Guns

Most school shooters get their guns at home – and we buy more | Thursday morning coffee

Good Thursday morning, Researchers.

Nationwide arms sales increased during the pandemic, and continue to increase, with many of these weapons ending up in homes with adolescents, opening the door to tragedies like the school shooting in southeast Michigan this week that left four dead and seven injured.

Write for conversation, a trio of public health and gun safety experts note that four days before the attack, the father of the 15-year-old involved in the attack bought the gun that would have been used in the rampage.

“Like experts on gun violence and gun injury prevention, we know that active shooting events in schools in the United States increased dramatically in the years leading up to the pandemic, ” Patrick carter and Marc A. Zimmerman, from University of Michigan, and Rebecca Sokol, from Detroit Wayne State University, writes in an analysis published this week.

Experts wink at the fact that school shootings, while extremely destructive and traumatic, represent a fraction of mass shootings which take place annually in the United States. But, they note, there is an inescapable truth: about half of all shootings are committed by current or former students, and in about three quarters of all cases, the weapon was obtained at home, or from a friend or relative.

A national survey of nearly 3,000 parents and their teenage children by the University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention that the researchers used to reach their conclusions had some telling takeaways.

To know that:

  • “10% of households with teenagers reported purchasing additional firearms between March and July 2020.
  • “Of this total,” about 3% were first-time buyers “, which means that” more adolescents were exposed to firearms at home, and also the number of firearms in households with of adolescents has increased ”.
  • And while “many gun owners take responsible care of their guns by keeping them locked, unloaded, and inaccessible to teenagers, access to unsecured guns remains the most important. contributor to gunshot wounds and death in adolescents. Our investigation indicated that amid the increase in gun purchases during COVID, more guns were kept unsecured in homes with adolescents. “

The researchers note that it is far too early to draw any conclusions from the Michigan shooting on “how the shooter obtained access to the gun recently purchased by his father.”

But, they write, “a clear action parents can take to help reduce the likelihood of future tragic school shootings and to keep their teens safe is to make sure all guns in the room are safe. house are secure, locked and unloaded, and out of the reach of teenagers.

(Photo via Getty Images / Colorado Newsline.)

Meanwhile, Michigan students, educators and Democratic officials are asking for more than the usual thoughts and prayers in the aftermath of the shooting, and are demanding action from policymakers, our sister site, Michigan Advance, reports.

“Ultimately, tragedies like these are always a shock, but, in another way, it’s not so shocking because we are facing an epidemic of gun violence in our country and our state.” , Megan dombrowski, a Wayne State University political science student who founded a campus chapter of the anti-gun violence group Students demand action, said in advance.

“A lot of people offer thoughts and prayers and say now is not the time to act” Dombrowski said to Advance. “But we don’t have time to wait for action.”

This action, Dombrowski said to Advance, would require Michigan state lawmakers and their federal counterparts to pass bills requiring gun owners to lock up guns in their homes, and Michigan lawmakers pass a bill that would disarm those convicted of domestic violence offenses, among other initiatives aimed at curbing gun violence which kills around 1,200 people every year in Michigan.

Solomon Jones, founder of ManUpPHL and host of radio WURD, said his group “has set out to collect data on the causes, effects and solutions around gun violence” (Philadelphia Tribune file photo).

It is also not a problem limited to Michigan. Like we reported earlier this weekin Philadelphia, local advocates have turned to black youth most directly affected by the city’s gun violence epidemic for solutions.

“We decided to collect data on the causes, effects and solutions around armed violence”, Solomon Jones, the managing director and founder of the rights group, ManUpPHL, told our partners at the Philadelphia Tribune last week, like his organization published a 27 page report on his “Listen to the streets“initiative.

There is a tragic irony here in the fact that the Michigan shooting occurred just over two weeks before the ninth anniversary of the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

A local section of the anti-gun violence group, Moms ask for action, scheduled a vigil at 6 p.m. on the steps of the Capitol on the evening of December 14 to remember those who died in the shooting, which took place on December 14, 2012.

As we have reported in the past, the Republican-controlled Pennsylvania General Assembly has rejected a number of common sense gun violence prevention measures in favor of bills that both allow people to get their hands on weapons and make it harder for municipalities to stem the carnage within their borders.

And three years after the murders at Pittsburgh’s Tree of Life synagogue that left 11 dead, the legislature offered a lot of platitudes – but no action.

Pennsylvania State Capitol. (Capital-Star photo by Cassie Miller.)

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What is happening
The office is clear. Enjoy the silence.

Wolfwatch
Governor Tom Wolf does not have a public schedule today.

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Free Thursday hockey link
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And now you are up to date.