Social Question

trumi's avatar

What is the largest city in the United States to have not experienced a school shooting in recent years?

Asked by trumi (6476points) June 11th, 2014

Obviously this question could have a plethora of variations, but I really don’t know where to start.

Since 9/11? Since Columbine?

I can say pretty confidently that my town hasn’t had one in my lifetime… But there are much bigger cities out there.

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28 Answers

funkdaddy's avatar

Well, here’s a list of school shootings

And a list of the largest cities by population


New York
Los Angeles

It looks like Phoenix is your, uh, winner?

johnpowell's avatar

There was one in Portland yesterday. Luckily it was twelve miles away from were my sisters twin daughters go to school.

This is insanity.

flip86's avatar

Public school is a huge mistake. A one size fits all approach does not work. Some people cannot handle that environment. Some commit suicide, others shoot up the place.

ragingloli's avatar

according to, you had over 90 school shootings in the past 4 years alone.
We had 8 since 1913.
You are so special.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^There were no schools in Warsaw in the fall of 1939?

ragingloli's avatar

Though the most creative one is surely this:
42-year-old Walter Seifert attacked numerous students and adults with a flammenwerfer [flame thrower], killing eight students before murdering his last two victims, both female teachers, with a lance. He then swallowed E605, poisoning himself in a suicide attempt; he died the following day.

JLeslie's avatar

School shootings are certainly in a class by themselves, but I know what I have looked up gun violence in general you really need to look at it in relation to out population, because the US has over 300,000,000 people. A European country, Canada, Australia, have the population of one of our large states. The US still doesn’t fair well, but the number may not be as dramatic if you look at it as a ratio to total population.

@flip86 So, if all our students were in private schools you think there would be less shootings? Give me a break. Most of the westernerized world has public school, typically run by the central government, and fewer shootings.

@SecondHandStoke I’m with you on not using 1913 as the place to start in Germany and German occupied territory. I don’t care where they were when it happened, school or otherwise. I guess school shootings are typically done by other students, which maybe is more upsetting, I don’t know how people look at that. Sometimes it has been adults though. In Germany it was soldiers doing the deed in the period you are concerned with. It wasn’t some angry kid.

ragingloli's avatar

Then we had 5 in the last 14 years.
you had 90 in 4.
we have a population of 80 million, that is about ¼ of the US.
So, based on those numbers, our school-shooting rate is 0,357 per year.
Yours on the other hand, is 22,5.
To adjust for population difference, let us multiply our rate by 4, to 1.428.
Your school shooting rate is still 15,75 times ours.
Almost sixteen fucking times

JLeslie's avatar

@ragingloli I’m on your side that the rate in the US is too high. It doesn’t surprise me it is much higher than Germany and other western countries.

SecondHandStoke's avatar


School shootings are a mental health issue so my comparison to the Nazi’s is valid.

Hitler, like Charles Manson was an insane mass murderer that had others perform the actual killing.

Also, Germany’s rate isn’t also too high?

JLeslie's avatar

@SecondHandStoke In my opinion school shootings are a complex problem of mental health, cultural problems, and access to guns. I really feel strongly that bad life situations can greatly increase the chances of psychotic breaks. My paternal grandfather and his siblings had a lot of psychosis. Schizophrenia, severe depression, and they went through a horrific childhood and incredible stress well into their teens and a reasonable hard life as adults. None of their children or grandchildren are schizophrenic. It’s why I think it is I portant for children to grow up in safe, calm, respectful environments. I am not just talking about their household, I mean the community at larger. If a kid feels like going to school is like walking into a mental war zone it isn’t going to bode well. They will either turn the stress inwards and be depressed and possibly suicidal, or be very angry and turn that outwards and wn’t to harm others, or both.

DWW25921's avatar

Statistically, cities with the most liberal gun laws have less gun crimes.

Seek's avatar

Statistically, countries with more conservative gun laws have considerably less gun crime. May I return you to @ragingloli‘s lovely set of statistics, above.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@funkdaddy, back to the drawing board, Phoenix had a school shooting on January 31st of this year.

@flip86 I am really curious to hear how public schools are responsible for school shootings, especially considering the number that happen at colleges, including the second worst ever at Virginia Tech.

funkdaddy's avatar

@FlyingWolf – I guess it would come back to definitions, none of the people in that shooting were students at the school and it seems to have taken place outside of school hours, so I guess it didn’t make the list.

