We told you last Friday about Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety’s fake news listing of more than 200 “school shootings” since the Sandy Hook massacre. In fact, there’s so much to say about this twisted public relations ploy that it couldn’t be handled in just one column.
As a brief review, the map on Everytown’s website is 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.”
While the gun-ban group is attempting to convince people that in the past three years there have been more than 200 shootings “like Sandy Hook,” that couldn’t be farther from the truth. 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.
Let’s look at more of the “school shootings” listed on the site that don’t fit the mold Everytown is trying to foist on the public.
Many of the shootings were suicides, which, while regrettable and horrendous for the families and friends of those involved, don’t reflect the image of a “school shooting” that Everytown wants you to believe. Many, in fact, don’t even involve students.Still others on Everytown’s list of “school shootings” are robberies that occurred on a school campus—mostly at the college level.
Aims Community College, Greeley, Colo.: Shortly after 7 a.m., an unidentified man shot and killed himself while sitting in the front seat of his car in the Aims Community College parking lot.
Benton Elementary School, Walterville, Maine: A 41-year-old man fatally shot himself in the parking lot of the school. The incident occurred after school administrators saw an unfamiliar car in the parking lot and approached the vehicle.
South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, Rapid City, S.C.: A 37-year-old assistant professor fatally shot himself in the electrical engineering building.
Still others on Everytown’s list of “school shootings” are robberies that occurred on a school campus—mostly at the college level.
St. John’s University, Jamaica, N.Y.: Three men—Mustaga Godbolt, 21, Tyrell Sutton, 17, and Anthony Gusthas, 18—were attempting to rob a student inside a dormitory when Godbolt fired a shot from a .45-caliber handgun into the ceiling, attempting to scare the victim of their robbery attempt.
Iowa Western Community College, Council Bluffs, Iowa: Several unknown assailants shot 19-year-old Dalton Crosser in the parking lot on campus. One had pulled out a handgun and demanded Crosser's wallet.
University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Wash.: Shortly before 3 a.m., two male students who were returning from a party were stopped outside of their dorm room by three masked men and robbed at gunpoint. One of the students started yelling at a robber, who pulled out a handgun and fired one shot in the air.
And as Bearingarms.com pointed out in an article late last week panning the “school shooting” map, many of the shootings were gang or drug-related violence that just happened to occur on a school campus. And in some cases, the shootings didn’t even occur on campus. Consider:Actually, the incident was what authorities believe was a drug deal gone bad—and occurred off campus.
Florida Apostolic Revival Center, Fort Myers, Fla. Everytown’s description states: “An unidentified person fatally shot Kristopher Smith, 27, in the school parking lot.” Actually, the incident was what authorities believe was a drug deal gone bad—and occurred off campus.
Chicago State University, Chicago, Ill. Everytown says of the shooting: “Two assailants, 29 and 32, were charged in connection with the fatal shooting of 17-year-old male student outside of the basketball gym.” In truth, the tragic shooting of Tyrone Lawson by a couple of suspected gang members in a parking lot at 95th Street and King Drive in Chicago was near, but not on, the campus of Chicago State University.
Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, Calif. Everytown states: “A 23-year-old assailant shot and killed his father … and brother … at their home and set the building on fire. The perpetrator then shot and injured a passing motorist, carjacked another motorist, and ordered her to drive to campus. While in the car, the assailant shot at a bus and into a neighborhood. On campus, the perpetrator shot Carlos Franco, his daughter Marcela, 26, and Margarita Gomez, 68, before responding police fatally shot him.” While all that might be true, it is intentionally twisted in order to deceive. Even authorities said the incidents were not directly related to the community college. “This is not a school shooting,” said Al Vasquez, chief of the Santa Monica College Police Department. “This began off-campus and it was unfortunate that the suspect chose SMC to continue his crimes.”
I could go on and on, but deadline—plus sheer frustration at having to read instance after instance of Everytown’s fake news claims—dictate that I come to a stop now.
Truth is, there are times when evil people go onto elementary school campuses and harm innocent children, as the perpetrator did at Sandy Hook Elementary. But Everytown’s deceitful attempt to convince Americans that such an occurrence happens every week does nothing to promote an honest conversation about real school shootings and how to avoid them.