School Shootings Databases

By O'Leary, Mick | Information Today, September 2018 | Go to article overview

School Shootings Databases


O'Leary, Mick, Information Today


SYNOPSIS

Five databases covering U.S. school shootings differ greatly on the definition of a school shooting, with widely varying results.

**********

Database of School Shootings; Gunfire on School Grounds in the United States; List of School Shootings in the United States; School Shootings, K-12; and America's Epidemic of Shootings at U.S. Schools

School shootings in the U.S. are, sadly, an ongoing phenomenon. They've become so commonplace that only the large-scale events--most recently, the Parkland, Fla., incident--receive widespread national news attention; other, smaller incidents may be covered only by local or regional media.

So, how many school shootings are there in the U.S. annually? Several school shootings databases keep track, but there's no single, commonly agreed upon number for shootings at K-12 schools. For example, for 2017, the last full calendar year, The Washington Post says 14, Everytown says 39, and Wikipedia says nine. How can these numbers vary so widely? The principal reason is the differing definitions of a school shooting. Is it during school hours or anytime? Is it in the building or anywhere on the campus? For example, if a shooting occurs on a weekend night at a school athletic field when no students are present, is it a school shooting or just a plain old shooting?

School shootings databases have other differences. Record content and details vary considerably. Time spans range from recent years to the 19th century. Some include shootings that occur in higher education institutions. Local media reports are the main source, but other sources include proprietary databases, police reports, school information, and contacts with schools and police.

The Washington Post's Database of School Shootings

The Washington Post began compiling its database of school shootings (washingtonpost.com/ graphics/2018/local/school-shootings-database) in 2017. Its coverage starts with the Columbine, Colo., incident on April 20, 1999, which marked the beginning of the "modern era" of school shootings. The database's school shooting definition is on the narrow side: "every act of gunfire at a primary or secondary school during school hours ... on campuses immediately before, during or just after classes," for a total of 14 in 2017.

Records for each incident are displayed in a scrolling list with summary data. Date, school, location, numbers of dead and wounded, number of students present in the school, description, and source link are all listed. This database is searchable by school name, date, and state. A downloadable spreadsheet has additional information, including time, shooting type, and school composition.

The database draws attention to an aspect of a school shooting that the other databases don't cover: the notion that all students in a school may be affected by a shooting event, regardless of its specific nature. It defines this as "exposed to gunfire," which is represented, roughly, by the school's student population. According to The Washington Post's count, 215,000 students have been affected since the Columbine shooting. This metric does a great service in pointing out that the harm from a shooting extends far beyond those who are killed or wounded. It simplifies the matter by recording just the school population, without attempting to assess the extent or nature of the harm inflicted, but that's a study for another day.

Everytown's Gunfire on School Grounds in the United States

School shootings are but one part of Everytown's research and activism program for gun safety. Formally titled Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund, this 501(c)(3) nonprofit is involved in many gun violence spheres, including domestic violence, gun trafficking and sales, suicide, and lobbying. In each area, Everytown conducts research and produces reports, fact sheets, and infographies. It is also active in gun safety litigation, with related documents and reports on its website. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

School Shootings Databases
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.