Deseret News
Letter to the editor

I loved Marjorie Cortez’s March 24 article “Social media spurs action, but school shootings 'not a raging epidemic,' expert says.”

39 comments on this story

Finally, someone is trying to counterbalance media-fueled hysteria over school shootings. Maybe Ms. Cortez could explain to Serena Little (whose April 3 letter complained that nothing has been done to keep people like the Florida school shooter from getting AR-15s) that, had already-existing laws been enforced, the Florida shooter would not have been able to buy guns. Ms. Cortez’s article should also reassure Ms. Little’s grandchildren not to fear going to school, since they are twice as likely to be killed by lightning than die in a school massacre, despite what the mass media portrays. (There are 55 million K-12 students in the U.S. In the past 20 years, 79 of them have died in school massacres. That averages to four deaths a year. In the U.S. on average there are 50 lightning deaths a year. Seventeen percent of the population are K-12 students, which works out to just under nine deaths a year.) Yes, these massacres are tragic. But they are so rare that there is not enough real risk to justify the fear — as Ms. Cortez's article rightly points out.

Paul Smith

Cedar City