The enormous and deadly problems that result in school shootings must be addressed with an urgent response. While parents are accountable for the violent conduct of their children, so are local, state and federal governments in their responsibility to protect public safety. Data—even more than emotion and perceived need—must drive public policy. This means that the school shootings problem demands an operational definition. A foundation for data collection, reporting, policy and legislation is needed. Government alone will never effectively attack this problem. Parents, schools, faith communities and mental health professionals all are accountable. Let’s start with a formal common definition before we as a society react out of fear and anger and despair.