is throwing out in this post....

        [–]SupraMario 9 points10 points  (0 children)

        Yep, at least MJ had the guts to call it out. Our gun violence needs to be properly addressed but not like this...not with biased studies.

        [–]Allogamist 7 points8 points  (0 children)

        It does not include such occurrences:

        "The Post reviewed more than 1,000 alleged incidents but counted only those that happened on campuses immediately before, during or just after classes.

        Shootings at after-hours events, accidental discharges that caused no injuries to anyone other than the person handling the gun and suicides that occurred privately or posed no threat to other children were excluded. Gunfire at colleges and universities, which affects young adults rather than kids, also was not counted."

        [–]ndjs22 52 points53 points  (5 children)

        Weird. They seem to have missed your question. 🤔

        [–]SupraMario 31 points32 points  (3 children)

        As usual when you start asking questions about how research like this was collected. It seems like today is how to make data say what you want it to. /r/science is really bad about it. Biased studies or just straight up lies get published now and voted to the top because it reenforces peoples bias.

        [–]4Rings 11 points12 points  (2 children)

        Interesting how the comments calling out bad studies and bias always seemed to get removed in that sub. Same with comments pointing out that some submitters are clearly agenda driven shill accounts.

        [–]Weary_Ad7119 10 points11 points  (0 children)

        Sub is trash. Blatantly picks which content to promote. It's straight up propaganda, but it's liberal propaganda so reddit eats it up.

        [–]SupraMario 1 point2 points  (0 children)

        Yep, I and a lot of others are banned because we called it out repeatedly. Mvea which is still a mod account, used to be one of these agenda driven accounts, but it looks like it was sold, but the account still has all it's mod powers. It's crazy town over there.

        [–]Dannei 5 points6 points  (0 children)

        It seems they only stuck around for an hour or so answering questions, and that ended before the one you're replying to was asked.

        [–]neuromorph 62 points63 points  (10 children)

        Any comment about how the definition of "mass shooting" has changed over the years?

        [–]johnhtman 17 points18 points  (2 children)

        There is no universal definition. Individual sources all write their own definitions, which greatly impacts the total number of shootings. Some define it as 4+ people shot and killed, others 3+ people, and some include wounded in the number of victims. Some don't include gang violence or domestic killings, others do. There's also the FBI active shooter data, which looks at indiscriminate shootings in a public place regardless of body count. Depending on the individual source used, there are anywhere from fewer than 20 to over 600 mass shootings a year.

        [–]neuromorph 12 points13 points  (0 children)

        I know. I want them to explain their metrics used. Since it changes so often.

        [–]Lilgibster420 14 points15 points  (0 children)

        What is the difference between school shootings in predominantly low income inner city schools in comparison to those that happen in suburban predominantly white schools?

        [–]quickhand 20 points21 points  (4 children)

        Is data/database journalism particularly suited to accountability journalism, compared to other forms of journalism? If so, why? Do you see data/database journalism as being a useful tool for marginalized communities--and those without social status--to employ? Why or why not?

        [–]washingtonpost[S] 26 points27 points  (3 children)

        From Steven Rich:

        I've been doing it for ten years here and the answer is yes. It helps our investigations show scope and provide context. Anecdotes really drive the reporting, but it's important to show how often those anecdotes happen. I think it's incredibly useful for marginalized communities because it helps validate whether their issues are persistent or one-offs. Showing systematic issues is easier with data and can help prove that a widespread problem exists where anecdotes often get written off.

        [–]quickhand 5 points6 points  (2 children)

        How do you grapple in your work with survivorship bias in available data, where data that proves inconvenient things about the powerful (or to the benefit of the marginalized) was, historically, deliberately not collected or destroyed?

        [–]washingtonpost[S] 58 points59 points  (1 child)

        From Steven Rich:

        I have made a living collecting data that the federal government and other local governments do not. Last year, I collected data on settlements by police departments across the country and went through nearly 23,000 court cases by hand to get info that cities did not have. The answer is that I am undeterred. If I want the data, I'll get it one way or the other.

        [–]quickhand 4 points5 points  (0 children)

        That's the spirit!

