Statistics on school shootings in the United States in the year 2018 are quietly shocking the country: at least 14 shootings have already occurred this year. It is only the second day of February.
The outbreaks in violence have experts and civilians alike questioning how best to handle the increasingly dire situations.
"What is it that would make a child want to come to school with a gun?" said acting L.A. Unified Supt. Vivian Ekchian in the wake of a shooting at Sal Castro Middle School, which left two children wounded on Thursday morning, according to the LA Times. "We have to address these issues as a community."
Police have not yet identified the victims or the 12-year-old taken into custody following the Sal Castro incident. The shooting was the first to occur in the Los Angeles area in seven years.
Sal Castro middle school had occaisionally employed pat-downs and security checks.
"They do it every once in a while," said student Sabrina Colon. "They need to do it more often."
Other schools in the area, such as Gardena High School, have employed daily searches with wands after a 2011 incident.
Although searches are technically "random," critics of the policy note that non-white students are often victimized by the increased security measures. Critics also argue about the effectiveness of the policies, noting that of the 21 firearms confiscated on average each year between 2013 and 2017 in the L.A. area, only 1 was discovered by a metal detector.
“We have absolutely become numb to these kinds of shootings, and I think that will continue,” said former F.B.I. official Katherine W. Schweit, who has published a comprehensive study on active shooting incidents in the United States.
“Any time there’s a school shooting, it’s more gut-wrenching, and I think we have a tendency to react in a more visceral way,” Schweit continued. “But I really don’t think as a whole, in society, we’re taking shootings more seriously than we were before — and that’s wrong.”
“The news cycles are so short right now in America, and there’s a lot going on," echoed Shannon Watts, the founder of Moms Demand Action. “But you would think that shootings in American schools would be able to clear away some of that clutter.”
[Photo: Getty Images]