Can we stop calling everything a school shooting?

This past week, a teacher shot himself at a high school in Lithia Springs, Georgia. It is not known if this was an accident or self-inflicted, however, the teacher is reportedly in stable condition. As tragic as this is, a number of news outlets referred to the incident as a ‘school shooting’.

This also happened back in April when a man went to a school in San Bernardino, California, shot his wife and himself in a murder-suicide. Unfortunately, one of his bullets also killed a young student of the school.

Again, while tragic, it wasn’t a school shooting. Neither are shootings that take place in the school parking lot after hours, gang related shootings near a school that don’t involve a student, cases of workplace violence, nor a shooting which takes place at a school sporting event.

I know I’m arguing semantics, and probably being a little bit pedantic, but a school shooting is when a student, or outsider, enters the school grounds armed, in hopes of killing as many people as possible.

With headlines like these it lends credence to misleading statistics like those put out by Everytown for Gun Safety. Most damaging though, is when you call everything a school shooting, then nothing is a school shooting, and we become numb to actual school shootings when they do happen.

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