No one feels well when they hear about a mass shooting at a school. For a parent, it twists your stomach as you begin imagining what it must be like for the parents of children at that school. Then you think, “What if it was my kid?”
Now, imagine you’re reading up on the news and you see that there have been 11 school shootings this year. Once you get past wonder how you missed news on the other ten, you’re probably going to start wondering why it’s such a massive problem that we’ve had 11 school shootings in the first month of 2018.
Except, we haven’t.
Stephen Gutkowski at the Washington Free Beacon took a look at the claim and found it to be a load of bull.
That count, created by Everytown for Gun Safety, claims there have been 11 school shootings thus far in 2018. However, nearly all of the incidents included alongside the Marshall County shooting bear little or no resemblance to that shooting or other well-publicized school shootings, like those at Sandy Hook Elementary or Columbine High School. None of the other events included in the gun-control group’s count feature more than one injury, most featured no injuries at all, and one involved a BB gun being shot at a school bus window.
In its threat assessment on school shooters, developed in the wake of the Columbine shooting, the FBI sought to answer “why would a student bring a weapon to school and without any explicable reason open fire on fellow students and teachers?” Despite its clear focus on violence committed against students and faculty during school events, the assessment did not provide an official definition for what a school shooter or a school shooting is.
Everytown for Gun Safety uses its own definition based on what it said is “expert advice and common sense,” which the gun-control group claims is “straightforward, fair, and comprehensive.” The group said it counts “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds.”
This broad definition places two separate suicides, a January 9 incident where a man shot a BB gun at a bus window resulting in no injuries; a January 10 incident where a student in a criminal justice club accidentally shot a peace officer’s real gun at a target on a classroom wall instead of a training gun resulting in no injuries; a January 9 incident where gun shots were fired from somewhere outside of Cal State San Bernardino, which struck a building on campus without injuries; and other incidents next to the murder of a Winston-Salem State University student at a nightclub on the Wake Forest University campus, the January 22 shooting of a 15-year-old at a Dallas-area high school, and Tuesday’s Marshall County High School shooting which left 2 dead and 18 others injured.
In other words, they’re using the broadest definition possible, most likely so they can inflate the number of “school shootings” in order to invoke terror in parents. They’re trying to trick people into supporting new gun control measures by convincing them the problem is much larger than it actually is.
To call it disingenuous is too mild a term. Everytown for Gun Safety knows exactly what it’s doing. They know that what happened in Kentucky on Tuesday and a BB gun being shot at a school bus have almost no similarities. They know that it’s not justified to call it a school shooting when a stray bullet crosses onto school property. They know all of this.
They just don’t think anyone else will know it.
Of course, they’re also right. After all, the media parrots these numbers without any critical examination of the information itself. They’re content to simply regurgitate the data, cite who gave the data, and pretend that their job is done, but it’s not. There’s no effort to make sure the information is valid or relevant in any way, nor to frame it so the public has an understanding of just what the data means.
People hear there have been 11 school shootings this year, and they picture events like the what happened at Marshall County High School. They think that’s what’s being discussed here, and it’s not.
But Everytown is counting on ignorance to save the day.
It seems like every time a leftist group takes it upon themselves to “count” a certain type of shooting, they broaden the definition so far that the statistics become useless for anything other than pushing a narrative.
Then again, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?