The Rise in School Shootings Post-Pandemic

March 2020, the beginning of the pandemic, had no school shootings. Since 2002, there has been a school shooting every March. Could a return to in-person school lead to another rise in school shootings? In 2018, the leading cause of death for youths was gun violence. 2018 was the worst recorded year for school shootings with 33 deaths. In an article written by John Woodrow Cox and Steven Rich entitled “As school, shootings surge, a sixth-grader tucks his dad’s gun in his backpack,” the duo wrote about the impending fears of reopening schools: “Because none of this year’s episodes were mass shootings, 2021’s casualties — three dead, eight wounded — do not yet compare to 2018, the worst year on record, when 33 people died. But it has left teachers, parents, and students dreading what’s to come this fall when nearly all children are expected to go back to their classrooms.” When children were not in school, it made these shootings less likely.
In another article written by Sophie Lewis entitled “March 2020 was the first March without a school shooting in the U.S. since 2002,” she discovers how the uncertainty of the pandemic brought a need for personal protection: “While school shootings are down, gun dealers around the country said they are seeing record numbers of customers.” This rise in gun ownership could lead to more gun violence, specifically a rise in school shootings.
In 2018 after the Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, many survivors and other students rallied for change and more firearm regulation. The school shooting at Columbine happened in 1999, and this generation is the mass-shooting generation. After Parkland, there was a surge of new gun laws passed throughout the country. The problem continues. There was a lull during the pandemic, but the problem did not simply go away. The shooting on April 26 at Plymouth Middle School proves that gun violence is still a severe problem that needs to be handled. The safety of America’s next generation is not a partisan issue. Children deserve to feel safe when they arrive at school.. America needs to protect its students before it’s too late.

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