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Free Minds & Free Markets

No, There Haven't Been 18 School Shootings This Year

It trivializes a brutal crime to inflate the count this way. Cut it out.

John McCall/TNS/NewscomJohn McCall/TNS/NewscomThe horrific shooting that left 17 dead at a Florida high school this week was not, in fact, the 18th such incident this year.

Wait—you might be thinking—I've seen that number reported everywhere in the past two days. On news broadcasts, on social media, in official statements from senators and mayors (and celebrities). At this moment it is literally the first Google News result for the number "18."

Indeed, that statistic has been everywhere. It is also, as The Washington Post reported Thursday evening, "flat wrong." Unless your definition of "school shooting" is broad enough to include suicides in school parking lots or accidental gun discharges that didn't harm anyone.

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. 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."

That is, of course, not what almost anyone means when they use the term "school shooting." It is foolish to group the Florida massacre with, say, a suicide in the parking lot of a Michigan school, especially when the Michigan school had been closed for months, but that's exactly what Everytown does. It's foolish, that is, unless your goal is to shock people with the biggest number possible. That might be what Everytown is trying to do, but such deception does nothing to help advance a discussion about stopping actual school shootings.

A quick review of Everytown's database turns up other outlandish examples. 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. It's similar to when Donald Trump falsely claimed that the American murder rate was at a 45-year high: Inflating the stats like that may have been politically expedient for Trump, but it didn't make it any easier to talk about how to craft policies to help those corners of America that really were seeing unusually high crime rates.

The media have a difficult, often thankless, task in the wake of high-profile crimes. Mistakes are bound to happen, and details are understandably difficult to come by in the first hours after a tragic incident. That's a reason to be more skeptical about seemingly shocking statistics, not less.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    One should never let a crisis go to waste, and if one must manufacture more crises so as to have more unwastable materials... well then.

  • John||

    How about we just have armed guards at schools? We have them at airports and tons of other places. If there had been someone there with a gun to shoot back, this guy likely wouldn't have killed so many people and might not have tried it at all. He didn't seem too interested in dying and immediately surrendered when the cops showed up.

  • sarcasmic||

    Armed guards as in a cop? You forget that one of the few things that can get a cop fired is putting their own safety at risk. If a cop at a school confronted a shooter they'd probably get fired for violating officer safety.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    No, armed guards as in soldiers.

    Soldiers are trained to obey orders without hesitation or question, and to kill upon command.

  • Trainer||

    Why, yes! That's a wonderful idea! Let's raise these kids up to think that having armed soldiers of the state everywhere is normal.

  • JesseAz||

    There are literally already soldiers in every state. They are called the National Guard.

  • Rossami||

    From that comment, it's pretty obvious you never served in the military. I wonder if you've ever even talked to a soldier.

    Mindless obedience is Hollywood. Real soldiers are expected to think and are required to disobey illegal orders.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Pretty sure posting soldiers at schools is unconstitutional.

  • JesseAz||

    Umm... how so?

  • Billy Bones||

    We had city police officers patrolling the halls of my HS...back in 1984. This is not a new idea. But hey, since we can't stop cops from shooting innocent citizens in their normal jobs, by all means let's put more of in with our kids. And did you miss the part in the article where a student discharged an officers weapon?

  • Trollificus||

    I wonder if such people have completely ignored the NUMEROUS reports of officers taking advantage of young women in such things as traffic stops and "arrest or...a little somethin' else, babe?" situations.

    Yes, cops at every entrance to every school in the nation!! (seriously advocated by some guy on TV who obviously cares way more about dead children than you do) I'm sure the cops would never view the schools as a big bag o' free "Tender Treats". Because OUR 15-19-year-old daughters don't have them urges!!

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Maybe one of the AZ schools can hire that SWAT LEO that got shit canned and put on trial for executing that guy at that motel in AZ. Her needs a job after his acquittal, and I'm sure he will do well with highly disciplined individuals like high school teens.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    John, if we learned anything, it is that more cops is bad, mmmkay? Cops are trigger happy fools, and many innocent kids might get shot by accident, because a cop thought he saw a gun.

  • See.More||

    Cop leaves gun in elementary school bathroom
    Off-duty Phoenix officer leaves gun at Hamilton High School
    Ind. officer leaves gun in school restroom
    Federal Agent shoots himself in classroom - "I'm the only one in this room professional enough, that I know of, to carry this Glock .40" Blam!

    And from the article...

    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."
  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    He most likely had to retire with full benefits after his negligent discharge due to PTSD. Being cop r hard.

