Media Includes BB Gun Incident in Sensationalized Reports on School Shootings

Shameful but expected.

After Tuesday’s school shooting in Marshall County, Kentucky, that left two students dead and 18 injured, the media immediately amped up the gun-control rhetoric, calling the event the 11th school shooting of 2018 knowing full well that information would cause mass panic across the United States. But upon closer inspection, those are skewed numbers from the Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety.

The Washington Free Beacon reports:

[N]early all of the incidents included alongside the Marshall County shooting bear little or no resemblance to that shooting or other well-publicized school shootings, like those at Sandy Hook Elementary or Columbine High School. None of the other events included in the gun-control group's count feature more than one injury, most featured no injuries at all, and one involved a BB gun being shot at a school bus window.  

Everytown for Gun Safety also has a very broad standard for counting school shooting incidents. It logs “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds." Doing so has meant they’ve tabulated nearly 300 school shootings over the last five years, or 60 per year. The FBI’s official threat assessment doesn’t do that, nor do they establish an “official definition for what a school shooter or a school shooting is,” according to the Free Beacon:

This broad definition places two separate suicides, a January 9 incident where a man shot a BB gun at a bus window resulting in no injuries; a January 10 incident where a student in a criminal justice club accidentally shot a peace officer's real gun at a target on a classroom wall instead of a training gun resulting in no injuries; a January 9 incident where gun shots were fired from somewhere outside of Cal State San Bernardino, which struck a building on campus without injuries; and other incidents next to the murder of a Winston-Salem State University student at a nightclub on the Wake Forest University campus, the January 22 shooting of a 15-year-old at a Dallas-area high school, and Tuesday's Marshall County High School shooting which left 2 dead and 18 others injured.

After they release their numbers to the national news media, the emotion-baiting pleas begin: “How many more before our leaders pass common-sense laws to prevent gun violence and save lives?”

The Free Beacon notes that major outlets including HuffPost, Politico, CNN, NPR, and The New York Times, all ran with Everytown’s numbers. Here’s NBC News’s Peter Alexander asking White House press secretary Sarah Sanders about the 11 school shootings in 23 days without citing where he got such figures:

 

If the media balks at being called “fake news,” will they at least agree to the term “misleading news?”

Issues

Organizations