More than 311,000 children have suffered some form of gun violence during school hours since the Columbine High School shooting in 1999, according to a database maintained by the Washington Post.
Over the last two decades, more than 311,00 children at 331 schools have been involved in a shooting that resulted in some form of injury or death, according to the data. At least 185 children, teachers, and other bystanders were killed in these incidents, and another 369 were injured.
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The updated numbers come after the attack at Robb Elementary School at Uvalde, Texas, on Tuesday that left at least 22 people dead, including 19 children, two adults, and the shooter — marking the second-deadliest school shooting since the Sandy Hook massacre in 2010. The Uvalde shooting is the 27th school shooting to occur so far in 2022.
The federal government does not track school shootings, so reporters collected data from news articles, open-source databases, police reports, and schools to piece together an exhaustive database. The newspaper acknowledged that it may have missed some additional incidents.
To calculate the exact number of how many children were exposed to gun violence on campus, the newspaper used enrollment and attendance figures to determine how many students were in school, subtracting from the total the average number of students who miss school on any given day.
The number of school shootings has been on the rise over the last two decades, with more of these incidents occurring in 2021 than any other year on record since at least 1999. Last year saw 34 such incidents compared to 10 in 2020, according to Education Week. Both 2019 and 2018 recorded 24 school shootings.
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In cases in which the source of the gun could be determined, 85% of shooters obtained the weapon from within their own homes, a family member, or a friend, according to the outlet. About 7 in 10 of the suspected shooters were under the age of 18.
The newspaper’s database stems from a yearlong study attempting to identify every act of gunfire on campuses during school hours since the Columbine High School shooting in April 1999. These instances did not include shootings that occurred at after-hours events, accidental gunfire that resulted in no injuries except to the shooter, or suicides. Shootings at colleges and universities were also not included.