  • See.More||

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I believe that reports said there was an armed guard at the school. So, the solution is to keep adding more until we're safe.

  • John||

    Let teachers arm themselves.

  • Trollificus||

    And if the police themselves then become a problem, we can hire mass shooters to reduce their numbers!

  • Shatterface||

    Isn't one of the 'shootings' above a cop's gun accidentally being discharged? How does putting more people who can't handle guns responsibly on campus help?

  • Rossami||

    We already have armed guards at many schools. For the most part, they make things worse, not better.

    On the other hand, there have been no reported adverse effects so far in the minority of school districts which are allowing teachers to go armed.

  • p3orion||

    Armed guards? How about we just end the ludicrous practice of declaring them all "gun-free zones" which merely serves to guarantee the safety of any shooter? If the Second Amendment rights of responsible adults were not summarily revoked on school property, it would restore in potential murderers' that chastening sense of uncertainty that serves to deter them from mass shootings at other locations.

    If banning guns were all it took to stop shootings, and the presence of guns invites them, then why do you never hear of mass shootings at gun shows and NRA conventions?

    Boy I sure hope that in the rush to indict Cruz for 17 cold-blooded murders they don't forget to charge him with violating the "gun-free zone" policy!

  • John||

    This guy apparently is the biological child of a 15-year-old mother who gave him up for adoption. There were people on Twitter yesterday claiming the fact that he turned into a mass murderer is proof of the need for free and accessible abortions. No shit. My God people are hideous.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

  • Kivlor||

    [Taps Chipper on the Shoulder]

    Dude, they were forced to publicly admit that their data was flawed, that they didn't complete the tests they claimed to, and that their results were not reflective of reality. Yet they STILL keep their claims up online and refuse to update their claims based on the facts and useful idiots like yourself push their false claims so you can try to justify murdering children.

  • Wolf Larsen||

    Killing the innocent to reduce the crime rate would only ever appeal to those who have already reduced nascent human life to mere chattel.

    No one, for instance, is going to argue that enslaving a segment of our population is good precisely because it would reduce the crime rate unless they have already arrived at the conclusion that enslavement of that subset of people can be a good.

    Freakonomics assumes the dehumanizing stance it seeks to justify.

    Statistics aside, it preaches to the choir.

  • Paloma||

    In 1998 abortion was already legal. Are they saying his mother should have been forced to abort him?

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I think it's saying that if it was cheaper she would have had one and we would have been saved.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Not just cheaper, but socially accepted, if not lauded.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    So then, they want price controls on abortions?

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Single payer would be preferable, obviously. It doesn't matter what it costs as long as the government is paying for it!

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Finally some truth. If the government is paying then it is free !

  • Trainer||

    How can you get any cheaper than free?

  • Trollificus||

    Coupons?

  • DarrenM||

    We should just abort all children. This way we're certain to get those that would turn into mass murderers school children plus there's the added benefit that they would have no more targets.

  • What's that smell?||

    Step one; create hysteria to cause action
    Step two: ????????????????
    Step Three: Profit

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    I was told in no uncertain terms that all the media is fact based except for the likes of Faux News!

    So, it must be 18!

    You're the fake news, Russian troll!

  • John||

    +1 Layers and layers of fact checkers.

  • Hugh Akston||

    It is also, as The Washington Post reported Thursday evening, "flat wrong."

  • John||

    And I guess that means all of the other publications that printed it as truth didn't really do so. If even one major media outlet gets it right, the dozens of others who lied are therefore alleviated of any responsibility and the event in no way reflects on the media's credibility.

    Got it.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    It's totally understandable that it would take some time to verify Everytown's gun control facts, especially while they're broadcasting the NRAs gun control "facts."

  • colorblindkid||

    MS-13 kills over a hundred people in America every year. That is still statistically negligible. Politics is entirely picking and choosing which statistically insignificant problem or threat to take advantage of to scare people into voting for solutions that won't work.

    More people are killed by Muslim terrorists than in hate crimes most years, which are incredibly rare for a diverse country of 330,000,000.

    Democrats are just as dishonest and stupid about these things as Republicans. They just have the press on their side.

  • colorblindkid||

    "There's nothing we can do" is usually the best solution to rare problems.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Who the fuck is 'we'? You got a turd in your pocket?

