Monday, June 16, 2014

74 school shootings?

This map was making the rounds last week, after the latest school shooting in Oregon in which one boy shot another before killing himself.

The statistics come from a site called Everytown, which has compiled a list of all the school shootings since Sandy Hook.

It didn't take long for conservative gun advocates to push back, arguing that there weren't 74 school shootings, but more like 15.  As CNN put it, 
CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Newtown or Oregon -- a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one such shooting every five weeks, a startling figure in its own right. 
"See?" the gun nuts argued on facebook and in article comments.  "There were only 15.  You libs just make stuff up!"  Thus implying that the other cases were bogus fiction.

Well, no, gun nuts.  You just don't get it.

First of all, whether it's 1, 5, 15, or 74, that's far too many shootings.  You guys seem to think that's a justifiable number. REALLY?

Second, it's all in how you define "shootings".  You don't think that other events count as school shootings because they weren't a particular pattern.   But as Everytown puts it,
Incidents were classified as school shootings when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts. This includes assaults, homicides, suicides, and accidental shootings. 
They are describing "school shootings" as events where a gun was discharged in a school. NOT just the Newton-style crazed person invading with a gun, which is where CNN came up with 15.  As a parent, I'd say that regardless of the "style", a gun going off in a school is a Bad Thing.

One mother described it from the heart.  Her son was killed by gang violence in a school setting.  But somehow, to CNN and gun advocates, that's simply an accidental event.  They give gang violence a bye.  It's not a "school shooting".  She corrects them:
Whenever a gun is fired at school, parents are rightfully terrified. Students are rightfully terrified. Try explaining to a shocked and devastated community that the school shooting it's mourning is disqualified because the gun was fired as the result of a "personal argument." 
I suppose if your innocent son is shot by a gang member, it doesn't make the cut. Or if he was shot in an "accidental" shooting (how it's an accident that a gun wound up on school grounds to begin with is beyond me). Or if he pulled a gun out in a classroom and shot himself. Or if he got into a "personal argument" and was shot down in the type of mild playground fight that happens every day in schools, but turned deadly in that instance because a gun was present. 
Maybe I should be giving CNN credit because they've managed to do something Washington politicians could not. They've reduced the number of school shootings across the country. But their insistence that 59 school shootings -- which have killed 25 people and injured 40 others -- don't matter isn't much consolation to parents like me.
.... we can't address the violence if we don't even acknowledge these shootings exist.
So, gun advocates, you can pretend that the Libs were lying.  But we aren't.  We just consider "school shootings" to mean shootings that took place at school.  And there were at least 74. And  we think that's a bad thing, any time that children are at risk, whether they are the targets or collateral damage.

And you guys think that your "freedom" to carry a device, the only purpose of which is to kill,  outweighs that.  As David Adkins wrote in a vivid image, until we stop this,
the NRA will simply take our children, group by group, to its yearly Lottery because, after all, that's the way we've always done it. For freedom.
We really are speaking a fundamentally different language, the gun advocates and I.

1 comment:

JCF said...

SCOTUS, by a 5-4 (Kennedy swing) vote, did the bare minimum today: ruling that a law banning "Straw Purchases" (purchasing a gun for another unqualified person) did in fact {wait for it} ban Straw Purchases. [Don't tell that to Roberts, Thomas, Alito and, of course, Scalia!]

Some people act as if the 2nd Amendment trumps life itself... [which is how the 2nd Amendment too often operates]