California students create school shooting database

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Congress has been reluctant to approve more money for gun violence research, but two former postgraduate students in Monterey, California, did their own.

A new database with information on every school shooting in the last 50 years is now available to the public online.

David Riedman, a former student at the Naval Post Graduate School, put together the site while working on a project for the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

“We wanted to record every single time that a gun has been brandished, fired or a bullet hits school property for any reason regardless of the time of day or day of the week. When we got online and we were looking for information and looking through official databases, we couldn’t find a single source that provided us really comprehensive information about school shootings.”

Online, you can search by location. On the California peninsula, the most recent incident was a shooting at Seaside High School, when a criminal justice teacher discharged a gun in the classroom Even though no one was hurt in the shooting at Seaside High School, it’s still recorded in the database, which shows you the range of the website.

You can also search the site using the 16 different categories in the database; ranging from suicides to fights.

“What we found is that the majority of school shootings happen during disputes that escalate into a shooting,” Riedman said.

Riedman said he hopes the site will be useful to many, but sees it as a particularly good tool for school administrators building budgets and making plans for school security.

“If you look at school shootings and you see that many of them occur outside of the school building that might make you think twice about fortifying classrooms, so we just want people to have an information source to weigh their decisions against.”

You can view the School Shootings Database here.

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