  • John||

    Part of the reason these things seem to happen more often is the mawkish and hysterical reaction of the media. Whether the idiot be a terrorist or just a nut, they almost always do it to be famous and feel like they caused great effect and harm. So the more hysterical the media acts, the more harm other idiots conclude such an act causes and the more likely they are to do it. All things like "Boston Strong" does is tell prospective murderers how badly we are hurt by any attack. The proper response should be "fuck you, more people die on our freeways in a weekend than at your pitiful hands".

  • ||

    I'm also not a fan of the consistent and repeated emotional depiction of survivors. I certainly don't agree with a media blackout and don't think anybody should be prevented from speaking with victims or survivors, but it used to be between edgy and outright taboo to shove a camera in a grieving family member's face or allowing them to make a spectacle of themselves on the news. Now, survivors get more than a couple news cycles after the event, a few newscycles after the next event, and occasionally some political theater in between. To the point where it's now a sort of macabre piece of human interest news (and/or more political theater) that survivors of the NIU shooting from a decade ago don't approve of students being shot and send their condolences and best wishes to the survivors.

  • Ron||

    I find it amazing that one station showed the names and pictures of those killed but then never do that for all the people killed by gang crimes every year. the number far surpases any individual mass shooting but then those people are of color so you know the white liberal media doesn't care or refuses to acknowledge for other political purposes

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    No one cares what you think

  • Rev. Arthur L. Kirkland||

    Democrats are just as dishonest and stupid about these things as Republicans. They just have the press on their side.

    Democrats also tend to have reason, science, education, tolerance, and progress on their side, while Republicans are left with intolerance, superstition, backwardness, dogma, and ignorance. That is why the liberal-libertarian alliance is responsible for forging American progress throughout my lifetime, while Republicans are left with a half-century of pining for good old days that never existed.

  • Rhywun||

    LOL

  • Rockabilly||

    LOL x Infinity!!!

    hahahahah

  • Sevo||

    Self righteous asshole makes assertion, hopes someone will believe it:

    "Democrats also tend to have reason, science, education, tolerance, and progress on their side, while Republicans are left with intolerance, superstition, backwardness, dogma, and ignorance."

  • Mcgoo95||

    You mean your point dipshit. You're not fooling anybody with your fucking stupid sock puppet

  • Red Rocks White Privilege||

    Dumbfuck Hihnsano is mad because I make him my bitch on a regular basis.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Yes, what this comment section needs is more clumsy parody accounts.

  • Colossal Douchebag||

    Bigotsezwat?

  • DesigNate||

    Take your meds Mike.

  • Dariush||

    "Democrats also tend to have reason, science, education, tolerance, and progress on their side, while Republicans are left with intolerance, superstition, backwardness, dogma, and ignorance"

    You cannot possibly be this ideologically rigid and expect others to believe this pablum. I sincerely hope this is a parody account.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Rev. you're a silly bitch.

  • DajjaI||

    Still, 6 million Jews died in the Holocaust. Right?? Just checking.

    Tzar Bernie 2020 approves this message.

  • Kivlor||

    Yes, we still stick to that number. But the 5 million non-Jews seems to be drastically overstated by a multiple of ~10. And that's according to the Chair of the Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and countless Holocaust scholars.

  • mtrueman||

    Including suicides and accidental discharges is an insult to proper school shootings.

  • Incomprehensible Bitching||

    Hear hear!

  • Marcus Aurelius||

    Accidental discharge was my nickname in the 80s

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    But accidental was a misnomer and discharge was the Chlamydia.

  • Rohdewarrior||

    Kind of funny that in a book review by Ann Hood of Rhiannon Navin's "Only Child" (about a school shooting), in the same edition of today's Washington Post, the second paragraph begins with: "With a dozen school shootings in the first month of this year - and yet another one Wednesday..."

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    If you want to know why nobody likes libertarians, just look at the endless stream of digital ink spilled by the likes of Reason.com after a mass shooting. Endless articles berating all the 'DO SOMETHING' people is the ultimate in tone deafness. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you're right when you appear like you don't care. I'm not saying you guys are wrong, I'm just saying you come off as assholes. And people don't much like assholes.

  • John||

    Yes, "shut the fuck up, what are the odds it happens to you" is not going to win many converts. The other thing is that let there be a crime against a group Reason likes, and the reaction will be totally different. If some nut shot up a Mosque, I seriously doubt Reason's response would be "there are more Muslims killed in car accidents every year than died here".

  • sarcasmic||

    The other thing is that let there be a crime against a group Reason likes, and the reaction will be totally different.

    I doubt it. Reason still puts principle before principals. For the most part.

