In response to claims of extensive school shootings, Michelle Ye Hee Lee reports:
…Since the shooting at Sandy Hook, there has been one school shooting on average per week. Is that really the case — that there have been somewhere around 128 school shootings since December 2014?
…The source for the claim then…is a report by Everytown for Gun Safety, which describes itself as “a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.”
The group keeps a tally of school shootings since Sandy Hook, counting at least 126 as of June 8, 2015. The group uses a broad definition of school shooting: when a firearm is discharged on school or campus grounds at K-12 schools and colleges.
…There are many ways to define school shooting. But applying the “reasonable person” standard, as is the standard at The Fact Checker, it is difficult to see how many of the incidents included in Everytown’s list — such as suicide in a car parked on a campus or a student accidentally shooting himself when emptying his gun and putting it away in his car before school — would be considered a “school shooting” in the context of Sandy Hook.
Lawmakers have a responsibility to check out the facts in the reports they use, especially ones that come from advocacy groups. If they are aware there are definitions that are disputed, or that are defined in other ways depending on who uses them, it is incumbent on lawmakers to clarify exactly what they are talking about and not mislead the public. In particular, lawmakers should rely more on official government statistics, such as from the FBI, rather than misleading metrics cobbled together by interest groups.
Read the full article at WaPo.