According to an FBI study, knives – not guns – are the most commonly used weapons in school crime.
The Crime in Schools and Colleges study, which gathered data from about a third of the nation’s law enforcement agencies, showed that the most commonly used weapon in more than 558,000 campus-related crimes over the five-year span was a knife — not counting fists and feet, which accounted for most of the incidents.
The article at the Washington Post is actually pretty interesting, and avoids hysterics pretty much entirely. I would be really interested to get my hands on a copy of the study and the raw data as well; there are some interesting statistical tidbits.
The largest group arrested for crimes at school for which age was known was 13- to 15-year-olds, accounting for 38 percent of those arrested… More than half of all campus crimes involved acquaintances.
I find the first statistic somewhat surprising, actually; as I would have assumed that the age group that contained the most arrests would have been 16-18 year olds.
Some questions that the study raises with me are how many of the arrests were made due to technical violations of a “Zero-tolerance” policy, i.e. brining a butter knife to school.
The other expected response will be for some group to ask for knife control – because obviously the problem isn’t overcrowded schools, or poverty, but the fact that kids can get knives.
Updated: To include a link to the FBI’s Adobe file of the report here. I’m going to take a look at this over the weekend and do a post on Monday.