  • John||

    It would not be total "we must do something". But it sure as hell would be a lot less cavalier than it is when it is something like this.

  • sarcasmic||

    If the scenario you describe were to happen, Reason wouldn't be responding to every media outlet and pundit screaming for more gun control. The entire reaction would indeed be different. From everyone.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Yes, "shut the fuck up, what are the odds it happens to you" is not going to win many converts.

    Maybe "winning converts" isn't the main goal here, rather, placing these events in a realistic, proper context is.

    There are countless other publications pandering to their readers' anger and sadness. I don't think the public needs additional media to remind them that mass shootings are bad.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Maybe "winning converts" isn't the main goal here, rather, placing these events in a realistic, proper context is.

    And that's exactly my point. As The Dude was wise enough to proclaim, "You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole." If you're willing to acknowledge that getting people to see your side of story is not your main goal then it seems illogical to complain that more people don't see your side.

  • BestUsedCarSales||

    I tried. But I can't imagine Sevo reacting in a way other than flipping the table and saying "Fuck off, Slaver."

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    For the most part, Reason has been putting forth facts and reason. Just stating facts is not, IMHO, being an asshole. If you put forth facts and, at the same time, berate or put down the people you are trying to educate, then you are an asshole. I don't really see too much of that in the Reason articles the last couple of days.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Just stating facts is not, IMHO, being an asshole.

    I don't disagree, but I also don't disagree with these facts. How many times have you listened to your wife vent then start trying to offer her solutions? I still do it from time to time even knowing that all she really wants is to vent for a while.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    Yeah, I learned to just listen a long time ago. And that is what I also do with friends and family. But goddamnit, $partly, I should be able to lecture people on the internet.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    I should be able to lecture people on the internet

    True, that is its intended purpose after all.

  • dantheserene||

    I should be able to lecture people on the internet

    True, that is its intended purpose after all.

    ...And porn. Never forget porn.

  • macsnafu||

    And cats. Will no one think of the internet catz?

  • Fuck you, Shikha (Nunya)||

    And cat porn.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Sure, people need to process things and go through it. Completely understandable and is part of a healthy grieving process.

    The problem is when those immediate emotional reactions are treated as the end-all, be-all approach to fixing the problem. There are plenty of examples of how this creates ineffective policy that often does more harm than good.

    Drug crime, for example. In reaction to rising opioid addiction, the first impulse for many is to create mandatory minimums, or some other hardline approach. Of course, while opioid addiction is an actual public health concern, hardliners often inflate numbers and cherrypick things, then try to implement a punitive response of action (mandatory minimums, etc). All these steps are based in reaction, and plenty of laws on the books that contain some victim's name in the bill are wholly ineffective at best and exacerbate the problem or creates new problems at worst.

  • DesigNate||

    The difference is when your wife vents, it doesn't result in public policy that affects millions of law abiding citizens.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    The difference is when your wife vents, it doesn't result in public policy that affects millions of law abiding citizens.

    The point zigged, you zagged, it's understandable that you missed it.

  • OpenBordersLiberal-tarian||

    If some nut shot up a Mosque, I seriously doubt Reason's response would be "there are more Muslims killed in car accidents every year than died here".

    Shikha would write about how Drumpf's Islamophobic bigotry inspired the shooting. And she'd be absolutely correct.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    Well, my response would be to investigate the allegation, and prosecute the perp if identified by the evidence.

    this is the same response as to all crimes.

  • Trollificus||

    And given the people ended up as corpses, we would just assume that the fine distinctions between bigotry-inspired "hate crimes" and "crimes of coincidence" or "crimes of mild personal dislike" were irrelevant in the case.

    Pretty sure the guy's gonna get the "White Hispanic" treatment, too.

    Unlike the fortunate mosque-attending, Arabic, Koran-reading person-of-indeterminate-attitude-about-gays that shot up that night club. Who somehow just couldn't be blamed. I was pretty sure that one would result in some examination of Islamists, but noooo....not even the deaths of 50 young 'favored group' members could cause the usual suspects to face the resultant cognitive dissonance.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    Sometimes you just have to let people emote. It's true that a lot of libertarians pride themselves on being coldly logical, but if you bring logic to an emotions fight, you're going to lose even if you win.

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    This is very true as well. For the most part, everyone is gonna go back to their regularly scheduled programming in a day or two. Let people vent, let people offer their thoughts and prayers, let people propose pointless solutions that will never be implemented. Will there be a mass movement for some kind of gun control act? Probably not.

