WaPo: Four Pinocchios for “one school shooting a week” claim by Everytown, Senate Democrat

posted at 9:21 am on June 29, 2015 by Ed Morrissey

“Since Sandy Hook there has been a school shooting, on average, every week,” Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) declared in a floor speech on Wednesday of last week. “How on earth can we live with ourselves if we do nothing?” Maybe the first item on Murphy’s to-do list should be to check his facts, and then chuck anything coming from the gun-control group Everytown into the round file. Their definition of “school shootings,” while evoking the memory of the Newtown massacre by a deranged gunman, actually includes anything where a trigger got pulled — even suicides and accidents, as Michelle Ye Hee Lee discovered after digging into Everytown’s claims of 126 school shootings:

When Everytown first released its tally in 2014, media organizations gave it a lot of publicity — but then had second thoughts once it became clear it was such a broad list. CNN, for instance, initially reported the “74” figure but then determined that only 15 cases were similar to Newtown.

The Fact Checker analyzed each case included in the updated list. Of the 126 cases, 25 were attempted or committed suicides. The majority of the shootings on this list were targeted attacks against individuals stemming from altercations or ongoing conflicts. …

There were at least 10 incidents that were similar to shooting in Newtown, with one shooter opening fire with the intent to kill or injure multiple victims. A separate incident in June 2015 involved a couple that shot and killed a cat on a school campus, but had told law enforcement officials they would have shot students if it were “God’s will.” We did not include that in the list of 10 incidents.

Someone in Connecticut should ask Murphy why he’s using data from a lobbying group rather than the FBI, which actually has a pretty good definition of active shooter situations and keeps tabs on the number. They issued a report last September that covers the time period from 2000-2013 that identified 160 incidents which qualified as mass-shooting incidents. The second-most-common venue for these shootings was K-12 schools, with 39 such reported incidents in thirteen years, which averages to three per year or one every seventeen weeks. That’s still too high, but it raises the question as to why K-12 schools get targeted, with one potential answer being the particular vulnerability of those closed campuses — no police patrols, no armed guards, no barriers for a mass murderer to complete his plans. (The most common venue? Commerce areas open for pedestrian traffic — malls — many of which insist that their customers refrain from carrying firearms as personal protection.)

So how did Everytown get to 126? They included incidents such as one in which a student at a community college accidentally shot himself in the leg while trying to unload his pistol so that it could be stored safely in his car. Another involved the murders of two janitors by a co-worker who had been feuding with them. A kindergartner brought a gun to school in his backpack and it went off. Suicides were included, even though they didn’t involve any other victims except the perpetrator. And so on. It’s quite a display of intellectual dishonesty, demagoguery, and exploitation.

It’s also a pretty good display of idiocy from Senator Murphy, too. Lee notes that this list had already been largely debunked by national media quite a while ago, which is the contributing factor to her decision to give Murphy the full boat of four Pinocchios:

Lawmakers have a responsibility to check out the facts in the reports they use, especially ones that come from advocacy groups. If they are aware there are definitions that are disputed, or that are defined in other ways depending on who uses them, it is incumbent on lawmakers to clarify exactly what they are talking about and not mislead the public. In particular, lawmakers should rely more on official government statistics, such as from the FBI, rather than misleading metrics cobbled together by interest groups.

We wavered between Three and Four Pinocchios. But this is a definition of “school shooting” that was widely disputed a year ago, and lawmakers need to present information — especially for such a controversial topic as gun control — in a clear, responsible and accurate way. Murphy’s failure to do so tipped the rating to Four.

Too bad the scale doesn’t run to five.

Addendum: This, unlike the AP’s “fact check” of Jeb Bush’s contention that US GDP should grow at a 4% clip, actually checks facts.


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Comments

Maybe if the Republicans there didn’t always end up with a pro-wrestling wife celebrity to run against this knob, he wouldn’t be an elected Senator. Right? Go Trump, I guess.

Marcus on June 29, 2015 at 9:24 AM

It’s also a pretty good display of idiocy from Senator Murphy, too

He’s a liberal, a demorat, and a politician, expecting the dude to showcase intelligence beyond being able to flush a toilet is a waste of time.

Bishop on June 29, 2015 at 9:26 AM

If we just removed the American flag and replaced it with the rainbow flag all will be good……………….

VegasRick on June 29, 2015 at 9:26 AM

If we just removed the American flag and replaced it with the rainbow flag all will be good……………….

VegasRick on June 29, 2015 at 9:26 AM

The rainbow flag without a brown stripe which is an obvious exclusion of Hispanics?

You effing racists make me puke. Go wrap yourself in a Confederate battle flag, bigot.

Bishop on June 29, 2015 at 9:28 AM

It doesn’t matter if it is not true, partly true or an outright lie.

The LIV will believe it and not question it.

