The Weapon of Choice for School Violence

When it comes to school crime, it's not guns, it's knives.

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When it comes to school crime, it's not guns, it's knives. A report shows that students are about three times as likely to use a knife as a gun, according to an FBI study of crime at schools, colleges, and universities released this month.

Over the course of the five-year study, from 2000 through 2004, there were 10,970 incidents involving a blade, compared with 3,461 involving a gun. "I knew that knives were a weapon of choice, but I didn't know how significant that discrepancy was," says David Resch of the FBI.

While much of the national attention and policy talk centers on tragedies like those at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School, the numbers presented in this study suggest that smaller-scale crimes are the more important demographic. Officials warned against drawing hard conclusions from the numbers. The reports of violent incidents were voluntary, and the number of law enforcement agencies participating from year to year fluctuated.