  • JuanQPublic||

    It's probably best to let the grievance and emotions run their course, then present a non-reactionary, effective solution. That's actually the most compassionate thing one could do.

  • Juice||

    Yes, it's like arguing religion with a zealot. They will be impervious to logic because their religiosity is emotional, not logical. Just let it go.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    It's kinda funny how so many people around here believe that emotion and logic are opposites. Like you can only ever be either logical or emotional.

  • Earth Skeptic||

    Pretty much

  • Sevo||

    "Endless articles berating all the 'DO SOMETHING' people is the ultimate in tone deafness. Sometimes it doesn't matter if you're right when you appear like you don't care. I'm not saying you guys are wrong, I'm just saying you come off as assholes."

    You are absolutely right!
    No one should be the adult in the room; we should all whine and moan about every incident the NYT runs on page one!

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    What I suggest is that everyone take a step back and allow people to vent. After that, when the actual policy arguments start happening, then will be the time to present the facts.

  • Sevo||

    "What I suggest is that everyone take a step back and allow people to vent. After that, when the actual policy arguments start happening, then will be the time to present the facts."

    Great!
    Your assumption that the policy won't be decided by the time they stop venting is, like the guy who marries for the 4th time, a triumph of optimism over evidence.
    I give you, oh, O-care, for example.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Your assumption that the policy won't be decided by the time they stop venting is, like the guy who marries for the 4th time, a triumph of optimism over evidence.

    Which is exactly why the second amendment has been overturned and nobody in America owns a gun anymore.

  • Ron||

    there is no better time for facts than at the begining of any discussion on any subject

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    The is no time ever for facts in policy discussions concerning limiting rights.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    However, sometimes the adult thing to do is let someone get the emotional reaction out of the way before starting in with the "Well, actually..."

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Picture if you will...
    Sevo is walking through his living room one night and accidentally stubs his toe on his coffee table damn near breaking his toe. As he surveys the situation, he shrugs and says "more people had their toes broken by falling rocks than stubbing them on the table last year" then goes off to bed.

  • Sevo||

    Picture, if you will...
    Sparky stubbing his toe, screaming and throwing all the furniture out the window, and then sleeping on the floor when he realizes he was acting immaturely.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Now who's being childish?

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    It sounds like you are the one that is being childish, $parky. Throwing all your furniture out the window is pretty immature.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    And you would have us roll over and ride the erroneous band wagon with you:? I think not; and if that makes me an "asshole" in your view I have no problem with that.

  • Citizen X - #6||

    That's not what $park¥ said, dude.

  • ||

    Any other article, I could understand.

    This... lie... that they're debunking lacks empathy, is intellectually dishonest, and is morally repugnant. The timing may be a little inopportune for Reason's debunking but, honestly, I've been hearing this list/stat grow since the second week of January. Not having originated or been explicitly advanced by the most recent victims of their own accord makes it seem very much like Reason, in this case, has been careful not to rebut anyone with any sort of legitimate claim to needing something done while still responding in a timely fashion to their emotionally, intellectually, and morally void opposition who simply strikes while the iron is hot.

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    Actually, you're as full of shit as the author here. The 18 number was reported for less than a day, then reported as bullshit nearly everywhere, at least 12 hours before this was published.

    The real problem is drooling psychos, like you, but on both sides of almost every issue these days.

  • Unlabelable MJGreen||

    TAKES ONE TO KNOW ONE

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    I have no problem admitting that I'm an asshole.

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    Over 60% of Americans self-describe as libertarian, asshole

  • sarcasmic||

    "Figures don't lie, but liars figure."

    -Mark Twain

  • JuanQPublic||

    The media have a difficult, often thankless, task in the wake of high-profile crimes.

    It's only a difficult job when said media actually faces the reality that there is no magic cure for events like this. It's actually rather easy to pander to emotionally reactive readers right in the wake of said event.

    This is the dysfunctional way the public digests horrible things that happen: in clouds of blame, 20/20 hindsight, emotional appeals with no basis in reason. All the "answers" come in the 48 hours after the event, while the public is at its pinnacle of emotion.

  • Longtobefree||

    Exactly what is so difficult and thankless about doing research and citing named, verified, sources? That is the job of a journalist, and not doing that is the job of a propagandist.

  • JuanQPublic||

    Presenting an event in a truer context (showing actual risk, etc), is difficult, mainly because it flies in the face of emotionally-driven narratives. Doing careful research is difficult, because in the immediate aftermath of an event like this, a wide variety of accounts and "facts" exist, many of which are inaccurate and create more questions than answers.

