First, and most importantly, skewing statistics to suit an argument only discredits the argument that would have been just as important and shocking otherwise. The number presented below is by no means good or comforting, but having real statistics is important so that people supporting change are not misled, and so that when facing an argument, there are no falsified or incorrect facts that could be a liability.
In yet another viral story (published by CNN, and popularized by literally everyone else on social media), CNN claimed that there have been 22 school shootings this month (over one per week). This is incorrect, and I am sick of having to prove people's statistics wrong because I honestly don't even like numbers or looking them up.
CNN's parameters in the school shootings list were ridiculously loose so that the number was maximized. Only by their parameters were there 22 "school shootings." Those parameters include: numerous isolated incidents and fights on college campuses, isolated incidents in parking lots and closed down schools, incidents on campuses involving no faculty or students, an incident during a demonstration with a gun, and an incident in which a kid got shot with a B.B. gun. B.B. guns are not real guns, and shoot small pellets, for those who don't know.
Earlier this year, following the Parkland Shooting, there was another incident after a story published by Everytown For Gun Safety faced backlash when it was realized that their parameters for school shootings were also very loose and included events similar to the way CNN did now. One would assume that media outlets learn their lesson and not make the same mistakes as people who have already been exposed, but here we are. Not only is this an upset because the parameters are intentionally misleading, but putting a B.B. gun incident on the same plane as the tragedy in Parkland is disrespectful and offensive to both victims and survivors.
Narrowing down what is not seen as a "school shooting" in the way Parkland and Santa Fe were, that number becomes ten. I even included some incidents not otherwise grouped with the aforementioned shootings because of resulting deaths on a school campus. Ten, albeit an awful amount for one year that is only halfway finished, is not 22, and skewing an already bad statistic ruins the credibility of the original story and completely discredits the subject matter.
List of Actual School Shootings:
- January 22nd: High School in Italy, TX. Shot at a cafeteria, one injury.
- January 23rd: High School in Benton, KY. Shot 16 people, 2 deaths.
- February 1st: Middle School in L.A. Two injured (two others "grazed") in "unintentional" discharge of a weapon.
- February 9th: High School in Nashville, TN. One student shot 5 times in parking lot.
- February 14th: High School in Parkland, FL. One former student killed 17 adults and students.
- March 7th: High School in Birmingham, AL. Accidental shooting killed one student, injured another.
- March 20th: High School in Lexington Park, MD. Student shot two other students, one student died and so did the shooter.
- April 20th: High School in Ocala, FL. One student shot in the ankle before a walk-out, suspect is a former student.
- May 11th: High School in Palmdale California. One armed student with a semiautomatic, one student injured.
- May 18th: High School in Sante Fe, TX. 8-10 deaths, details still coming.
These are all tragedies, and even the ones removed from the list are tragic; however, skewing incidents for a cause will only discredit that cause. Keep your facts straight. Make the issue heard.