Shootings: Schools vs. Churches

Shootings: Schools vs. Churches February 8, 2013

This graphic which came my way on Facebook seems to make an excellent point.

I was not able to confirm that the actual number of shootings in schools was 5, and it seems that that number may include institutions of higher education as well as elementary schools. Whether any religious schools are in that figure I am also not sure. But the stat for church shootings 115 in 2012 – is confirmed by Christianity Today.

There are two possible ways to interpret this.

One is that the alleged connection between removal of God on the one hand, and number of shootings on the other, is absolute hooey.

The other is that, while formal ritualized mention of God has ceased to be imposed in schools, childlike faith (and self-interested faith at exam time) continues to be present. And, conversely, while God continues to be made mention of in churches, God has actually been sidelined and removed by those who claim to be devoted to God.

Either way, there is a lesson for the conservative Christians who make claims about a connection between the two.



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  • Kaz

    What about the number of shootings in other places? If there were only 5 school shootings in the U.S. last year (seems implausible), then wouldn’t it at least potentially follow that our schools may be among the safest places in the nation vis a vis becoming a potential victim of gun violence?

  • john9999030326594598

    Has anyone researched what theses 115 churches all have in common? By any chance could these be the churches that maintain permanent employment of Toddler Touchers?

  • Robert Wesley

    Besides the two options listed it is possible for mutual causation to be in effect — that both are symptoms of the removing God from the schools

  • Baka no Kami

    There were more than 5 school shootings last year. A list of mass shootings for 2012 ( includes 4 that happened at a school and only 1 at a religious institution. The article linked to that confirms the 115 church shootings also states that only 63 of those shooting also involved a fatality.

    So it appears the graphic is unfairly comparing the total of all incidents involving guns at churches to just the school shootings that involved multiple deaths.

    • Thanks for pointing that out. I don’t think the graphic was trying to talk only about mass shootings. But either way, the article you linked to seems to have the matter in better perspective than those who blame shootings on the removal of prayer from schools: “The tragedies took place at perfectly random places—at churches, movie theatres, soccer tournaments, spas, courthouses and, now, an elementary school.”

  • m@m.m

    in my “town” there are 514 churches and 172 schools … and those are just my local statistics … 50 miles away form me there’s 2 schools and 8 church’s (a much smaller town then mine) … considering the greater numbers of churches to schools … this number is not that “fantastic” or “shocking”

    • adibese

      uhh… with your stats, it would be 15 shootings… to be equal. And man, that’s a lot of churches.

  • Scott Long

    That is actually my meme and I got the number of church shootings from a christian website. I may have just googled and counted the shootings for schools, but I’m pretty sure it’s close.

    • Robert Dubkum

      Runn’n a lil late. there, buddy, eh?

  • Thomas

    The claim of 115 ‘shootings’ is clearly false, completely upending the argument. The number (115) refers to TOTAL VIOLENT ATTACKS at churches (including 63 fatalities), not just shootings. There were certainly many more violent (but not gun related) attacks at schools all across America (including religious/ parochial schools and public/ private universities). This appears to be a straw-man claim but more research would be interesting.