  • Longtobefree||

    Excuse me, there is no such thing as an inaccurate fact.
    The sun rising in the east is a fact. 4, 395 articles in the NYT saying it is reported to rise in the west, with unconfirmed sources claiming it rises in the north are not inaccurate "facts", they are just plain old wrong.
    After a reporter has done due diligence and determined the facts, they can write an article using those facts, citing the reliable verifiable sources for those facts. It ain't that hard.

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    But they're as full of shit as you!

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    """That is the job of a journalist, and not doing that is the job of a propagandist.""

    Well when you phrase it that way, are there any journalists left?

  • Longtobefree||

    Two, but they are both retired and no longer publish.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Unless your definition of "school shooting" is broad enough to include suicides in school parking lots or accidental gun discharges that didn't harm anyone."

    If the statistic doesn't include teenage boys jizzing all over their teacher, I don't want to know about it.

  • Sevo||

    AP is a worthy contender in the fraudulent stat competition: They put out a table (printed in the Chron this morning) of "Recent deadly school shootings". As "recent" a 2012, that is.
    But I think that Bloomberg agit-prop group has got to take the gold.

  • Hugh Akston||

    I guess we'll have to take your word for it.

  • Sevo||

    OK. let's see if I can find a link (it was a side bar to a story):
    Nope, not in the e-version, so I guess you will have to take my word for it.

  • Sevo||

    Well, dog my cats! They publish the images of the paper and there it is on pg A13:
    http://digital.olivesoftware.com/
    Olive/ODN/SanFranciscoChronicle/
    ?olv-cache-ver=1.5.46.0
    (backspace on lines to get link)

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    Bullshit link. It's Sevo again.

  • DajjaI||

    It's fake news. But people believe what they want to believe to advance their agenda. Not much you can do about it. However I think the more the globalists hyperventilate about gun laws, the more middle America will clutch 'bitterly' their guns and gods.

  • Sevo||

    "...the more middle America will clutch 'bitterly' their guns and gods...."

    Imbecile conflates two issues, is dumb enough to hope no one notices.
    Called on bullshit, imbecile.

  • DajjaI||

    You seem crankier than usual today.

  • Sevo||

    You seem about as dumb as usual. Most of your crap isn't worth a lot of comment.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Making fun of a special needs kids is not cool dude....

  • Michael S. Langston||

    While it's true this stat is a lie and it's also true that many citizens have strong opinions on these issues already, it's not true that fake news as widely repeated as this has been has no impact on opinions.

    There are people on the margins on this debate and those people's opinions are still somewhat open. If they read this stat and see it widely circulated, they will likely believe it and will impact their opinion on guns/gun control.

    Is it their fault for not checking details to confirm this first?

    Sure, but in the meantime they'll be voting.

    Which is why, even if the supposed timing here is bad, those who know the truth must refute it as soon as possible so that the refutation can be found by those honestly investigating this topic.

  • Joe_JP||

    "your definition of "school shooting" is broad enough to include suicides in school parking lots or accidental gun discharges that didn't harm anyone"

    So school shootings means shootings at schools? Strange. That doesn't really seem that horrible of a definition.

    I appreciate nuance so do seriously appreciate breaking down the numbers here but parents of school children and the like probably won't be TOO relieved on some level that there are shootings at their school, just off hours and such. That is still a bad thing and dangerous too. And, there still was enough shootings for people to be upset even if the term was defined more strictly. Finally, the website tied to that number explained how they obtained it.

    It's February. 18 "school shootings" is still a lot to some people.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    Everytown counts any shooting, for any reason, at any time, within several hundred yards of a school building, that may or may not even be in operation. Yeah, I think that is a stretch.

  • ||

    Everytown counts any shooting, for any reason, at any time, within several hundred yards of a some school buildings, that may or may not even be in operation.

    You can trivially traipse through Chicago's, Baltimore's, Los Angeles', New York's and presumably plenty of other cities news archives and find news reports of kids being shot to death walking to or from their school, within blocks of the school, and/or with, among, or by classmates that aren't recorded in the database.

    An unknown gunman, presumably intentionally, fires a bullet that hits a building that belongs to a school and it's a school shooting. A two groups of kids get kicked out of school, walk a block away and start shooting at each other, killing innocent students, and it's a regular old not-school shooting.

