Empirical Databases of
American School Shootings
Excel Spreadsheets with 125 Columns
Empirical Databases of
American School Shootings
Excel Spreadsheets with 125 Columns
Since August of 2009, I have documented shootings at American institutions of learning and have constructed an Excel spreadsheet with 125 columns that documents 1,840+ on-campus shootings or at school-sponsored events at American schools and colleges from 1840-2022. The years 2019-2022 are not complete. including 101 active shooter (when using the definition of 3 or less injured and/or killed) and 20 mass school shootings (four or more killed). When I learned that there wasn’t a comprehensive empirical database of school shootings when I was a junior in high school during coverage of the Columbine massacre, the stunning fact sparked my interest to construct the badly-needed database one day. Around 11 years after my junior year in high school, in August of 2009, is when I started my work.
To facilitate verification of the information in the database a huge bibliography of thousands of sources is also within the database which is by far the largest bibliography of any school shooting database project. I have recently added titles/headings for all the columns to make the database easier to read and to understand. I have also added new columns about the SRO/police response, whether the shooting occurred at a sporting event, or if a hostage situation happened and if the shooter/assailant(s) was a veteran.
To get a description of the database you can visit the American Thinker who published 'A Database to Prevent Gun Violence' on June 18th,2022 which showcases the database click the link below. Here is an except from the article: "The database has over 30 duplicate columns that offer a chance to tally statistics from the prespective columns. Not only that, but the duplicate columns offer context and detailed information about each column's subject. Columns offering context and specific details include the shooter's criminal history, how the shooter obtained the gun, if he was influenced by previous shooters, and whether he had a fascination with firearms and violence."
The database below covers all classifications of shootings that have occurred on-campus (or at school-sponsored events) at America's schools and includes all levels and types of education institutions. If it is a learning environment in America it is included. The database includes shootings at K-12 schools, colleges and universities, community colleges, specialty and vocational schools, military schools, bible and theological schools, preschools and even daycare centers (very few). There are 101 active shooter events in the database and 24 mass school shootings (4 or more killed).
These are the shootings that grab the headlines and are what is considered and thought of when you hear the term "school shooting."
The database includes fights (spontaneous and feuds) that resulted in a shooting, accidental shootings, suicides, gang-related disputes, police shootings, shootings that have nothing to do with the school other than the location, shootings arising from behavorial problems, drug-related diputes, terrorist acts, domestic disputes, stemming from rejection (or divorce), and many other types of shootings at America's schools. All the way to the right on the spreadsheet is a bibliography of thousands of sources (links) which is, by far, the largest bibliography of any school shooting database project.
When comparing the databases at www.schoolshootingdatabase.com to that of gun control groups like Everytown's Gunfire on School Grounds data, the government's K-12 School Shooting Database, gunviolencearchive.org, or from other database campaigns, such as the Washington Post database, Education Week's School Shooting Tracker, the National School Safety and Security Services' School Associated Violent Deaths and School Shootings (1999-2010), the National School Safety Center's Report on School-Associated Violent Deaths (1992-93 through 2009-10 school year) and columbine-angels.com, you will notice that the database here is the only database of shootings at U.S. schools which gives context and detailed information about the shootings. Although, several of the databases mentioned above served to be a foundational starting point and great stepping stones to create the database here, especially columbine-angels.com.
I've been through all other school shooting database projects mentioned above and they all conflate on-campus shooting incidents with shootings that happen off campus (sometimes more than a block away with one gun control advocacy group including a shooting occurring 13 blocks away from the school where the shooting supposedly happened in their database), BB gun incidents or add incidents where a gun was only brandished and not fired. If a gun was not fired and only brandished it shouldn't be classified as a shooting. Doing so is very misleading and is partly responsible for the confusion about the subject of school gun violence shootings.
I hope that this information makes a positive difference and adds to the growing field of knowledge and research about shootings occurring at American education institutions by providing accurate empirical data to confront, combat and understand the gun violence happening at U.S. schools. I am concerned about ONE THING! The kids and young adults affected by our ineptitude into understanding and solving the problem. We are talking about kids here and they deserve the best out of all of us.
But that is not what they are getting considering the partisan nature of the gun debate to nowhere and the lackadaisical, neglectful and anti-science academic approach from many academic researchers and especially activists regarding documenting school gun violence (in all of its forms). Both sides in the gun debate are frankly self-serving and explotative and the same can be said activist groups and most gun violence
The gun control-gun rights debate has been going on for several decades now with no end in sight as both sides profit off the violence due to fundraising, the selling T-shirts, the writing of books, etc... while the root causes of the shootings are ignored and the violence at American schools worsens.
I have no issue if a book or whatever is fact-based and truthful but most books about school shootings or school gun violence are not. See the 2-14-1883 shooting entry in the database here at the Ponca Creek School House in Florence, NE (in the Notes column) to see where a supposed school shooting "experts" incorrectly claim that an accidental shooting at a school in 1883 was a mass school shooting, "killing three." The shooting involved a snowball fight and a very dumb (but not malicious) choice by Lem Harbuagh to brandish and point a needlegun to scare the kids who he was engaged in the snowball fight with. No one died that day, as the article "Criminally Careless," which the authors themselves cite in their book, 'Mass Shootings: Media, Myths, and Realities,' clearly states but there were 3 students that were injured (with two having less serious wounds). The very detailed article 'Criminally Careless' gave the names of the injured students and even the path of the lone bullet fired that day. Harbaugh later apologized and felt awful about it, To my knowledge a correction has never been made by the authors to correct the error.
Please excuse incomplete or missing data. I am the sole researcher of this project and the database is obviously very large. This work is NOT done in haste because I am very concerned about the information in the database being accurate so I take my time and to confirm the information is correct. I recently took a break from documenting school gun violence shooting incidents so 2020 thru the 2021-22 school year have very limited shootings incidents documented. I am still busy vetting shootings for the years 2020 thru 2021-22. l will have the database for those years updated soon.
It is important and vital that School Shooting Database is only used for the purpose to better understand or hopefully prevent shootings at schools.
By downloading the database you agree to the following terms: -All information must be acknowledged and cited appropriately. -Users agree not to sell, license, sub-license or otherwise distribute the database -Users agree to not use School Shooting Database for commercial purposes. Thank you for downloading School Shooting Database. Hopefully, this information assists in understanding all types of shootings occurring at American schools and colleges and makes a positive difference to prevent gun violence and other senseless violence.
If you do use School Shooting Database please give credit where credit is due. The sole and principal investigator/researcher of School Shooting Database is Eric Laurine
School Shooting Database is updated, modified and improved constantly as new information becomes available. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 740-317-2406 if a mistake is found, so it can be checked out and corrected.