These are the 18 school shootings that have already happened in 2018
There have been plenty of mass shootings before, and with each death toll comes the usual platitudes of 'thoughts and prayers' issued by politicians to the victims' families, with no changes to gun control laws to prevent massacres like this from happening again. In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, in which 17 people were killed, there has been one stunning statistic that has been publicised: this was the 17th school shooting of 2018.
This statistic, from the nonprofit group Everytown for Gun Safety, has been questioned by some. Their definition of a school shooting is defined as "any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds,” pointing out the obvious dangers of this occurring.
So what were the eighteen school shootings that already taken place this year?
1. Jan. 4 - Seattle, Washington
At New Start High School, shots were fired into an administrative office, sending the school into lockdown. The office was occupied at the time, but thankfully no one was injured. One round entered through the window and into a cabinet, and the shooter was never identified.
2. Jan. 10, 2018 - Denison, Texas
A criminal justice club advisor was showing students how to use a computerized firearms simulator at Greyson College when the event took place. He placed his gun in an unlocked box and it was found by a student. Believing it wasn't loaded, they discharged the weapon, shooting through one wall, across a room and out a window.
3. Jan. 10, 2018 - San Bernadino, California
It was reported that several gunshots came through a window at California State University, sending the building into an immediate lockdown. Thankfully, no injuries were reported, but no suspects were ever apprehended.
4. Jan. 10, 2018 - Sierra Vista, Arizona
The Coronado Elementary School was put into lockdown when an active shooter was reported. It was later revealed that a 14-year-old student had shot himself in the bathroom, using a gun that belonged to one of his family members.
5. Jan. 15, 2018 - Marshall, Texas
Gunshots were fired from a vehicle in the parking lot of a dormitory at Wiley College. The bullet entered through a window into a student's room, but no one was injured.
6. Jan. 20, 2018 – Winston-Salem, NC
A 21-year-old football player was shot and critically injured at a party at Wake Forest University. He later died of his wounds in hospital.
7. Jan. 22, 2018 – Gentilly, Louisiana
An unknown person in a pickup truck drove past The NET Charter High School and fired shots at students in the campus parking lot. The school was temporarily placed into lockdown, and two students were arrested for the incident. One 14-year-old boy was injured during the shooting.
8. Jan. 22, 2018 – Italy, Texas
16-year-old at Italy High School opened fire in a school cafeteria with a semi-automatic handgun. He wounded a fellow student. One student remarked that she had already reported incidents with the suspect on two occasions before.
9. Jan. 23, 2018 - Benton, Kentucky
A 15-year-old student brought a handgun to Marshall County High School and opened fire in the atrium, killing two and injuring 18 others. He was charged with two counts of murder and 12 counts of first degree assault.
10. Jan. 25, 2018 - Mobile, Alabama
An argument between two 16-year-olds escalated when one pulled out a handgun at Murphy High School. He fled from school administrators trying to calm him, firing five times during the incident.
11. Jan. 26, 2018 - Dearborn, Michigan
Two individuals got into a fight at a basketball game at Dearborn High School. After they were apprehended and taken to the parking lot, a car drove up to one of the culprits and fired three to four gunshots before driving away.
12. Jan. 31, 2018 – Philadelphia, PA
A 32-year-old man was shot and killed outside of Lincoln High School during a basketball game. At least three different weapons were discharged during a fight.
13. Feb. 1, 2018 - Los Angeles, California
A 12-year-old student at Salvador B. Castro Middle School brought a semi-automatic rifle to the school, but didn't fire it on purpose. The gun accidentally fired when she dropped her bag, with four students injured by the misfire.
It's unclear why she brought the gun to the school, but was seen crying and repeating "I didn't mean it" afterwards. One victim, a 15-year-old boy, received a gunshot wound to the head, but thankfully survived.
14. Feb. 5, 2018 - Maplewood, MN
A third-grader at Harmony Learning Center pressed the trigger on a school liaison officer's gun. Despite being outfitted with a trigger guard, it discharged and fired at the floor.
15. Feb. 5, 2018 – Oxon Hill, Maryland
A junior at Oxon Hill High School was shot twice in a school parking lot during an attempted robbery. The 17-year-old thankfully recovered.
16. Feb. 8, 2018 - Longwood, New York City
A 17-year-old fired a gun in a classroom at Metropolitan High School. Police took the student into custody and no injuries were reported.
17. Feb. 14, 2018 - Parkland, Florida
A former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School opened fire using an AR-15 semi-automatic rifle he bought legally, killing 17 people and injuring 15 others. The gunman, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, was arrested and charged shortly afterwards.
18. Feb. 28 - Dalton, Georgia
It just goes to show how frequent gun incidents are in the US that I had to add another entry to this list before I finished writing it. A teacher at Dalton High School barricaded himself inside a classroom with a gun after firing it several times. He was taken into custody after a 45-minute standoff with police.
The Florida shooting is clearly the worst example on this list, which is the reason why it has become such a major news story in recent times. However, the mere act of a firearm going off in a school setting is a scary thought, given how we expect these institutions to be a safe space where our children can learn and grow in peace.