Public health officials and some parents are worried that a string of recent school shootings, including one in Florida, are driving parents to think twice about their kids’ exposure to guns and other dangerous weapons.
Public health experts said Monday that there are many factors that may contribute to the increased fear of gun violence, including: 1) the increasing number of shootings; 2) the growing number of gun-related deaths; and 3) the rise in school shootings.
Public Health Chief Dr. Michael Hausman, the nation’s leading public health official, told the AP in a phone interview that public health experts believe there are three major factors at work in the recent spate of school shootings: 1.
Parents and educators are more concerned about guns than the general population; 2.
Many parents have little experience with firearms and fear having their kids exposed to firearms; and, 3.
School shootings have been associated with a spike in violent crime in recent years.
Hausmen said he does not know if there is a causal relationship between school shootings and gun violence.
He said he was surprised to hear the AP’s report that parents are “more concerned about the issue of guns than other types of gun related incidents.”
Hausmann added that he believes the recent spike in school shooting deaths is a “direct result of the fact that school shootings are increasing.”
“These shootings are very much tied to the issue that we see with school shootings being more common and that’s that kids are more likely to be killed in these situations,” Hausmans said.
“So the increase in the number of school shooting fatalities has been directly tied to school shootings.”
HUSSON: I’ve seen no evidence that suggests that a higher proportion of children are being targeted for violence, especially when it’s the most popular school shooting.
HUSSA: This is not a trend that has been found in other parts of the country.
We’ve had other studies that have indicated that the incidence of violence at school shootings is decreasing.
It’s a trend we’ve seen for a number of years now.
HENSON: There is a significant increase in school killings.
That has a lot to do with the increase that has occurred in the amount of guns and the number that are being used, and also a lot of the people who are being killed.
HASSAN: The data, it’s just heartbreaking.
I can’t believe that there’s a mass shooting at my school.
And I’ve heard that the kids have been bullied and the teachers have been harassed.
I’ve had people say to me that it’s because we have guns in the schools.
We’re just a bunch of killers.
HINSON: The public health community is trying to work with families to better prepare their children to protect themselves and their classmates.
HANSAN: We are concerned about this issue, and the public health is working with us to understand this issue.
HOSON: We have to work together.
We need to talk to teachers about how to deal with the threats of a gun in the classroom.
HOSTILE: It’s hard to be a parent in a country where guns are a huge concern.
This is an issue that has gone on for a long time, and we have to understand that.
HANSON: We’re also working with other agencies and schools and communities to work on the issue.
I’m really concerned.
I feel like we have a lot more to do.
And it’s not just us.
I think we’re in this together.