What Journalists Should Know About School Shootings And Guns

 

 

 

” In the coming days, journalists will have to provide clear-eyed context to help the nation come to terms with the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Without question this incident will once again spark heated debates over gun-control and school safety. Let’s step back to see what we need to know to cover those stories.

Schools are safe.  After days like this, it can be hard to remember that schools are usually the safest place for a child. School violence has been in a steep decline since 1990.

But even after the mass murder in Aurora, Colorado, and even after the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, there was no increase in support for gun restrictions. Right after that shooting, Gallup found that Americans resist gun control mostly because they do not trust the government.

Gallup said, “Almost half of Americans say they perceive the federal government to be an ‘immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens,’ and this percentage is up in recent years.”

Look at this trend described by Gallup, which has been asking about gun control for years: “