        [–]GDJT 91 points92 points  (11 children)

        Have you considered switching to a less soul destroying topic?

        [–]washingtonpost[S] 163 points164 points  (8 children)

        From Steven Rich:

        In the time we've been doing this reporting I have also reported on police shootings, fentanyl and prescription opioids and the inability of police to solve murders in some neighborhoods.

        [–]Husky 65 points66 points  (0 children)

        Sounds like jolly fun topics as well! /s

        [–]GreenStreetJonny 35 points36 points  (4 children)

        This is a weird timing coincidence. Earlier today I wrote the newsroom about how little reporting they're doing on the Ohio train derailment. I threatened to cancel my subscription because a baseball player rehabbing is more important than 25 million people getting exposed to poison.

        I really appreciate the coverage you guys do, please keep going.

        [–]TylerJWhit 18 points19 points  (1 child)

        In the defense of mainstream media, this was discussed in all of the outlets I saw. It wasn't until yesterday that people started paying attention primarily due to the change in headlines about the after effects of the chemicals.

        [–]GreenStreetJonny 2 points3 points  (0 children)

        We'll see if I get a response or if Bezos really did gut all of WAPos morals.

        [–][deleted]  (1 child)


          [–]SPACE-BEES 6 points7 points  (0 children)

          I keep hearing this but I've seen TONS of coverage about it.




          Where are you getting your news that it was not covered? Pretty much every major news site i look at has news coverage within a day of the event and more as the sitution developed.

          [–]Gibbons74 1 point2 points  (0 children)

          There are all subjects that need coverage. Thanks you for getting information out to the public.

          [–]washingtonpost[S] 47 points48 points  (0 children)

          From John Woodrow Cox:

          This work is hard and, often, exhausting, but it’s also a privilege. People trust us to share their life’s worst moments with the world, and we’re grateful for that. Though it doesn’t always happen, it’s especially gratifying when we see our work improve people’s lives in a tangible way.

          [–]rbrijs 85 points86 points  (44 children)

          What do you think about the fact that mass shootings and gun violence in schools makes up a small fraction of gun violence in the US, and in turn, their focus in the media shifts the conversation to assault rifles and away from restrictions to handguns that would be necessary to curb gun violence more broadly?

          [–]johnhtman 23 points24 points  (0 children)

          Handguns outnumber rifles 20 to 1 in overall murders, and even among mass shootings they are the weapon of choice.

          [–]DropShotter 57 points58 points  (38 children)

          And ironically, not a single actual assault rifle or weapon has been used in any school shooting.

          [–]johnhtman 34 points35 points  (3 children)

          The deadliest school shooting in U.S history was committed with handguns, including a .22 pistol.

          [–]DropShotter 14 points15 points  (2 children)

          Most mass shootings are committed with handguns. Most shootings are committed with handguns. Most crimes are committed with handguns.

          [–]JustZisGuy 6 points7 points  (1 child)

          Most crimes are committed with handguns.

          I'm assuming you mean "most crimes involving a gun are committed with handguns".

          [–]bearkin1 4 points5 points  (0 children)

          Speak for yourself, I jaywalk with a glock in hand

          [–]washingtonpost[S] 35 points36 points  (2 children)

          From Steven Rich:

          I'm not a media critic, but I will say I often think about the kind of "routine" gun violence that doesn't make headlines a lot and that includes suicides by gun. It's not feasible to write about them all individually, but I think the public would benefit from more reporting on the topic at a higher level. There are folks out there doing a great job of that but we could always use more.

          [–]mikegus15 15 points16 points  (0 children)

          So report on it. 2/3rds of gun deaths are suicide. You people are the reason for the false 'pandemic' of mass shootings.

          [–]YellowShorts 3 points4 points  (0 children)

          "I think the public would benefit from more reporting on that topic. Not gonna be us though lmao"

          Gee thanks

          [–]Earl-of-Jabroni 5 points6 points  (0 children)

          There are restrictions on handguns. The guy who shot up MSU should have been able to get any gun.

