Stolen family guns used by young school shooters. Guns kill most children & teens in U.S. Authors studied 253 K-12 school shootings from 1990-2016.

An examination of various studies indicates that most adolescent school shooters obtain their firearms from their homes or the homes of relatives. This article further explores these findings and the need for more stringent storage rules.

Reports of school shootings have unfortunately become quite familiar in recent times. As per several studies, the common denominator among most adolescent school shooters is the source of their weapons. In a high percentage of instances, these youths had access to guns from their own homes or those belonging to relatives.

This disturbing trend underlines the critical need for stricter firearm storage policies. Evidently, parents and guardians need to be more vigilant in keeping weapons out of reach of children, particularly troubled adolescents who may resort to violence.

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Among these studies, one conducted by the Academy of Pediatrics lays bare some worrisome data. According to this research, in over two-thirds of multiple victim school shootings, the perpetrator got the weapons from a relative's house.

Stolen family guns used by young school shooters. Guns kill most children & teens in U.S. Authors studied 253 K-12 school shootings from 1990-2016. ImageAlt

Now, let's dig a bit deeper into this troubling issue. It’s not only about adolescents gaining easy access to firearms, the data also illustrates that these individuals often display various concerning behaviors or have had a troubling past.

Behavioral Patterns of Shooters

Before the incidents, many of these young shooters exhibited signs of depression and even suicidal tendencies. In several cases, these children also displayed instances of bullying or rejection from peers.

This does not excuse their actions, but it does emphasize the importance of early identification of such behaviors. If correctly identified and addressed, these situations could likely be averted.

These incidents aren't instant reactions to feelings of resentment. Typically, these actions are a result of continuous negative experiences coupled with the availability of firearms to these minors.

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Most of the adolescents involved in these shootings had no criminal records before their actions. However, many exhibited social, emotional, and academic issues.

Firearms and Schools

The question of why firearms are so readily available to young shooters is a pressing one. Remember, most guns used in such incidents are not stolen, but are rather accessed from within the home.

This grim reality points out the need for lawmakers to focus on this aspect of gun control. Parental negligence, in terms of weapon storage and accessibility, plays a massive role in these preventable tragedies.

The recommendations of the Academy of Pediatrics make it clear: firearms should not be accessible to children. For safety measures to be effective, they must insist on the importance of the storage and locking of firearms.

The statistics following these recommendations show a significant decrease in both accidental shootings and firearm suicides among the youth. The data clearly establishes a link between accessible firearms and an increased risk of school shootings.

Possible Solutions

Improved firearm storage can certainly help, but it is not the sole solution. It’s crucial that educators and parents be trained to identify potentially harmful behavioral patterns in their students and kids.

Professional guidance and intervention are often required in such issues. Therapeutic support, counseling, and even medication, when necessary, can potentially prevent such tragedies and also help these children out of their struggles.

Further, schools and institutions should actively work towards setting up anti-bullying campaigns which can help to promote a positive environment for students.

This issue is complex and multifaceted. It is critical to tackle it at various levels - individual, family, school, and societal.


While school shootings are undeniably a major issue, it’s not an insurmountable one. Addressing the various aspects associated with it, such as appropriate firearm storage and improving mental health support for students, can lead us towards a solution.

The information gathered so far underscores the necessity for changes to be rapidly implemented, particularly in regards to firearm accessibility and mental health awareness among parents, educators, and children themselves.

It's equally essential to disseminate this information amongst the public, urging them to take cognizance of the issue at hand, and pushing for necessary policy changes.

We must remember that every step towards a solution helps to potentially save a life, to prevent a family from experiencing unimaginable grief, and to maintain the sanctity of our educational institutions.