For nearly 20 years, a school shooting has occurred every March somewhere in the U.S. 

Then COVID-19 struck. 

A reporter with the Washington Post was the first to report that none occurred in March, and several news outlets followed. Some could argue it’s because schools were forced to close and shift to online classrooms. Others could say it’s because school shooters have something else to worry about besides the bullying they’d been experiencing at school. After all, this “invisible enemy” is highly contagious and reportedly able to catch a ride on our shoes to continue its community spread. It can also survive in the air for three hours and infect people up to 13 feet away, according to a recent study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  

But one reason seems abundantly clear to Second Amendment supporters: guns don’t kill people; people kill people. 

“Almost like it’s the people and not the guns,” one supporter wrote in a comment on the Washington Post reporter’s Twitter post about the lack of school shootings in March.  

Another supporter pointed out, “It happened to coincide with record gun sales across the nation. It’s almost as if guns aren’t the problem, bad people intent on causing harm are.” 

The supporter is correct: there has been a record increase in gun sales. The FBI reported that more than 3.7 million background checks had been conducted for gun purchases in March. 

In fact, so many people are wanting to purchase a firearm for home defense that gun dealers are now allowed to set up tables in parking lots and sell firearms, in part, to meet the CDC’s social distancing requirement and President Donald Trump’s and Gov. Greg Abbott’s orders to limit gatherings to no more than 10 people. 

Of course, some news reporters who may be liberal were quick to point out that research shows being armed for home defense doesn’t necessarily correlate to stopping a home invasion. The Hill quoted research from a Harvard Public Health professor in an April 11 report that pointed out: “[T]he evidence is overwhelming that a gun in the home increases the likelihood not only that a household member will be shot accidentally, but also that someone in the home will die in a suicide or homicide.”

While this fact may be true among the study group, it’s also true that a majority of gun owners in America are responsible and keep their guns locked up and away from children. And as anyone who grew up in a Southern household with guns readily available can tell you, the dangers of picking up a gun are well understood at a very young age. 

In fact, 95 percent of gun owners believe talking to your children about gun safety is essential, according to a June 22, 2017 Pew Research report

Advocates for stricter gun control were quick to comment with counter arguments otherwise known as “clarifications” to the Second Amendment supporters’ posts on Twitter.

“100 percent of gun-related deaths from schools are from guns,” one user wrote. 

“Sadly, there were 25 mass shootings last month,” another pointed out. “They just didn’t happen at school.”  

The rest of the comments quickly descended into the toxic soup of disagreement and Trump bashing.

But there are two gun control issues that Pew Research indicates both conservatives and liberals can agree upon:  “Around nine-in-ten Republicans and Republican-leaning independents (92%) and Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents (91%) say they favor preventing people with mental illnesses from buying guns. And large majorities of both Democrats (93%) and Republicans (82%) favor background checks for private gun sales and sales at gun shows.” 

Christian McPhate

Christian has been working as a freelance journalist in North Texas for more than a decade. His stories have appeared in the Dallas Observer, the Houston Press, and Rolling Stone magazine. He covers a...