Schools around the U.S. experienced 193 incidents of gunfire in the 2021-2022 academic year, doubling the previous year's total, says the anti-gun violence group Everytown For Gun Safety,. The previous year was unusually low because of COVID-19 closures. Everytown tracked data back to the 2013-2014 school year., USA Today reports. No other school year had more than 75 incidents of gunfire. The 2021-2022 incidents led to 59 deaths and 138 injuries. “We don’t have to live this way, our children and educators sure as hell shouldn’t die this way," said Shannon Watts of Moms Demand Action, part of the Everytown group.
Most shootings are perpetrated by a student or former student. Because of this, most shootings can be prevented just by keeping guns out of the hands of students, the report says. "The hopeful news is that, much of this gunfire, it is actually preventable," said the group's Sarah Burd-Sharps. Homicides, assaults, suicides and suicide attempts make up nearly 60 percent of gun violence at schools. Mass shootings, incidents of four or more people being shot, make up under one percent af all incidents, but account for a disproportionate number of deaths and injuries. The new federal Bipartisan Safer Communities Act includes funding for mental health services for families and schools. Easy access to guns at home is one of the biggest factors leading to shootings. Securely storing guns at home is one of the simplest ways to prevent students from bringing them to school. At least 5.4 million children lived in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded firearm in 2021, the group says.