On February 15, the Washington Post responded to widespread reports of “18 school shootings in 2018” and declared the claim is “horrifying” but “it is wrong.”
The Post went on to demonstrate that the figure of “18” arises from a Michael Bloomberg-funded Everytown for Gun Safety tally that includes a suicide by a 31-year-old man who parked in a school parking lot to kill himself.
Everytown also included a “1 a.m. [incident in which] a man was shot at a sorority event on the campus of Wake Forest University,” an occasion on which someone shot several rounds in the air outside a Michigan high school basketball game. No one was in class at the time — the incident occurred at 8 p.m. — and no one was injured, but Everytown counted it anyway.
Our hearts are with all those impacted by the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida today.
This is the 18th school shooting in the U.S. in 2018. https://t.co/YdPLz4zuOS
— Everytown (@Everytown) February 14, 2018
On February 14, Breitbart News fact-checked Everytown’s claims as well and found that eight of the “18 school shootings” did not result in any injuries or fatalities. One of the “shootings” resulted when a gun was fired “unintentionally” and another resulted in a Louisiana high school student getting a “superficial” abrasion.
Leftists around the country began quoting the “18 school shootings in 2018” as soon as news broke of the February 14 attack on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. One of the first was Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), who tweeted:
Just awful, gut-wrenching news. My heart breaks for the victims and families of the horrific shooting in Parkland, FL. This is the 18th school shooting in the first 43 days of 2018. We cannot accept this as normal. We must address gun violence. https://t.co/QYrhLkKgi6
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) February 14, 2018
Everytown’s tally is wrong and Sen. Harris’s tweet is wrong. The number of school shootings has been blown out of proportion and people are seizing on the exaggerated numbers, perhaps unknowingly, to push for more gun laws.
Ironically, in 2015 the Washington Post gave Everytown four Pinocchios for “misleading methodology” in a earlier set of gun control claims.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News, the host of the Breitbart podcast Bullets with AWR Hawkins, and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at email@example.com. Sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange.