2018's School Shooting Death Toll Is Higher Than Our Military's

by Julie Scagell
Image via Getty Images/DANIEL KRAMER/AFP

More than 400 people have been shot in school shootings since Sandy Hook

This week, another town in another state was rocked by a senseless and deadly school shooting. This time, it was Santa Fe, Texas where ten innocent lives were taken by a gunman. And with this most recent shooting’s number of dead, more people have been killed at schools in 2018 than were killed serving in the military.

Figures compared to data compiled by the Defense Department, including both combat and noncombat deaths, showed “even excluding non-students who died in school shootings (for example, teachers) the total still exceeds military casualties,” the Washington Post reports.

Image via Washington Post

Unfortunately, a large part of this year’s figure is because of the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, which killed 17 people.

After the original Post article was written, there was some clarification about the actual number of military deaths this year. “The DoD doesn’t always present a clear picture of accidental mishap-related deaths due to worries about operational security, hence the trouble with [Public Affairs Office] releases,” Jared Keller, a senior editor at the site Task & Purpose wrote.

But unfortunately the statistics still favor school shootings:

Image via Washington Post

Regardless of how kids measure up to military deaths, since Sandy Hook more than 400 children have been shot in 200 schools in the US, according to the New York Times. They also report that, on average, there have been about five school shootings every month, which includes shootings not considered “mass shootings,” defined as an event where more than four people were shot.

And this was before yesterday’s shooting in Texas.

And if anyone wants to argue over trivial details about who shot who or why or, “that was just because a kid picked up a gun and the safety wasn’t on so that doesn’t actually count (an argument I’ve heard repeatedly when statistics come into play),” seriously, go to hell. This is how many innocent kids were killed or injured, and they are innocent because they are children. Full stop.

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And while firearms are readily available to most with little to no background screening, in a study conducted by the RAND Corporation, researchers believe that more than 22 million children live in homes with a firearm.

More details will unfold about the Texas shooting in the days to come, but one thing is sadly clear — sending our kids to school is officially riskier than them enlisting in the military.