How many schools shootings have there been this year after latest massacre in Nashville?

2023 could be among worst years in recent memories for school violence

Josh Marcus
San Francisco
Wednesday 29 March 2023 19:59 BST
Nashville shooter owned seven firearms, police discover after school shooting

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The mass shooting on Monday at a Nashville Christian elementary school was the latest instance in America’s worsening gun violence epidemic.

According to a Washington Post database, there have been 17 school shootings this year.

Overall, in 2023, counting the Nashville shooting, there have been at least 39 incidents of gunfire on school grounds, resulting in 18 deaths, according to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, an advocacy group.

Only three months into the year, 2023 has already seen more gun deaths on school grounds than in past years like 2016, and appears set to eclipse totals from other years like 2020, 2017, and 2014.

Though most of the deadliest mass shooters are white, children of colour face the most disproportionate threats from school gun violence, according to the Post, with Hispanic kids two times more like to face gun violence, and Black students three times more likely than the average.

The school shootings are part of the overall onslaught of gun violence in America, where 130 mass shootings have occurred so far this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. That’s nearly one-and-a-half mass shootings per day.

Students, as well as local and national leaders alike, have called for stronger gun laws after the tragedy at the Covenant School in Nashville, which claimed the lives of three children and three adults on campus, as well as the gunman, who was shot by police.

"Keeping children safe is not political. It is the duty of each and every adult in this country," Alayna Mitchell, a high school student serving as part of the Metro Nashville Public Schools board, said at a school board meeting on Tuesday. “If you have the power to make change and instead sit back and remain complicit, do better.”

President Biden has called on Congress to do more to make schools safe from mass shootings by banning assault weapons.

“I have gone the full extent of my executive authority to do, on my own, anything about guns,” Mr Biden said after the shooting, adding that the legislative branch “needs to act” if the US is to have any new laws governing the availability of firearms, particularly the military-style rifles that have become the weapon of choice for mass shooters in recent years.

Some on the right, meanwhile, have said nothing can be done to stop such tragedies.

“We’re not gonna fix it,” Republicans Representative Tim Burchett of Tennessee said after the shooting. “Criminals are going to be criminals.”

Others, like Georgia Rep Marjorie Taylor Greene, have taken to spreading unfounded claims about trans people and violence after the shooting, part of a wave of bills and angry rhetoric on the right targeting trans people.

Many have called for increased security measures at schools to prevent future shootings.

As The Independent has reported, there’s little evidence more police officers at schools stops mass shootings from occuring; however, there’s detailed evidence suggesting school police single out children of colour for punishment.

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