Do Not Panic

Yesterday, two elementary students were injured when a nutcase wearing black and spewing nonsense about the President opened fire with a gun.

Mark my words, by Monday some parent will be insisting that outdoor recess be abolished as “too dangerous.” The argument will be nothing more than “What if something like this happens again?? Better safe than sorry!”

But before we start herding all the children into the gymnasium, let’s look at some facts. According to these guys, there are over 38,000,000 elementary school students in the United States. The nice folks at the Census (plus my pocket calculator) say it’s only 37,811,132. For simplicity’s sake, let’s just say 38 million. This doesn’t include high school students.

Now then, how many students have been injured by guns at an elementary school? This is sufficiently rare that a Google search for “elementary school gun” turns up a collection of stories of kids expelled for having guns, toy guns, water guns, BB guns, stories of gun scares, etc.. Add the word “injured” and yesterday’s item fills most of the first page. If we go to Wikipedia’s page on “school shootings”, we find that in the last three years exactly 34 people have been killed in school shootings, including incidents on college campuses and high schools, including faculty and other adult victims. In fact, there have only been 27 school shooting incidents on elementary, middle, junior high, and grade school campuses in the United States ever, including yesterday.

So, we have a literal less than one in a million chance of being shot at school. You have more chance of dying today in a car wreck than being involved in a school shooting ever.

By way of contrast, an American child has a one in 3 chance of being overweight or obese, putting them at increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, sleep apnea, cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and a host of other life shortening problems.

You want to play the “won’t somebody think of the children” card? Send them outside for recess. Let them go play.

In Closing: Could you pass the citizenship test?; People other than me are calling the foreclosure mess fraud (perhaps the BAMTOR Principle will crumble and people will go to prison?); if everybody eats there then how come I never see them?; disconnected; demented; decline of business casual (it’s all your fault!); and smell like a monster.