6,000 expelled for taking guns to school

The raw figures are terrifying enough. More than 6,000 American children were expelled last year for bringing guns or explosives to school, and 10 per cent of schools reported serious violent crimes. In Britain in 1995, 19 children under 19 died as a result of gunshot wounds. In Canada, it was 153; in Japan, none. In the US , the figure was 5,285.

But what is still more terrifying is that following the school deaths in Oregon, just as after the shootings in Jonesboro, Arkansas and all the others, the warnings and the demands for action will go unheard. "We have a very serious problem. It's an epidemic of gun violence in America's schools and we have to do the responsible thing," says Bob Walker, of Handgun Control Inc, a lobby group that is fighting to limit the ownership of small arms. "Every American has a responsibility to keep guns out of the hands of children," he told CNN on Thursday night.

Yet when the President made a speech yesterday, what was the great threat he identified? Biological weapons. The US is to increase its stocks of antidotes to anthrax and so on; the menace of guns will continue.

Everyone knows a Kip Kinkel at school - weird, maladjusted, a bit dangerous. He was voted the child "most likely to start World War III" by his classmates. One said that "he would, like, torture animals and stuff, and tell us about it." But in Britain, the worst those kids can do is small beer indeed. They can't get hold of a semi-automatic rifle and spray their classmates with bullets.

In the US, the Constitution - written 200 years ago, when America was a frontier society, when guns meant single-shot muzzle loaders - protects the right to bear arms. And a significant part of American mythology is based around that right, the need to get mad and to get even through the great equaliser.

When a poll for CNN asked Americans who they blamed for tragedies like that in Oregon,28 per cent blamed the parents. Mr and Mrs Kinkel, it seems, were the first casualties of their son's black, irrepressible fury early on Thursday morning in the district they called Shangri La. Then he put on his coat and headed out with a rifle under his arm and a pistol in his holster, with the US Constitution right behind him.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Tradewind Recruitment: Geography Teacher

£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: On behalf of a successful academy i...

Investigo: Finance Business Partner

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Investigo: My client, a global leader in providing ...

Austen Lloyd: Commercial Property Solicitor - West London

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: WEST LONDON - An excellent new opportunity wit...

Recruitment Genius: Florist Shop Manager

£8 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: A Florist Shop Manager is required to m...

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project