          [–]FindTheRemnant 39 points40 points  (21 children)

          How many school shootings have occurred at schools where the teachers are allowed to be armed?

          [–]washingtonpost[S] 45 points46 points  (6 children)

          From Steven Rich and John Woodrow Cox:

          We don't know because most schools do not allow teachers to be armed. But we do know that many of the schools with shootings had school resource officers or police there at the time of the shooting. Across 366 shootings, we have identified just two instances in which a resource officer gunned down an active shooter. To put that in perspective, at least nine shootings have been halted by malfunctioning weapons or by the attacker’s inability to handle them.

          We also know that, in several cases, resource officers have unintentionally fired their own weapons inside schools and classrooms.

          [–]doogles 39 points40 points  (4 children)

          Is that 366 shootings that had police or SROs on site?

          [–]wouldeye 65 points66 points  (0 children)

          in your data, many of the school shooting perpetrators are police. "department issued" is the third most common source of guns in your data set, once you combine similar sourcings.

          Edit: I should add this was in your data as of 2018. I haven't re-run that analysis since you've updated.

          [–]Earl-of-Jabroni -2 points-1 points  (5 children)


          [–]ColumbusJewBlackets 6 points7 points  (4 children)

          This is correct and your being downvoted

          [–]Earl-of-Jabroni 8 points9 points  (1 child)

          Thank you. Reddit doesn’t always like the truth…

          [–]ColumbusJewBlackets 2 points3 points  (0 children)

          Even more so, there are a couple colleges that don’t restrict guns for anyone, staff, students everyone is allowed to carry legally and there hasn’t been a single shooting ever.

          [–][deleted]  (1 child)


            [–]KrakoaForever 26 points27 points  (12 children)

            Have you noticed a change in statistics in areas where teachers or staff have access to firearms themselves? What about school resource officers? From local PD?

            [–]washingtonpost[S] 34 points35 points  (11 children)

            From Steven Rich:

            We know 6 of 8 shootings where more than a dozen people were shot had resource officers present at the school at the time of the shooting. So adults with guns have not been a deterrent for school shooters.

            [–]Graviton_Lancelot 28 points29 points  (1 child)

            Why delineate at a dozen?

            [–]mikegus15 4 points5 points  (0 children)

            Convenience of their narrative.

            [–]CmdrSelfEvident 7 points8 points  (0 children)

            How are you controlling for SRO assignments? Do you think they are assigned to all schools? Or randomly? Or could it be that they are assigned to areas which already have an endemic violence problem? You can't know how many shootings those officers stopped by their presence alone. How can you get this so wrong? This is why people have lost faith in journalism. You are so quick to push a narrative and confirm your priors that it calls into question all is your work.

            [–]JD2105 14 points15 points  (0 children)

            Fitting to use 8 instances and claim this as the truth... Journalism down bad in 2023

            [–]sharksnut -4 points-3 points  (3 children)

            You're betraying some bias here. The parent comment asked specifically "where teachers or staff have access to firearms themselves?", and you dodge the question and give a completely unrelated statistic to support the false claim that armed adult staff are no deterrent.

            [–]flyingturkey_89 10 points11 points  (1 child)

            I mean op did asked about resource officer. As for teacher or staff having access to firearm, it's kinda unrealistic to ask a teacher to also be police officer.

            [–]OzymandiasKoK 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            They're not exactly complementary skill sets or mentalities.

            [–]KoreanJesusPleasures 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            "And staff". Resource officer is staff.

            [–]Doc_Dante 12 points13 points  (4 children)

            Your article indicates that to prevent school shootings, ability to lock down schools more quickly, and an anonymous tip line because the shooters generally tell people before they act out. Apologies if it's in the article but, is there any common theme to why they shoot up the school? Rejection, bullying?

            [–]dakta 18 points19 points  (2 children)

            Not the authors, but other researchers have a pretty compelling analysis of mass shooters and do find substantial commonalities: https://www.politico.com/amp/news/magazine/2022/05/27/stopping-mass-shooters-q-a-00035762

            [–]NegroniHater 15 points16 points  (0 children)

            Why is suicide used to convey “gun violence”? It seems every researcher that works for a media corporation is insistent that the ~66% of “gun violence” victims pulled the trigger themselves. Don’t you think it’s a bit disingenuous when every American has school mass shootings on their minds when you say “gun violence”?

