Everytown for Gun Safety is an activist organization against law-abiding citizens carrying firearms. It was founded by Michael Bloomberg and Shannon Watts, and as The Blaze reports, headlines that 1.37 school shootings have occurred “every single week in the U.S. since the deadly 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.”
No surprise, when it came out with its list of 'every school shooting since Sandy Hook,' it crammed every conceivable case onto it so as to make it appear like armed criminals were attacking our schools every week.
Huffington Post editor Mark Gongloff mapped Everytown's data, and inevitably, the figure went viral. So viral, in fact, that news anchor Shepard Smith was repeatedly citing the “74 shootings” figure on his Fox News program Tuesday afternoon. In any event, here is the map:
So, using Sandy Hook as the starting point and running until today's tragic Oregon school shooting, what do these datapoints represent? Well, it turns out that they represent all sorts of things. They turn out to be “assaults, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings” that happen “inside a school building or on school or campus grounds.”
Let's just note for the record here that 95%+ of these areas are in so-called “gun-free zones” before moving on. In other words, they have perfect gun control regimes in theory.
Anyway, journalist Charles C. Johnson wanted a closer look at the cases that Everytown was portraying as “school shootings.” This is what he found:
Whether or not one wants to dismiss all this and say these cases “technically” fit, gang-related violence and suicides are not really what people have in mind when it comes to “school shootings.” In other words, this list was compiled to give the public an exaggerated impression of how many school shootings have taken place.
No matter what that number actually is - it's too many. But the solution to stopping criminals with guns won't ever be taking guns away from their potential victims.
In a nation where there are 44,000,000 firearms owners who are not committing gun homicides every year, and roughly eleven thousand murders and nineteen thousand suicides (as of 2013), one has to ask the question: why should people forfeit their right to self-defense on behalf of a tiny minority of criminals? And where is the evidence that would solve the problem and make people safer anyway?
What we need are real solutions: Those may include bullet-proof blankets, tornado shelters, armed police on duty around schools, security guards in tough school districts, metal detectors or better mental health screening for rampage violence tendencies - but limiting the self-defense capability of law-abiding citizens is not the solution some wish it would be when it comes to stopping violent criminals.