WASHINGTON (CNN) – In the wake of several school shootings, President Obama calls on the nation to do some “soul searching.” However, are school shootings simply part of normal life in the United States?
On May 23rd, a man kills 3 with a knife, shoots and kills 3 more, and wounds 13 near a college campus in Santa Barbara.
A grieving father makes an emotional plea. “When will enough people say stop this madness, we don’t have to live like this. Too many have died. We should say to ourselves, not one more,” said Richard Martinez, the father of shooting victim Christopher Martinez.
Yet, in less than three weeks, 2 more school shootings in the U.S. and 3 more dead. Since December 2012, when 20 children and 6 adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, there have been 15 incidents.
That’s an average of 1 every five weeks; shootings on school property, or targeting students, teachers or administrators.
According to President Obama, “The country has to do some soul searching about this. This is becoming the norm. And we take it for granted in ways that as a parent are terrifying to me.”
One group reports 74 incidents of gun violence of all sorts at or around American schools or colleges since Newtown.
“What we see is that Newtown, which we once thought was an exception, is becoming the norm and I think that what we are understanding is that it could happen to anybody,” said John Feinblatt of Everytown for Gun Safety.
A recent report by a law enforcement training group found that the number of mass shootings in general, or “active shooter events,” increased from an average of about five a year prior to 2009 to 15 in 2013.
The FBI described the findings as part of the “growing evidence that citizens must have insight on how to respond.”
“The chances of them happening are very low in probability, however, they’re extremely high consequence; meaning if it does happen in your community, if it happens in any community, the consequences are very high – people, lives are lost, children are murdered,” said Terry Nichols of Alerrt.
That’s why you see training like this becoming more common teachers learning how to defend their classrooms. An on-going and growing sense of vulnerability possibly made worse by anguished, but seemingly futile demands of “not one more.”