            [–]Angry_Structure 24 points25 points  (0 children)

            Why did the Washington Post call Ukraine a Nazi state and now they don’t?

            [–][deleted] 15 points16 points  (0 children)

            Given police shoot more than 1,000 people to death annually by WaPo’s own tracking, do you plan to break out all the children exposed to “gun violence” at the hands of police as a separate category? What about children exposed to violence when their parents are beaten by police, or their dogs killed for daring to growl at a hostile intruder who happens to have a badge?

            [–]roflocalypselol 5 points6 points  (0 children)

            Will you make your raw data available? This is a topic that has been horribly mis-reported for the last two decades at least.

            [–]United_Blueberry_311 9 points10 points  (1 child)

            Has it been noticed that these shootings don’t happen in private schools? Are there socioeconomic factors there?

            [–]go_robot_go 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            The fact that you can’t name one is not evidence that they don’t happen. Here’s one:


            [–]tyler111762 8 points9 points  (15 children)

            Why do you think multiple victim public shootings are a uniquely american problem? If it was as easy as "more guns equals more shootings" then why isnt there more shootings in other nations with firearms in civilian hands like canada, the czech republic, the Scandinavian countries, austria, germany, ect.

            [–]22Donkeypunch 20 points21 points  (2 children)

            LOL who reads the Washington Post anymore? Yall sold out decades ago when you were part of the "WMDs in Iraq" which directly killed a million plus innocent lives. Take a look in the mirror and figure out if you want to continue being pawns and sellouts.

            [–]DontWorryItsEasy 16 points17 points  (1 child)

            WaPo is is the mouthpiece of Jeff Bezos. They pretty much only exist to push a political agenda. Afaik Bezos has not made a ton of public political comments but seeing as he owns the publication... Well we can probably assume where he stands on things.

            [–]4Rings 4 points5 points  (0 children)

            Not the first case of a billionaire using thier wealth and media empires to push thier agendas. Guess he learned from Bloomberg.

            [–]BrazenRaizen 29 points30 points  (43 children)

            Is it true that 49.7M children are enrolled in public schools each year in the US? Is it true that 331,000 / 49,700,000 = .00666 or 0.66%?

            [–]washingtonpost[S] 36 points37 points  (4 children)

            From John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich:

            That's probably not far off from the real number and as we have noted in our reporting, school shootings are rare. That is, statistically, true, in the sense that a child is highly unlikely to experience one. But it’s also an assertion that infuriates many people, and for good reason. Are school shootings in the United States “rare” compared with the number in, say, Canada or England or Germany or any other developed nation? No, they are not.

            Our database also excludes hundreds of incidents every year that don’t technically qualify but that still terrify and traumatize tens of thousands of children: shootings at after-school sporting events, for example, or gunshots fired just off campus.

            And then there’s the consequence of school shootings that could never be described as rare: actual lockdowns.

            In the 2017-2018 school year, we found that more than 4.1 million children suffered through at least one of them — and nearly 60 percent were caused by gun violence or the threat of it.

            The sudden order to hide in silence from a potential intruder can panic students, who have wept and soiled themselves, written farewell messages to family members and pleaded with parents to save them before they were killed.

            [–]lurker_cx 1 point2 points  (1 child)

            How many people in the US went to work on the morning of 9/11/2001? Let's say 100 million, and only about 3,000 died on 9/11. Why did we make such a big deal about 9/11 when only 0.003% of workers died that day?

            [–]monchies11 5 points6 points  (0 children)

            Is there a correlation of school shootings and antidepressants?

            [–]Edmund-Dantes 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            What are your thoughts on just 6 corporations owning around 90% of the US media?

            And for fun, are you able to say a single negative thing about your owner Jeff Bezos? If yes, try it here.

            [–]dali-llama 26 points27 points  (0 children)

            Why is Jeff Bezos such a shitty human and why do you work for him?

