Gunfire in U.S. schools used to be rare and shocking. Now it seems to happen all the time, reports the New York Times. On Tuesday, it was a small-town Kentucky high school. On Monday, it happened in a school cafeteria outside Dallas and a charter school parking lot in New Orleans. Before that, a school bus in Iowa, a college campus in Southern California, and a high school in Seattle. The scene in Benton, Ky., on Tuesday was the worst so far in 2018: Two 15-year-old students were killed and 18 more people were injured. It was one of at least 11 shootings on school property since Jan. 1, and the 50th of the academic year.
Researchers and gun control advocates say that since 2013, they have logged school shootings at a rate of about one a week. “We have absolutely become numb to these kinds of shootings, and I think that will continue,” said Katherine Schweit, a former FBI official and the co-author of a study of 160 active shooting incidents. Some of this year’s school shootings were suicides that injured no one else. In any case, gun safety advocates say, all school shootings seem to have lost some of their capacity to shock. The town of Italy, Tx., is not any bigger than Benton. On Monday, a 15-year-old girl there was hospitalized after she was shot by a 16-year-old classmate. That suspect, a boy, was taken into custody by the Ellis County Sheriff’s Department. The FBI study that Schweit helped write examined active shooter episodes in the U.S. between 2000 and 2013. It found that nearly one-quarter of them occurred in educational environments, and they were on the rise.