    Interesting that they would want to draw attention selectively to the one incident and not the other.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    And the vast majority of the reported "child deaths" from GSWs gang related. Yes, they are still dead, but different problems need different solutions, not some political catch all bullshit about "common sense and reasonable" gun laws that fuck way more with me and any of the assholes causing the carnage.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Actually, the vast majority occur in democratic run areas of the country, by democratic party voting blocks....if we ban democrats from owning firearms we would end most gun murders.

  • Zeb||

    I'm guessing that most of the gang-bangers doing most of the murders in those areas are not politically affiliated. Nor do they care if they are banned from owning firearms.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    Nonsense ! Pass a law banning gang-bangers from owning firearms will immediately be followed and result in ZERO deaths every and always. That's how laws work.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    But if gangbangers are banned from owning firearms, how are they supposed to do drive-bys?

  • Earth Skeptic||

    No, all darkies are true-blue Democrats (at least the progs say so, and make demographic claims all the time).

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    PSYCHO TIME!

  • Longtobefree||

    So school shootings means shootings at schools?

    According to the article, it also includes shootings not at the school. To anyone other than a Bloomberg stooge, 'school shootings' means shootings at people in a gun free school zone of a school in use.
    Gang shootings after school hours? No.
    Suicide in a closed school parking lot? No.
    A random round fired off campus? No.
    A firearm attack with intent to kill in a gun free school zone? Yes.

  • colorblindkid||

    There are 330,000,000 people in this country, though.

  • Sevo||

    "It's February. 18 "school shootings" is still a lot to some people."
    Hey, why not lie a bit more?
    You have my permission: Tell those people who believe lies that we've had 300gazillion school shootings in the last week!
    Give the idiots something big to whine about!

  • markm23||

    The problem is the shifting definitions. When counting "school shootings" gun control-freaks will count every firearm discharge near a school, even closed schools, whether or not students and staff were involved, and whether or not anyone was hurt. But when it comes to making political points, they'll imply that all of these incidents are mass murders.

    It's a common tactic. For sex crimes against children, they'll count teenagers with a boyfriend or girlfriend a couple of years younger, and all the rapes committed by family members, but talk about the (horrible but extremely rare) cases where a pre-pubescent child is raped by a stranger. For criminological statistics by age, 15-24 years old is an important category, as it covers the peak age range for perpetrator's of major crimes. But people who are trying to make political points will cite those numbers as applying to "children", ignoring that 70% of them are adults. Anti-alcohol campaigners will count accidents with a drunk passenger and a sober driver as "alcohol-involved". Drug warriors similarly count "marijuana-involved" accidents, and also count drunks who also smoked marijuana, and perfectly sober people with any detectable THC residue from past use...

  • Longtobefree||

    "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."

    And the follow up where the 'school liaison officer' is discharged for not following gun protocol?
    And exactly who is the liaison with? Either he is a trained police officer, or he should not be armed. If a trained officer, a three year old should not be able to access and discharge his service weapon. Maybe, just maybe he should be able to handle a three year old without a firearm?
    Further follow up; what else did the bullet strike after it struck the floor?

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    Further follow up; what else did the bullet strike after it struck the floor?

    Freed from its recent confines, the bullet struck out on its own to see the world. It had heard that Paris was lovely this time of year.

  • TrickyVic (old school)||

    Bloomberg is a raging anti-gun person who is willing to redefine a topic for the purpose of promoting his anti-gun agenda.

    We can not have an honest conversation when people pull his deception into the conversation.

  • Michael Ejercito||

    He is basically the Leni Reifenstahl of the anti-gun cult.

  • BYODB||


    "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."


    Or, in other words, even the police at the school should be disarmed? I mean, it's a gun free zone right? Seem's like that's not really true if there are guns there.


    The idiocy of saying there need to be more police at school, because they're the only one's allowed to have guns, seems stupid. Just let the teachers carry if they want to? Hell, if you want to go whole-hog mandate teachers take a shooting course to become a teacher.


    Seems more logical than insisting we need more cops at a school when here we have an example of a cop that's so dumb they let a third grader get to their sidearm. Do we really think a teacher would be as dumb? While I dislike the idea of teachers unions and such, I suspect teachers have a higher IQ than your average school cop. I think this because Police departments specifically disqualify anyone with a higher IQ from becoming an officer at all.


    It's hard to ignore that, much like airports, if you keep 'securing' the inside of the school all you are really doing is moving the soft target. If they can't get into school, they'll just wait outside at the buses or something like that. We've seen this before, it's nothing new.

  • $park¥ leftist poser||

    More often than not, the simplest solution is to just pull the fire alarm (which I believe I heard is what this kid did) then shoot into the giant pack of kids now helpfully assembled in one place.

