By Capt. Fogg
Oh goodie, we can stop obsessing about Ebola and the Ottawa shooting and renew the obsessive hysteria about school violence until something else happens. Of course something else is happening constantly, but there's no money in discussing it when you compare it to the blockbuster ratings-boost from red-eyed, glued-to-the-tube, round-the-clock repetition of the same damned video clips under the rubric of "Breaking News!"
I suppose there will be little or no comment on the likelihood that the massive coverage will produce copy-cat incidents of suicide-by-shooting-spree and the usual refusal to attempt perspective by noting that such things seem to clump but all in all have been declining significantly -- over 50% -- for more than 20 years.
It's more profitable to claim that schools aren't safe, although impartial statistics seem to show it's more dangerous at home and that any one American school can expect to have a gun or explosives incident only about once in 12,800 years. People are demonstrably terrible at assessing risk and news providers get rich by helping them panic while other institutions of reform and anti-reform distract and misinform to promote their programs, all of them so convinced of their rightness and righteousness, truth can be damned as an obstruction and lies praised as noble.
(Cross-posted at Human Voices.)