Northeastern University criminologist James Alan Fox calls a new report on school violence by two advocacy groups “a misinformed and misguided scare tactic.” The report by Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns said there have been 44 shootings, including 28 deaths, in schools and colleges nationwide since the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Ct.
Fox faults the “complete lack of any context for interpreting these figures,” saying the numbers are not out-of-line with historical patterns, and are lower than two decades ago when gang violence was especially problematic at school settings. There are more than 50 million U.S. school children, making the risk of fatality well below one in two million, says Fox. By comparison, many times more youngsters are killed annually in bicycle accidents. Fox says measures like armed guards at school doors, running children though lockdown drills, and surrounding classrooms with cameras and metal detectors not only fail to prevent some teenager or adult determined to wreak havoc but send the wrong and excessively scary message about the risk