On December 9, Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety released a study claiming “100 school shootings” had occurred since the heinous Sandy Hook attack on December 14, 2012. The problem is their list contains non-school shootings, shootings that did not occur, and accidental discharges of firearms that were legally possessed on campus.
Yet outlets like the Huffington Post and gun control proponents like Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, quickly bought the list–hook, line, and sinker. Gross even took part in a Huffington Post panel, where Rick Camilleri used the words “massacre” and “mass shooting” to set the stage for discussing the “recent analysis by Everytown for Gun Safety, [which shows] there have been almost 100 school shootings since Newtown and absolutely no major change in gun policy.”
Such an introduction makes it easy to expect to turn to Everytown’s “100 School Shootings” and find 100 mass shootings or 100 massacres. The careful reader, however, will find an incident the Annapolis Patch described as occurring at a “non-school related private function,” on a house boat “at St. John’s College” in Maryland. In this incident, a bullet grazed someone, who was treated for non-life-threatening injuries, then released.
The careful reader will also find a Tennessee State University (TSU) shooting, which no one is sure even took place. Everytown lists it as occurring on October 13, 2014. But media reports from that day indicate police simply investigated a report of “shots fired,” and two weeks later, on October 27, WSMV reported that police still had not ascertained whether shots had actually been fired.
Moreover, Breitbart News called TSU police on December 12 and spoke with the school’s media directors; no one could recall a shooting.
Nonetheless, it made Everytown’s “100 School Shootings” list.
Everytown also includes the accidental discharge of a firearm legally possessed on a campus as a school shooting. In one of the most egregious stretching-of-facts scenarios to date, Everytown claims an Idaho State University instructor who accidentally shot himself in the foot with his concealed carry firearm is an example of another “school shooting.”
The Idaho State Journal thought the incident was funny, and the school president said he felt sorry for the instructor, who was probably “embarrassed.”
But Rick Camilleri used the words “massacre” and “mass shooting,” and Gross showed up in a tie like he was ready to talk about serious research and/or an investigation. All the while, the list of “100 School Shootings” they discussed contains non-school shootings, non-existent shootings, and accidental discharges of legal firearms.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.