Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Guns in Schools, and on the Streets. Some Stiatistics

At a time when having armed individuals in schools is a subject of active discussion, some statistics that may be of interest...

Only about a quarter (27%) of all officers say they have ever fired their service weapon while on the job, according to a separate Pew Research Center survey conducted by the National Police Research Platform.
This is far higher than the actual statistics reported in NY City in 2011 when only 82 officers of the total of nearly 35,000 had officially discharged their weapon. If this was repeated over a 30 year career, we would arrive at only about 7% having fired their weapons in a career.

The Pew survey was conducted May 19-Aug. 14, 2016 That means that most officers have never discharged their weapon in the line of duty in their lives. Male officers are almost three times as likely to fire as women, veterans are far more likely to fire their weapons than non-veterans, and whites are almost fifty percent more likely than blacks.

Police officers, whether they have fired their weapon or not, say that the country has made the changes needed to give blacks equal rights. 79-85%.

More important for a school shooting issue, a Rand study of New York City police dept shows that accuracy of officer discharges is 18%... more than four out of five shots do NOT hit the target. Imagine the other four out of five shots in a hallway filled with students.

If the target is not firing back (unarmed, under-armed???) their accuracy increases to 30% (2006 study)

The study includes an anecdote of an event in Sept of 2013 when several police opened fired on a man "walking erratically" (who knew that was a crime in NY) who reached into his pocket (as if for a firearm).. Three shots were fired, none hit the target. A 54 year old woman was hit in the knee, and a 35 year old woman was treated to a new dimple in her buttocks.

Some studies around 2006 suggest police accuracy overall in the country was around 20%, similar to the above results for later years.
In terms of school impacts, officers or teachers are likely to have approximately the same experience of shooting at a human target (literally none) and if we presume the teachers are no better or worse than the police officers, every gun in a school is likely to have more injuries to students than the intended targets.

It seems that the record of guns in homes is that the most likely victim is someone in the household, and the Third grader who recently stuck his finger into the holster of a seated police officer visiting the class and discharged his firearm, reminds us that the same may be true of guns in the classroom.

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