  • BYODB||

    Correct. The ultimate point is that no matter what you do, you can't stop this sort of thing you can only move where it occurs. There is no 'solution' but there are plenty of people that want to 'do something' to mollify the sheep.

  • Brandybuck||

    Yet you tell someone that there hasn't been 18 mass school shootings this year, and they call you a raving reactionary Republican shill for the NRA. Ask them to name the other 17 mass shootings and they can't, yet they will still believe it because it's fits their fucking narrative.

  • Quo Usque Tandem||

    I have some company [for] this week end and this came up. I provided both of them with the WAPO article and suggested they look beyond the dumb fucking headlines. I don't know, maybe they went home.

  • ||

    Just heard Chris Russo scream this on Mad Dog Sports. Embarrassing to be so ill-informed with his platform.

    Like you said, when WaPo tells you to calm down, you know it's time to take a time out.

  • gormadoc||

    But I feel bad! That makes it truthy enough! Somebody needs to be punished, even if they had nothing to do with this tragedy!

  • Think It Through||

    A huge problem in this country is that emotional people think that people who just like to stick to the facts, are assholes. The asshole-imaginers are the problem, not the imaginary assholes.

  • Res ipsa loquitur||

    It is cause you are autistic....read about it in the news, so please stop being autistic, okay ?

  • StackOfCoins||

    It trivializes a brutal crime to inflate the count this way. Cut it out.
    Conflating working for a wage with slavery trivializes actual slavery, but that never stopped progressives.

  • Definitely Not Tulpa||

    "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.'"

    Police academies hardest hit.

  • macsnafu||

    I heard that autism causes school shootings. It must be true, because I think I remember seeing it on the intertubes...

  • I am the 0.000000013%||

    And since it's settled science that all libertarians are autistic, that means libertarians are the cause of school shootings!

  • mtrueman||

    What is the actual number of school schooting which bear the Reason stamp of approval?

  • mtrueman||

    Yes, I was hoping for a more specific answer than 'not 18.'

  • mtrueman||

    It's trivial quibbling at a time of tragedy.

  • Elilis Wyatt||

    That you were proven to be a brainwashed sucker?

  • Mcgoo95||

    That you need to create a sock puppet to agree with you? Not sure what's funnier that you needed to create a sock puppet to agree with you or that you only agree with yourself because, obviously, the only that is smart enough to agree with you is you. Go suck your own dick elsewhere.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Might want to lay off the cocaine.

  • p3orion||

    At this moment it is literally the first Google News result for the number "18."

    Ermm, NO. The first result I got when I put "18" into google is "No, there haven't been 18 school shootings in 2018." Perhaps in the 24 hours since this story was posted, the vast numbers of services picking it up for rerun /sarc/ have skewed the numbers, but it sounds to me like the word is getting out, regardless.

  • Last of the Shitlords||

    Hundreds? Name at least a hundred of them.

  • Longtobefree||

    I have it on good authority that no schools have shot anyone.
    I have it on good authority the the number of events at a school where one or more persons were murdered by a person with a firearm is less than 18.

  • theoretical physicist||

    it should be noted that according t Google, there are 47,000 high schools in the U.S. if there is one shooting at a high school each day of the year, the probability of being at a high school where shooting occurs is 365/47,000 = .0077. as awful as that would be, it does not constitute an epidemic. the fact that children (and their parents) are fearful of a shooting incident is due to the excessive coverage of these incidents on cable news (social media also spreads the words but that's a different discussion). the cable news does this because they have 24 hours of airtime to fill and also because they want an audience and as the old newspaper saying goes "if it bleeds, it leads". it might be more useful to explore how we can get the news media to not over-cover such incidents rather than how to prevent some or all people from owning guns.

  • Janeye||

    That method of counting can indeed be misleading, and reports should likely divulge more, especially if a reader only hopes for the worst cases and is not shocked by or even paying attention to the less shocking stats or descriptions of US gun violence incidents happening around our schools and children with alarming frequency.

    Check out gunviolencearchive,org if you really want to see a report of the grim stats updated daily, which leaves out the "roughly 22,000" suicides each year, but includes the 74 children under 12 and the 387 more under 18 that were killed or injured by guns this year. What a country.

  • TxJack 112||

    Anti gun zealots have to lie because the truth will not instill the panic they need to get the clueless and uninformed to willing surrender their rights. The only weapon against these anti-freedom, nanny state advocates is the truth and we all have to keep fighting to tell the truth.

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