Op-Ed: Bloomberg's latest stats on school gun violence ignore reality
Are schools and colleges dangerous places, with lots of gun violence?
Some groups paint a picture of these places being particularly unsafe. Supposedly both murders and firearm suicides are very common at educational institutions. Last Wednesday, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s two groups, Moms Demand Gun Sense in America and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, jointly released a report that received massive uncritical news coverage.
They claimed that 44 shootings occurred in schools and colleges nationwide since the Newtown, Conn. massacre on Dec. 14, 2012 and Feb. 10 of this year. Out of the 44 shootings, a total of 28 died. To dramatize their numbers, Bloomberg’s groups emphasized that one of these attacks occurred every 10 days.
But their statistics are not what they seem. Included in the numbers are suicides. Also included are late night shootings taking place in school parking lots, on their grounds or even off school property, often involving gangs. As "shootings," they also include any incident where shots were fired, even when nobody was injured.
Scaring Americans may be Bloomberg's only tool for drumming up support for gun control laws. But it ultimately shows how little faith that gun control advocates have in their case.
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