On February 14, 2018, survivors of the horrific school shooting in Parkland, Florida, emerged from bullet-ridden classrooms and thrust gun violence into the national spotlight. The heightened focus on the school shooting epidemic raised important questions about the damage these shootings inflict on our nation’s youth and how they can best be prevented.
As the student activists called for accountability and action, the gun lobby spread dangerous myths that downplay the role of guns in school shootings. Our report, The Truth about School Shootings, seeks to dispel these myths and offers concrete recommendations for evidence-based policies that will ensure all of our students make it safely home from school.
The Truth about School Shootings dispels five prominent gun lobby myths:
- Myth 1: School shootings are just a fact of life.
- Myth 2: Nothing can be done to prevent school shootings.
- Myth 3: Schools need armed teachers to respond to school shootings.
- Myth 4: School shootings are largely caused by mental health issues.
- Myth 5: Children are most likely to experience gun violence at school.
Our report also outlines policy reforms which are likely to increase the safety of children both in and outside of school. These include extreme risk protection orders, which allow police and family members to petition a court for an order to temporarily disarm individuals at elevated risk of harming themselves or others, and child access prevention laws, which encourage safe storage of firearms by holding adults responsible when children gain access to their guns.
We do not—and should not—have to accept school shootings as the new normal. We shouldn’t have to live in a country where preschoolers are taught to crouch under desks during active shooter drills, where parents suffer through the fear and heartbreak of receiving goodbye texts from their teenagers. We can build a safer America by arming legislators with the facts instead of gun lobby talking points and urging them to pass the gun safety laws that will keep our children safe.