I knew it wouldn’t take long, I just didn’t know what inflated statistic they would claim this time. Of course I’m referring to Everytown for Gun Safety. After the recent rare occurrence of two school shootings happening within a day of each other, the Italy High shooting and the Marshall County High shooting respectively, the gun control advocacy group came out with the claim that there have been 11 school shootings in the U.S. so far in 2018. To make matters worse, once again, the media has taken this number as gospel and has run with it.
Let’s look at Everytown’s past record. In 2014, they claimed 74 school shootings had happened since Sandy Hook. My estimate puts that number around nine. In the Fall of 2015, they claimed there had been 47 school shootings that year, while by my estimates there had only been one. In late 2016, they claimed there had been 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook. I only counted 17. Last year, they claimed a gun was discharged in a U.S. school at least once a week. At that point, I just threw my hands up in frustration at their hyperbole.
So why such a large discrepancy in numbers? It comes down to what their definition of a school shooting is. In my opinion, school shootings are typically when a student or outsider storms a school, armed with guns, with the express purpose of killing as many victims as possible. Everytown defines them in this way…
The list tracks “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds,” which could include suicides, accidental discharges, and criminal activity, such as gunfire related to an armed robbery.
So basically, any crime committed with a gun that just happens to be somewhat near a school.
So why is Everytown using such inflated statistics? Well, it’s my opinion they’re using exaggerated numbers in order to further their agenda, which of course is the stricter regulation of firearms in the U.S. Now whether you agree with their position or not doesn’t matter. What matters is their loose definition of a school shooting and questionable statistics are making the problem worse. If we believe that 200 school shootings have happened since Sandy Hook then we become further desensitized to the impact of such horrific crimes until they no longer have any impact on us. As the saying goes, “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.”
It’s almost like they’ve become the PETA of gun control.