There have not been 47 school shootings this year

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Once again, much like last year, headlines are making the rounds gain exaggerating the numbers of how many school shootings there have been this year. This year the number being tossed around is that there have been 47 school shootings this year and the stat has been brought to us by the same people who made the equally ridiculous claim last year of 74 school shootings since Newtown.

The ABC article I linked to doesn’t even try to hide the fact that the gun control advocacy group Everytown for Gun Safety has exaggerated the numbers…

Of those shootings, 26 were classified as attacks that resulted in injury or death.

The 21 remaining shootings were a mix of attempted or completed suicides, accidental shootings or instances in which a gun was fired at campus, including grade schools and colleges, but no one was injured.

It seems like to me that Everytown for Gun Safety is once again using the loosest definition of school shooting. I almost want to say they consider every shooting that was within one square mile of a school was considered a school shooting.

While I’m not trying to lessen the impact of these other shootings and the pain that they’ve cost there has really only been one school shooting this year that fits my definition and that was the one at Umpqua Community College. As I’ve said before my definition of a school shooting is when a student or outsider storms a school with guns with the express purpose of killing as many victims as possible. Suicide attempts, parking lot confrontations and shootings that take place off of campus are not school shootings and to report them as such is not only irresponsible journalism but it’s also fear mongering.

When media presents statistics from a biased source as fact it’s done only for the sake of sensationalism and pageviews. Don’t just read the headline and think you have all the facts. The devil, as they say, is always in the details.

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