January 11, 2013
Schools remain safe without guns
I write in response to the Jan. 6 article, “To arm or not to arm,” which addressed the question of whether school teachers and administrators should be armed on the job to prevent harm being done to our children by crazed gunmen.
When school shootings happen, they are of course horrific and get 24/7 media coverage. The old journalistic saw “if it bleeds, it leads” applies here: Nothing bleeds like a school shooting. Because of the horror of these events and the heavy coverage of them, the public is left with the impression that there is an ongoing “epidemic” of such shootings and that our schools are very dangerous places indeed.
The reality, however, is that the chances of any given child dying in a school shooting are about one in a million — considerably less than the chances of that child being struck and killed by lightning. Schools are still some of the safest places in our society. If you are feeling insecure and unsafe, you could do worse than to seek refuge in your nearest school.
The fact is that our children are considerably safer from gun violence inside school walls than they are outside. Studies have shown that the chances of a child being killed accidentally with a firearm outside of school are over 20 times greater than that of the child being a homicide victim in school. Arming teachers and principals will do nothing to reduce that carnage. It can only be lessened by reducing the number of unsecured guns in our society.
— Dr. Kelly Anspaugh, Ada