With all the buzz about “fake news” these days, Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun group, so-called Everytown For Gun Safety, might just provide some of the “fakest” news of all.
And unfortunately, others in the fake news business lap it up.
Take, for example, Everytown’s listing of “school shootings” since 2013, which Huffpo.com dramatically trumpeted earlier this week on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy.
Under the headline, “There Have Been Over 200 School Shooting Incidents Since The Sandy Hook Massacre,” Huffpo’s lead sentences read: “There have been over 200 school shooting incidents―an average of nearly one a week—since the horrifying morning when 20-year-old Adam Lanza marched into Sandy Hook Elementary School and did the unthinkable.”
Given both the timing of the article and the fact that the headline and story are accompanied by a photo of a Sandy Hook-related protest at NRA headquarters, it’s obvious that the article’s intent is to leave the casual reader with the impression that there have been 200 “school shootings like Sandy Hook” since 2013.
But it’s simply not true.
The story links to a map produced by the liars and connivers at Everytown, and headlined, “207 School Shootings In America Since 2013.” Each is represented by a dot on the map, and the map itself is followed by a lead paragraph reading: “How many more before our leaders pass common-sense laws to prevent gun violence and save lives? Communities all over the country live in fear of gun violence. That’s unacceptable. We should feel secure in sending our children to school—comforted by the knowledge that they’re safe.” (Emphasis added.)
While any shooting of an innocent victim by an armed criminal is both tragic and wrong, it’s important to note that there really haven’t been more than 200 incidents in three years in which crazed madmen walked into elementary schools and wreaked havoc. The deception is too important to be ignored, since by creating the greatly padded list, Everytown trivializes a critically important issue to all of us—the safety of our children.
The deception is too important to be ignored, since by creating the greatly padded list, Everytown trivializes a critically important issue to all of us—the safety of our children. Fake reports like Everytown’s—regurgitated by Huffpo and others—derail the opportunity to inspire a real, honest discussion of criminal firearm use and how best to fight it.
So what’s so fake about Everytown’s school shooting total? I’ll share more on the topic early next week, but this sampling from the organization’s “school shootings” list, as reported on its website, should suffice for now.
South Macon Elementary School, Franklin, N.C.: A 38-year-old man and a 39-year-old woman were arrested for firing a weapon on campus. They fatally shot a stray cat but did not injure any students or teachers.
Bay City Western High School, Auburn, Mich.: An unidentified police officer was handling his service gun in an otherwise-unoccupied room in Bay City Western High School when he unintentionally discharged the gun.
Langston University, Langston, Okla.: Following a concert at the Student Success Center during homecoming, an unidentified man fired two shots into the air. No injuries were reported.
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Oshkosh, Wis.: During an altercation at a university dance on campus, an unknown person who was allegedly part of the altercation fired a gunshot and fled. There were no reported injuries and the police did not apprehend the person.
Wagner High School, San Antonio, Texas: A 22-year-old woman used a handgun to shoot out the back window of the Wagner High School principal's car, parked in the school parking lot. She also reportedly hit the car multiple times with a baseball bat.
University of South Florida, Tampa, Fla.: At approximately 4 a.m., a 21-year-old student fired a .45-caliber handgun from a campus parking garage, hitting the exterior of a residence building.
Montana Tech of the University of Montana, Butte, Mont.: A 21-year-old Montana Tech student was cleaning a firearm when he unintentionally discharged a round into the floor of his university-owned apartment. No one was physically harmed.
If you’re beginning to believe that most of the “school shootings” on Everytown’s list and interactive map have little to do with murderous rampages on elementary school campuses—such as the one at Sandy Hook—you’d be right. In these seven cases, nobody was even injured—although a cat and the principal’s car did come out on the losing end.
Join me on Monday as we take a closer look at the map and reveal more of Everytown’s deceit.