When is a school shooting not really a school shooting? For the folks at CNN, it apparently all depends on what you mean by “school” and “shooting.” On June 10, Everytown for Gun Safety published a disturbing report which reveals that — since the Sandy Hook massacre in December 2012 — there have been 74 school shootings in the U.S. To make matters even more alarming, the full report warns it is likely that even more school shootings occur that go unreported.
Everytown’s definition for what qualifies as a school shooting is straight-forward:
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.
The count does not include times when children or adults brought guns to school but did not fire them, nor incidents that were not reported by the media.
Think Progress reports that CNN — which originally reported many of the events on EveryTown’s list as “school shootings” — now seems to be caving in to pressure from right-wing gun nuts. In a backpedalling “news report” titled, “A closer look: How many Newtown-like shootings since Sandy Hook,” CNN claims that only 15 “school shootings” have occurred since Adam Lanza murdered 26 people on December 14, 2012.
And how do CNN “reporters” Ashley Fantz, Lindsey Knight and Kevin Wang manage to miraculously undo those 59 school shootings? By calling them something else of course.
CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon — a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. [But] Some of the other incidents on Everytown’s list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals [….] when a firearm was discharged inside a school building or on school or campus grounds, as documented in publicly reported news accounts.
That’s right. By arbitrarily deciding that some “school shootings” aren’t really “school shootings,” we can make this problem go away without actually doing anything about all those guns we Americans keep toting around. But, oops, there’s just one problem: Our children and teachers still keep getting shot, injured, and killed at alarming rates, while we refuse to protect them.
Watch CNN’s report on not-school shootings.
h/t Think Progress.