We Need an Accurate National Conversation About Guns by Jim Geraghty
Excerpt: Thank you, Washington Post, for stepping up to the plate and correcting a widely cited and shared piece of misinformation in the aftermath of the Florida shooting. There have not been 18 school shootings in the United States so far this year. The figure originated with Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit group, co-founded by Michael Bloomberg, that works to prevent gun violence and is most famous for its running tally of school shootings. . . It is a horrifying statistic. And it is wrong. Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings. Take, for example, what it counted as the year’s first: On the afternoon of Jan. 3, a 31-year-old man who had parked outside a Michigan elementary school called police to say he was armed and suicidal. Several hours later, he killed himself. The school, however, had been closed for seven months. There were no teachers. There were no students. Also listed on the organization’s site is an incident from Jan. 20, when at 1 a.m. a man was shot at a sorority event on the campus of Wake Forest University. A week later, as a basketball game was being played at a Michigan high school, someone fired several rounds from a gun in the parking lot. No one was injured, and it was past 8 p.m., well after classes had ended for the day, but Everytown still labeled it a school shooting.