            [–]allen5az 8 points9 points  (0 children)

            Why start in 1999? There was a world before that and too many of us were exposed before 99.

            [–]Objective_Ant913 5 points6 points  (2 children)

            Steven where would you recommend a journalist start with data visualization? I have big ideas and some beginner experience with a few web apps (datawrapper, tableau), but I feel like I don't know the basics.

            [–]washingtonpost[S] 9 points10 points  (0 children)

            From Steven Rich:

            My job entails more analysis than visualization so I'm not the best person to ask here. But we do use datawrapper for a lot, and it's quite good for most things.

            [–]quickhand 6 points7 points  (0 children)

            I do that for a living so feel free to DM me

            [–]Rebelgecko 4 points5 points  (0 children)

            Have you considered tracking other forms of violence too?

            [–]KrakoaForever 8 points9 points  (0 children)

            Have you noticed a change in statistics in areas where teachers or staff have access to firearms themselves? What about school resource officers from local PD?

            [–]Angry_Structure 9 points10 points  (3 children)

            Why did the CDC update their description of vinyl chloride 11 days before the train crash in Ohio?

            [–]mynameisalso 2 points3 points  (0 children)


            [–]BFeely1 1 point2 points  (0 children)

            It would be nice if you could provide a diff of the edited page.

            [–]JohnTesh 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            Brrrt wait. I’ll bite. Tell us more about this.

            [–]Kitt-Ridge 15 points16 points  (11 children)

            Why do you lie about absolutely everything?

            [–]guanliaozhuyi 9 points10 points  (1 child)

            I know one of the main problems with this kind of work is that information is spread out and no one (except you all, thank you!) feel they're responsible to collect it.
            So, how, if at all, do you think government agencies could improve access to this information?

            [–]washingtonpost[S] 37 points38 points  (0 children)

            From Steven Rich:

            By collecting it in the first place. The federal government collects a lot of data on public and private schools, including information on discipline of students, and they could ask schools to report violence on school grounds during the school day as well.

            [–]ricnilotra 2 points3 points  (2 children)

            how often is it a student doing the shooting and how often is it an adult?

            [–]BrianFuckingFischer 2 points3 points  (0 children)

            How much exposure to gun safety do they have by comparison? 🤔

            [–]chazamaroo 3 points4 points  (0 children)

            How can you work for WaPo and consider yourself a reporter and not a propaganda artist ?

            [–]Cryonyx 4 points5 points  (1 child)

            Are you aware that your organization is malicious and misleading? Journalism has become an awful arm of the government over the years and I would like to know what people complicit in this have to say about what they think they are doing vs what they are actually doing

            [–]Metalhart00 4 points5 points  (1 child)

            What can regular folks like myself do to make the situation better?

            [–][deleted]  (1 child)


              [–]soulbrotha1 0 points1 point  (2 children)

              How do you guys keep your sanity?

              [–]washingtonpost[S] 33 points34 points  (1 child)

              From Steven Rich:

              I cannot speak for John but I never had any sanity to begin with. But to keep some ability to do this work day in and day out, I practice a lot of self care. I see a therapist. I take Lexapro. And I lean into hobbies that can take my mind off of things. I even opened my own woodshop building custom furniture a few years back in part because I find woodworking to be such a zen experience.

              [–]soulbrotha1 3 points4 points  (0 children)

              Ty my brotha

              [–]kehadley 2 points3 points  (0 children)

              when are you going to track all the kids that went to Epstein island?

              [–]DiDalt 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              Is there a country-by-country comparison?

              [–]RPsodapants -3 points-2 points  (3 children)

              Why don’t you cover the Ohio train derailment contamination issue instead ?

              [–]MedicalArtist404 1 point2 points  (1 child)

              Did your study include people exposed to the gun violence of the DC sniper? Entire schools had all after school activities cancelled for a semester. The gun wasn't on campus, but we were exposed.

              [–]Celticness 1 point2 points  (0 children)

              Has there been any genetical research on the aggressors to see commonalities? I’m more thinking along the lines of Monoamine oxidase A gene (MAOA) versus mental diagnosis.