Children are our most precious resource, and each life is priceless. However, one of deadliest threats to teens has been largely ignored in western society. Bullying is still thought of as being socially acceptable, despite all the information to the contrary. One of the more memorable bullying stories in the past twenty years is that of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. These two young men were responsible for the Columbine massacre in the US, but they were also the victims of bullying before they committed their atrocious acts. While the Columbine school shootings brought world-wide attention to school shootings, the incident was by no means isolated. Discover some eye opening School Shooting Statistics.
USA School Shooting Statistics
Since 1992, there have been 387 school shootings in the US alone. Some of the statistics on school shootings are increased by petty quarrels that escalated to violence. However, situations like Columbine are becoming far more common. In these cases, the perpetrators are literally hunting their classmates in attempts to inflict as many fatalities as possible. Two gunmen were able to kill 12 students and injure 23 others, before ending their own lives with gun fire. Colorado is a relatively conservative US state with fewer violent crimes than more heavily populated areas. However, there have been five school shootings there since 1992 and two of them have resulted in multiple fatalities.
In 2006, 53 year old Duane R. Morrison entered Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado. He barged into an honors English class and ordered the teacher, Sandra Smith, to take her students and leave. However, Bailey ordered six female students to remain in the classroom where he proceeded to sexually assault them. When the authorities arrived, Morrison shot and killed 16 year old Emily Keyes, before turning the gun on himself. This incident didn’t garner the same national attention as the Columbine shootings, partly because Morrison wasn’t a student at the school. This shooting was also far less deadly than the Columbine incident which at the time was billed as the worst school shooting in US history. However, school shootings are by no means isolated to the States. School shootings were once very rare incidents, but they’re becoming more common in developed countries.
UK School Shooting Statistics
One of the most horrific school shootings in UK history took place in in Dublane, Scotland. This is another incident where an adult went to a school for the sole purpose of murdering children. This incident was particularly disturbing because the perpetrator, Thomas Hamilton, chose to target a gymnasium filled with five and six year old children. In total, seventeen children and their teacher were killed before the deranged gunman ended his own life. It’s still unclear what motivated Hamilton to target such innocent victims, but this crime remains one of the worst in British history.
Canadian School Shootings Statistics
Canada is well-known for the peaceful people who reside there. Canada has one of the lowest violent crime rates of any industrialized country but school shootings still occur even there. Todd Cameron Smith may have been attempting to copy the Columbine Massacre when he entered W.R. Myers High School on April 28, 1999. It was a mere eight days after the deadly Colorado shootings when the fourteen year old entered the school with a .22 rifle and opened fire on a group of three students. One child was killed and another fatally injured before gym coach Cheyno Finnie intervened and tackled the homicidal teen. Finnie managed to disarm the teen without further incident, preventing Smith from using the hundreds of rounds with which he was armed. This was the first public school shooting in Canada in twenty years, but the next shooting would take place just seven years later.
Dawson College is a small educational institution located in Montreal, Quebec. The afternoon of September 13th, 2006 was going along just like any other when gunshots began to ring out at 12:42 P.M. Kimveer Gill was armed with three different firearms a Beretta Cx4 Storm, a Norinco HP9-1 shotgun and a Glock 9mm. Donning all black clothing and black combat boots, Gill indiscriminately opened fire on any and everyone he saw.
This story is particularly disturbing, because Gill had apparently never been the victim of bullying. However, the disturbed young man had an apparent obsession with firearms. He was a member of a local rifle club and he even bragged to friends that he would one day become a mercenary. Gill had also enrolled into the Canadian Forces Leadership and Recruit School of Quebec. He failed to complete his basic training for unknown reasons, and his lack of training may have prevented more fatalities. Gill shot a total of twenty people fatally injuring one young lady. Before committing the horrendous deed, Gill wrote several demented lines on his profile with VampireFreaks.com. Among the lines were the words, “You will come to know him as the angel of death.” and people are “no good, conniving, betraying, lying, deceptive mother expletives.” Gill also wrote “Life is like a video game, you gotta die sometime.” These comments fueled the debate that violent video games play a significant role in these types of random shootings.
Video Games and School Shootings
There has to be serious mental imbalance within a person who commits a mass murder. However, this condition might be furthered by the graphic images displayed in First Person Shooter (FPS) video games. It’s well documented that the Columbine killers were avid video game players, and they regularly competed in online death matches.
FPS games feature animated renditions of real guns which the players use to kill each other’s avatars. The player is shown a screen that’s eerily similar to the perspective they would have if they were carrying out these killings in real life. Of the tens of millions of people who enjoy these games, less that 1/100 of 1% will ever fire a weapon at another human being. However, mentally disturbed individuals like Seung-Hui Cho seem to have a difficult time differentiating between the games and reality. Cho is responsible for the deadliest massacre in US history which occurred on the campus of Virginia Tech.
Violent Video Games and School Shootings
On the morning of April 26, 2007 — Seung-Hui Cho killed two people in a Virginia tech dorm room. He then proceeded to a classroom where he shot and killed thirty more people, and wounded 17 others. The young man was apparently the fan of a popular FPS known as Counter Strike, as were countless others. The difference is Cho had previously been diagnosed with severe anxiety disorder. the diagnosis came in Cho’s high school years and the condition definitely factored into his arcane actions. Hours of sitting and watching his avatar repeatedly gun down very realistic game characters can’t simply be dismissed as coincidence, because the young man eventually carried out these acts in real life.
Cho eventually turned the gun on himself, but not before destroying the lives of countless people. Fans of these games are naturally defensive when they hear their favorite pass time being blamed for so many deadly shootings. However, FPS games are becoming a common thread in statistics of school shootings. It must be noted that the vast majority of FPS players will never so much as fire a gun, but these games might be too much for the already mentally unstable to handle. A love of these games could be a warning sign which might help to prevent further school shootings.
Warning Signs Before School Shootings
It has been suggested that school shooters are bullied children who’ve been pushed to the breaking point. However, the Marysville-Pilchuk High shooter Jaylen Fryberg chose to target his closest friends and two of his cousins. The fifteen year old even sent out texts where he asked his companions to join him at a particular lunch table the day of the shootings. Fryberg had no history of violence or mental illness, but he still shot five of his closest associates. Zoë Raine Galasso was killed by a gunshot to the head before Fryberg turned the gun on himself. Fryberg was so atypical from the other school shooters, but even he gave warning signs. The young man tweeted out some very disturbing messages the evening before he committed his violent acts.
The scariest aspect of school shootings is their random nature. It will take a new approach to gun control, mental illness and social acceptance of bullying to decrease school violence statistics.