Over the last couple of years, the phrase “school shootings” has appeared in countless newspaper articles, website posts, and television news stories. None of that even touches on the pundit programs or opinion stories. It’s been part of a nearly infinite number of conversations and internet discussions.
Then, on Tuesday, a news story announced that for the first March since 2002, there were no school shootings.
The nationwide lockdown to stop the spread of COVID-19 has shuttered schools in nearly every state. And, perhaps not surprisingly, for the first time since 2002, last month was the first March without a school shooting in America, according to a data check by a Washington Post reporter.
This statistic is coupled with the fact that this past March also saw the second-highest gun sales in any month since 2000. With 1.9 million gun purchases in March 2020, many are blaming fears of social unrest sparked by the pandemic.
Leading gun control advocates celebrate reporter Robert Klemko’s findings, but they also fear that there may be a spike in shootings, once the lockdowns end, Common Dreams, a nonprofit social justice organization, writes.
However, it’s also important that people understand just what a school shooting actually is.
In many minds, the term “school shooting” conjures imagines of Parkland or Columbine. They picture a student with a gun stalking the halls, killing any and all who cross their path, all in some horrific quest to kill as many people as possible.
And, to be sure, that does qualify as a school shooting. It’s just not the totality of school shootings.
While politicians and activists are crowing about how upsetting that it took something like this to reach this “milestone,” all fail to note that school shootings are defined as pretty much any shooting within a school. That means a kid who snuck a gun in school, then negligently discharges it has committed a school shooting, despite never having hurt a living soul.
It doesn’t matter if that kid had the gun to protect himself from a bully or intended to commit wholesale slaughter. The definition doesn’t differentiate between the two.
In fact, the lone kid with a gun to potentially shoot one particular student is far more likely than the maniac trying to hit a “high score.” A lot more likely, as a matter of fact. Just look at the breakdowns some time of what is being counted as school shootings and you’ll see a lack of mass shootings on the list.
So yes, there aren’t any school shootings because there’s no school, but that doesn’t mean what a lot of people think it means. More importantly, it doesn’t mean what a lot of people want you to think it does.
Instead, they want you to believe that we have an epidemic of mass shootings, that they’re happening every single day and that the only thing that’s stopped them is a complete lockdown of our country, where our children aren’t going to school anymore. They want to try and leverage this into pushing for more gun control, despite millions of new gun owners who may have had to navigate the already byzantine process to exercise their Second Amendment rights.
Yes, this is an accurate statement of fact. There were no school shootings in March. There probably won’t be any in April.
But what they’re not telling you is just what that really means. It means no gang-motivated shootings. It means no scared kids taking Dad’s gun out of outright fear. It means no criminal activity on school property.
And yes, it means that on the off chance someone planned a school shooting for March, they didn’t do that either.
That’s all it means.