Honestly was just trying to get things rolling towards an answer to the question instead of the endless debate where no one is swayed.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@funkdaddy it feels like endless debate is about all these types of issues create, well that and lots of finger pointing. I think you make a great point.

flip86's avatar

@FlyingWolf Public schools are rife with bullying. Bullying is what causes these shootings. These students snap and shoot up the place. The Virginia tech guy was bullied and it drove him to do what he did.

@JLeslie I never said private schools. There should be alternative schools for students that have trouble fitting in, are getting bullied or cannot keep up with the curriculum. They should not be forced to endure torment day in and day out at these public schools.

JLeslie's avatar

@flip86 Well, we do have alternatives usually available. Depends partly on the size of the city. There usually is another school in the district, or private, or home school, or a charter school, but it is up to the kid to tell their parent life at school sucks and for the parent to take it seriously and do something. Often parents have no idea how tortured their child feels. Also, some school districs make changing schools difficult, some adults think kids should work through things, some parents cannot afford some of the other options available, it isn’t just as simple as alternatives being available. There are schools for children with fairly serious psychological problems, but most parents would want to avoid those schools, because they tend to have some pretty out of control kids in them. We had a school at the psych hospital I worked at, it was part of the county public system, so children who were hospitalized still kept up with their work. Everything had to be nailed down. I’m not talking about stealing, I mean in case they flipped out and wanted to throw a desk into a wall, that sort of thing. Most of the children were calm, good kids, who were troubled. Where I grew up kids who did not behave got moved to the last resort public school, probably a portion of the students were mentally ill.

The shooting in Colorado in Littleton, those two kids never would have been put in an alternative school I don’t think, except if they had communicated to an adult, especially their parents, that they were at their wits end and felt the urge to harm people.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@flip86 Cho, the Va. Tech. guy, might have been bullied during his youth. He had mental challenges. These did not occur from being bullied. Enhanced maybe, but not created. There is no documentation that I know of that he was bullied. There is plenty to support that classmates of all ages attempted to reach out to him because they recognized his talents and didn’t find him to be a threat. If you can provide documentation that states differently, I would love to see it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What are the gun laws in Germany, @ragingloli?

SecondHandStoke's avatar

^Better than any other nation’s of course.

JLeslie's avatar

LOL. Well, they learned the hard way.

Now it’s our turn. We are paying a pretty horrific price for not having better gun laws, better mental health care, and a country full of bullies and greed. When will be the tipping point?

muppetish's avatar

[mod says] This question has been relocated to Social with permission from the original poster.

Seek's avatar

Oh come on. Bullying is almost never a matter of record. Public schools do everything they can to avoid putting bullying on record.

Hell, I was a write-in candidate for class superlatives, category: “Person most likely to blow up the school”. Of course it was not added to the yearbook next to “Nicest Smile” and “Best Couple”. But I got more votes than the winner for “Most likely to succeed”, which is funny since it was a write in category.

If bullying does occur in schools, administration does everything they can to shut it up. The pretty, popular girls from the varsity volleyball team are not going to have something like “bullying” put on their permanent record because the backlash from the parents would be insane. Their perfect children are going to their alma maters and we can’t have a flaw on that record! But the poor kid whose parents have never been seen or heard from by the school? They can suck it up and if they skip gym class to spend time in the art room, we’ll just look the other way.

I got an A in gym. Never saw the gym after the second week of the semester.

FlyingWolf's avatar

@flip86 so you are arguing that the main cause of school shootings is bullying? In your mins does mental illness fit I there somewhere?

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Seek I’m not sure if you are directing the response at me or not, but I’m going to assume that it is. Sure, bullying happens. Yes, it often isn’t recorded because it isn’t witnessed or reported. It is also a matter of interpretation and rules. Both of my sisters are/were undergraduate school teachers, and based upon their stories, you might be amazed at what facts are documented, as well as communicated to the children’s parents.

The problem is tri-fold:
1.) Most parents do not appreciate hearing that their child has a problem. They go on the defense. It is a reflection upon them and their parenting skills.

2 We are dealing with a handful of children who are committing what is considered to be adult crimes; rape and mass killings just to name two. This is relatively new, so how should this be dealt with? Should laws be changed?

3.) Most importantly, the US school system is still dealing with regulations that are so out of whack that it is not surprising that some teachers fudge focus on their student’s grades versus their ability to move forward.

talljasperman's avatar

Nome Alaska. Hawaii.

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