By Julian Heicklen

Published in the Centre Daily Times, March 26, 2001


On March 16, 2001, there were letters in you paper decrying gun violence in schools. To reduce this problem, Jane Richey suggested gun registration, while Harry W. Bubb suggested reintroducing school prayer. It is not clear to me how either of these suggestions will alleviate the problem.

Ms. Richey mentioned that in one year 5,228 children were killed by firearms. She failed to mention that most of these deaths involved gang and police shootings spawned by the war on drugs. The number of children under age 15 that were killed by guns in 1997 (the last year for which I have data) was 642, less than those killed in bicycle and drowning accidents. School shootings caused 15 child deaths in each of the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 school years, the same number that died in high-school football games in 1999. Football also maimed many more.

If protecting children is really our goal, efforts should be directed to eliminate swimming, bicycles, and football. Guns already are prohibited on school property.