This year has been deadlier for American students than US military members
By CHRIS SOMMERFELDT | New York Daily News (Tribune News Service) | Published: May 19, 2018
The frontlines of American warfare are now in America's classrooms.
More people have been murdered in schools so far this year than have been killed while serving in the U.S. military, according to statistics.
Accounting for the 10 people shot to death at a Houston-area high school Friday, 31 people – an overwhelming majority of whom were students – have been killed at schools since Jan. 1, according to data compiled by The Washington Post. Twenty-nine U.S. service members have been killed in the same time period, including both combat and noncombat deaths, according to the Pentagon.
Previous years, the numbers have typically been inverted, with service member casualties outnumbering student deaths by at least double, statistics show.
The number of individual school shootings is also much higher this year, with 16 deadly incidents across the country so far. Last year, there had been four fatal school shootings during the same period.
This year's harrowingly high student death toll is primarily due to Friday's shooting at Santa Fe High School and the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., which left 17 people dead.
Shannon Watts, the founder of gun control advocacy group Moms Demand, blamed the National Rifle Association for the uptick.
"Our children should not be on the front lines of this political battle," Watts told the New York Daily News. "We are allowing our children to be collateral damage because gun lobbyists are writing our laws."
The NRA, which funnels millions of dollars into the political process annually, has consistently opposed all gun control efforts brought before Congress this year.
Watts' organization, which endorses congressional candidates, said the only way to turn the tide is to vote out NRA-backed Republicans who block legislation she says could save lives.
"We need lawmakers who actually believe laws can make a difference," Watts added.
The NRA did not return a request for comment.
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