In the wake of last week’s shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California, a gun control advocacy group is once again making hyperbolic claims. Tragically last week, Cedric Anderson shot and killed his estranged wife Karen Smith, and two students, killing one, before killing himself. Now this week, Everytown for Gun Safety has come out with the claim that a gun is discharged in a US school about once a week. This is not surprising as previously they have claimed that there have been 200 school shootings since Sandy Hook. Again, the devil is in the details.
Much like their definition of a school shooting, their definition of ‘school’ itself is quite vague and open to a lot of interpretation.
The list tracks “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds,” which could include suicides, accidental discharges, and criminal activity, such as gunfire related to an armed robbery.
So basically, one could interpret that anytime a gun is discharged within earshot of a school, Everytown considers that gun being fired in a school. Now I have no problem with gun control groups, they have their right to seek gun control as they see fit. What I do have a problem with is the distorting of facts. Everytown would have had a better and more logical argument if they had said a gun is found in a school about once a week. While I’m only going by anecdotal evidence of news articles that I’ve read in my research, that seems way more plausible than their wild claims of guns being fired in schools.
With every one of these wildly unrealistic claims, Everytown for Gun Safety becomes less of an advocacy group and more of a parody of one. In my opinion they’re the PMRC or Jack Thompson of guns. They are so out of touch with the facts that they never really had any credibility to begin with.