Hundreds of thousands of protesters and activists hit the streets in the United States and around the world on Saturday, March 24, in a show of solidarity for gun law reform, raising their voices in an effort to prompt governmental legislation geared toward ending gun violence, particularly gun violence occurring in schools. Called the “March For Our Lives,” the movement was a re-ignition of past public and political calls and programs aimed at protecting school children and the public at large.
The current movement emerged in the aftermath of the tragic mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14 that left 17 people dead, but the number of shooting incidents in schools over the years is far higher. In fact, there have been 306 school shooting incidents to date in the past six years.
According to Everytown.com, an awareness website dedicated to tracking gun violence in the U.S., there have been 306 incidents at schools that have involved the discharge of a firearm since 2013. While it is true that not all of the incidents resulted in injury or death (a 2013-16 analysis showed that of 160 incidents, 33 saw no one injured as a result of a firearm being discharged on school properties, and twelve other incidents saw shootings that were unintentional), a three-year period saw 95 school shooting incidents occurring at elementary, middle school, high school, and college settings where at least one person was injured or killed by an intentional perpetrator.
Since the Parkland mass shooting in mid-February, there have been 16 shooting incidents at schools throughout the nation. The last (to date) occurred at Great Mills High School in Maryland, where a teen gunman shot and injured two students before being fatally shot by a school security officer. One of the victims, 16-year-old Jaelynn Willey, died as a result of her injury two days later, according to ABC News.
According to Axios, there have been 10 mass school shootings (including Parkland) in the U.S. since the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999. A total of 122 people have been killed. Columbine, which is not included, saw 15 people killed by two gunmen. The numbers were tabulated from shooting incidents that met the federal definition of mass murder, which states, for qualification by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (per the Washington Post), that four or more deaths occur from a premeditated incident.
In an effort to compare the level of gun violence in the U.S. with that of other countries (also per the Washington Post), the Academy for Critical Incident Analysis studied data collected from 36 countries around the world between 2000 and 2010. The group found that of 57 incidents in those countries, where there were at least two or more victims, over half of the events, 28, occurred in the United States.
The analysis noted that the number of mass shooting incidents in the U.S. stands out due to the fact that in 2010 the U.S. had a population of 309 million people, whereas the combined population of the other 34 countries registered a total of 3.8 billion.