The left has locked onto a stat that 18 school shootings have happened this year. This is FAKE NEWS that needs to be shut down. Bernie Sanders and others referred to this statistic right after the Parkland mass shooting.
Anti-gun groups included in the statistics a suicide at a school in Michigan that had been closed. This fake statistic trivializes the horrific crime that happened at Parkland or any other TRUE school shooting.
“EVERYTOWN FOR GUN SAFETY” TRIES TO HIJACK THE NARRATIVE:
Everytown for Gun Safety, the Michael Bloomberg–backed anti-gun group founded after the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, was the original source for that particular statistic. The group’s initial tweet claiming that the attack at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School was the 18th school shooting in 2018 has now been retweeted more than 1,200 times:
This is the 18th school shooting in the U.S. in 2018. https://t.co/YdPLz4zuOS
— Everytown (@Everytown) February 14, 2018
The group defines a school shooting is “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds.”
ACCIDENTAL GUN DISCHARGES AND SUICIDES AREN’T “SCHOOL SHOOTINGS”
It turns out that Everytown’s database turns up ridiculous examples that ARE NOT school shootings:
On January 10, “gunshots, which most likely originated off-campus, hit a window of the visual arts building at California State University, San Bernardino. Classes were immediately canceled as the university went into lockdown, though a police search failed to turn up any shooter on campus.” On February 5, in a suburb of Minneapolis, “a school liaison officer was sitting on a bench talking with some students when a third-grader pressed the trigger on the officer’s holstered weapon, causing it to fire and strike the floor.” Those were no doubt terrifying incidents for the people involved, and they may even have policy implications, but they are not what anyone thinks of when they hear the phrase “school shootings.”
But the media and several prominent politicians, such as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), eagerly regurgitated the context-free statistic in the aftermath of the shooting in Florida, apparently without stopping to wonder why they hadn’t heard about the other 17 school shootings that supposedly had happened since January 1.
This isn’t just an embarrassing case of confirmation bias. Spreading such misleading statistics affects how Americans—from ordinary working people to elected officials—understand and cope with these terrible incidents.