Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

Media Continues to Cause Distorted Fear of School Violence

Friday, April 19, 2019

Media Continues to Cause Distorted Fear of School Violence

When it comes to the wellbeing of today’s youth, one would think that all could agree that provoking unnecessary fear should be avoided. That apparently is not the case, however, when it comes to pushing the narrative that changes are urgently needed to America’s gun control laws to keep schoolchildren safe from an “epidemic” of “gun violence” that is spiraling out of control. The truth is that schools are as safe as they’ve been in the last two decades, yet polls show the public believing the opposite to be true.

According to an Economist/YouGov poll conducted April 13 – 16, 61% of Americans think students and faculty today are less safe from firearm-related violence in schools than they were in 1999. The poll additionally revealed that two thirds of the respondents believe school shootings have increased during that timeframe.

A YouGov article summarizing the results stated, “Well over half the public say they have heard ‘a lot’ about [firearm-related school violence], the horror of which may have caused so many Americans to say that school shootings have increased, and not decreased, in the last 20 years.”

These findings should concern anyone who believes reality is relevant to policymaking and who wants the best for America’s schoolchildren because they show kids are being unnecessarily terrified about a risk of harm that if anything has actually decreased in recent decades.

Northeastern University Professor of Criminology, Law, and Public Policy James Alan Fox has waged a lonely campaign to bring a dose of reality to the modern discussion of firearm-related violence in schools. An avowed supporter of gun control, he nevertheless seeks to reassure students and parents that – contrary to what they hear in the media – schools remain a safe place.

Fox has published research showing that “shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the 1990s.” Commenting on his findings, he stated, “There is not an epidemic of school shootings.”

Fox also responded to the wave of media stories marking the 20th anniversary of the terrible murders at Columbine High School in Littleton, CO, by admonishing readers in a USA Today editorial this week that “the level of fear is inconsistent with the risk.” The article goes on to suggest measures that can be taken to promote a safe school environment without sending students and faculty an exaggerated message that the “bad guy is gunning for you!”

Fox blamed “cable news and social media” for promoting inaccurate perceptions around firearm-related violence in schools.

Fellow gun control advocate Garen Wintemute of the University of California at Davis agreed with Fox, telling NPR last year:

Schools are just about the safest place in the world for kids to be. … Although each one of them is horrific and rivets the entire nation for a period of time, mass shootings at schools are really very uncommon, and they are not increasing in frequency. What's changed is how aware we are of them.

Harvard instructor and expert in risk analysis David Ropeik has calculated that the statistical likelihood of any public school student being killed by a gun in school on any given day since 1999 as 1 in 614,000,000. Ropeik characterized that as “far lower than almost any other mortality risk a kid faces, including traveling to and from school, catching a potentially deadly disease while in school or suffering a life-threatening injury playing interscholastic sports.”

Given all this, it’s not only inaccurate for the media to portray firearm related violence in schools as an increasing threat that should preoccupy America’s students and teachers, it’s unethical and subordinates the peace of mind of young kids to a political agenda.

Americans should celebrate the fact that schools are getting safer and should provide reassurance, not additional trauma, to children saturated by today’s agenda-driven and too often misleading media environment.

IN THIS ARTICLE
media bias
TRENDING NOW
Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Illinois Committee Passes Bill to Increase Cost of FOID 1000

On May 21st, the Illinois state House Judiciary Committee voted 12-7 to pass House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 1966.  While it has not yet been scheduled for further action, the House may take it ...

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Washington: Lawsuit Against I-1639 Proceeds After Motion To Dismiss Denied

On May 20th, the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington rejected a motion by the government defendants to dismiss the lawsuit filed by NRA and the SAF against Washington’s gun control ...

California: DOJ Submits Proposed Regulations Regarding Upcoming Ammunition Transfer Background Check Requirements to Office of Administrative Law

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

California: DOJ Submits Proposed Regulations Regarding Upcoming Ammunition Transfer Background Check Requirements to Office of Administrative Law

Beginning July 1, 2019, all ammunition transactions in the state of California will be subject to a background check requirement.  But in order to implement this requirement, the California Department of Justice (“DOJ”) must first ...

Kamala Harris and the News Media Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

News  

Friday, May 24, 2019

Kamala Harris and the News Media Don’t Know What They Don’t Know

By now gun owners have become accustomed to a certain measure of ignorance from anti-gun politicians and their lapdogs in the mainstream press on matters of firearms policy. It’s the flamboyant stridency of that ignorance that remains ...

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Out of Style: Levi’s Fawns Over Shannon Watts in Pantmaker’s Latest Gun Control Effort

At the National Retail Federation’s 2018 convention in New York City, Levi Strauss & Co. Brand President James Curleigh told those assembled that the multinational pants manufacturer intends to be the “most relevant lifestyle brand.” Evidently, part ...

New Federal Law Will Promote Target Range Development on Public Lands

News  

Friday, May 24, 2019

New Federal Law Will Promote Target Range Development on Public Lands

On May 10, President Trump signed the Target Practice and Marksmanship Training Support Act  into law. This NRA-backed law will help promote firearm safety and training and enjoyment of the shooting sports by freeing up more federal ...

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

News  

Hunting  

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Working Together to Save the Second Amendment Part II: State Success Stories

When I started with NRA in 1995, most of the attention our organization received was over legislative efforts in Congress. Firearm-related legislation at the federal level obviously has an impact on far more law-abiding gun ...

Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

News  

Friday, May 24, 2019

Democrats Now Opposed to Safe Neighborhoods?

Ever since taking control of the U.S. House of Representatives, Democrats have been waging an unprecedented assault on the Second Amendment. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Cali.), the caucus has been an entity in virtual ...

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Monday, May 20, 2019

California: Firearm Excise Tax Bill Fails to Meet Fiscal Deadline While Other Gun Control Bills Move Forward

Last week, the Assembly and Senate Appropriations Committees took up their respective suspense files ahead of the Friday, May 17, fiscal deadline. Some of the more egregious gun bills failed to meet the deadline including ...

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

News  

Friday, May 17, 2019

Trump Administration, Other Pro-Gun Heavyweights Lend Support on Pending Supreme Court Case

As NRA-ILA Executive Director Chris W. Cox reported in March, the U.S. Supreme Court has taken up a challenge by an NRA state affiliate to a New York City gun control scheme that effectively prohibits lawfully ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.