The tragic school shooting at Santa Fe High School in Texas gave birth to some damning statistics: 2018 has been more fatal for school going children in the United States than military personnel.
The recent school shooting was the country’s 22nd in 2018, initially reported to have claimed 8 lives. (The number has since risen to 10.)
Data shows even after excluding non-student deaths, for example teachers on campus, the number is still significantly higher than military combat and non-combat deaths combined.
These are shocking statistics.
The number of military casualties had been higher than fatalities during school shootings all through 2017, according to data collected by The Washington Post.
School shootings in 2018 alone have claimed 31 lives.
On the other hand, according to data released by the Defense Department, 13 military casualties have occurred in 2018, including a crash in Iraq that resulted in seven casualties. Three of these deaths were not related to combat. A senior editor at the site Task & Purpose Jared Keller, however, revealed that the number of casualties released by the Department of Defense do not often paint the true picture.
“The DoD doesn’t always present a clear picture of accidental mishap-related deaths due to worries about operational security, hence the trouble with [Public Affairs Office] releases,” Keller wrote in an email. “Back in March 2017, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis even cautioned public affairs officials across the military to ‘be cautious about publicly telegraphing readiness shortfalls’ because ‘communicating that we are broken or not ready to fight invites miscalculation,’ as his spokesman put it at the time.”
After revising the figures, including other casualties reported by the Navy and the Marines and total deaths from Santa Fe, school shootings have claimed 31 lives to 29 of military casualties.
Even though around 50 million students attend public elementary and high schools compared to 1.3 million of armed forces, the comparison does not suggest combat zones safer than schools but the number of deaths during school shootings is astronomically higher than any previous year.
The number of school shootings and deaths is higher in 2018 than any year since 2000.
This year has already claimed three times more lives than the previous deadliest year of 2005 through May.
In fact, all through 2000 to 2017, school shootings resulted in 36 deaths which is only a little higher than the casualties already in 2018. And it’s only May.
Thumbnail/ Banner Credits: REUTERS/Trish Badger