It's December, and soon we will mark the one-year anniversary of the tragic school shooting at Newtown, Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School. But first we must deal with another school on lockdown, another school shooter situation. Scott High School in Toledo, Ohio has been closed for the day after a 14-year-old student with a gun was taken into custody by police.
No one was hurt. A young boy is under arrest. The "gun," it seems, was "just" a pellet gun.
In 2013, less than two weeks away from the anniversary of the Newtown tragedy, this is what we consider a win in America?
I'm relieved no one was hurt, but I'd much prefer nothing had happened at all. The words "gun" and "school" being used in the same sentence still send a chill down my spine. I'm a mother. I have a child in a school.
But incidents like that at Scott today are becoming increasingly commonplace. I looked at the front page of Google News shortly after reports started coming out of Toledo, and news that a student had barricaded himself in a room with a gun hadn't been able to kick the train derailment in New York out of the top spot. It's news, but "student gunman" has become a word used so often that it no longer has quite the same impact on us as it once did.
We're sad, frustrated, angry, scared, and yet ... it has become a piece of the American landscape.
There is no exact count of how many school shootings or school gun incidents there have been since Newtown, but here are some startling statistics for you:
1. In January 2013, alone, there were 45 incidents in American schools in which schoolchildren were found to be in possession of guns.
2. According to CDC's School Associated Violent Death Study, between 14 and 34 school-aged children are victims of homicide on school grounds on their way to and from school -- every year.
3. In 80 percent of school-associated firearm-related homicides and suicides, the weapons used were obtained from the home or from a friend or relative.
When will it end?
What is the first thing that goes through your mind when you hear school and gun?
Image via alamosbasement/Flickr