Walter L. Newton on June 29, 2015 at 9:30 AM

most of the comments over there (so far) seem to indicate (and I may be wrong) they are fine with the way he said it as long as gets rid of guns.

dmacleo on June 29, 2015 at 9:31 AM

How exactly is it that the WaPo can give anyone a Pinocchio for lying?

oscarwilde on June 29, 2015 at 9:37 AM

Maybe if the Republicans there didn’t always end up with a pro-wrestling wife celebrity to run against this knob, he wouldn’t be an elected Senator. Right? Go Trump, I guess.

Marcus on June 29, 2015 at 9:24 AM

The Republican bench in CT is about as strong as Obama’s intellect, and the state residence are morons addicted to big government. Mrs. McMahon at least gave him some fight for her own money.

Rix on June 29, 2015 at 9:40 AM

Maybe if the Republicans there didn’t always end up with a pro-wrestling wife celebrity to run against this knob, he wouldn’t be an elected Senator. Right? Go Trump, I guess.

Marcus on June 29, 2015 at 9:24 AM

Next the Republicans will be trying to elect an actor or someone.

rhombus on June 29, 2015 at 9:51 AM

It doesn’t matter if it is not true, partly true or an outright lie.

The LIV will believe it and not question it.

Walter L. Newton on June 29, 2015 at 9:30 AM

it’s an exaggeration, and unfortunately not much of one if you read the post.

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Another Democrat and the Democrat funded group lied?

Wow…did not see that coming.

LoganSix on June 29, 2015 at 9:56 AM

How many included quarter eaten pop tarts?

rbj on June 29, 2015 at 9:58 AM

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

You know, maybe schools should be more protected to reduce the chances of shootings. Maybe if we properly train the school staff and equip them with guns, it would dissuade anyone from trying to shoot up a school.

Nobody shoots up a gun store or a gun and knife show.

LoganSix on June 29, 2015 at 10:02 AM

Maybe if the Republicans there didn’t always end up with a pro-wrestling wife celebrity to run against this knob, he wouldn’t be an elected Senator. Right? Go Trump, I guess.

Marcus on June 29, 2015 at 9:24 AM

Next the Republicans will be trying to elect an actor or someone.

rhombus on June 29, 2015 at 9:51 AM

That was the Democrat’s old meme. That a highly successful California Governor was only a B-list actor.

Marcus on June 29, 2015 at 10:03 AM

(The most common venue? Commerce areas open for pedestrian traffic — malls — many of which insist that their customers refrain from carrying firearms as personal protection.)

Oh, you mean “gun free zones”, because EVERYONE KNOWS that killers respect the law and would NEVER think of taking a weapon into these areas.

Right?

GarandFan on June 29, 2015 at 10:04 AM

Splatter guns and non-lethal skeet shotguns, that’s the answer for all you gun nuts.

Bishop on June 29, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Splatter guns and non-lethal skeet shotguns, that’s the answer for all you gun nuts.

Bishop on June 29, 2015 at 10:11 AM

Well, better than shooting them with a scat shotgun and leaving a disgusting stinking mess, I guess.

LoganSix on June 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM

AH, so Chris “Stuff the ballot box” Murphy is telling tales out of class, eh? I’m thoroughly shocked, I tell you, Shocked! Connecticut’s 2 senators, Richard “Viet Nam Vet” Blumenthal and Chris “We’ve Got It in the Bag” Murphy are shameless. Nothing is beneath Blumenthal’s zeal for a lawsuit and Murphy is just lining his pockets at public expense. Neither has anything resembling honor or integrity, but they will continually be re-elected until someone has enough money to out pad the election results!

Boats48 on June 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM

I think it’s time to retire this Pinocchio business. When did the Dems start caring if any fact was factual?

leftamark on June 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM

most of the comments over there (so far) seem to indicate (and I may be wrong) they are fine with the way he said it as long as gets rid of guns.
dmacleo on June 29, 2015 at 9:31 AM

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.
Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

They’re migrating over here now.

Cleombrotus on June 29, 2015 at 10:21 AM

The only people shooting and killing each other with illegally owned guns at the rate of about one murder a week are in Democrat stongholds like Chicago.

But you keep going after legal guns owners who are growing geometrically by the week.

Clown.

Connecticut should be embarrassed.

Maybe Murphy should focus on his education system and it’s liberal occupants who allowed the insane Newtown shooter to skate outside the system because they didn’t want to “stigmatize” him.

You want a scapegoat? Start there.

Marcus Traianus on June 29, 2015 at 10:23 AM

And tlaloc proves Walter correct in less than 30 minutes.

Liars gonna lie and low info mofo’s gonna lick it up.

HumpBot Salvation on June 29, 2015 at 10:26 AM

The only people shooting and killing each other with illegally owned guns at the rate of about one murder a week are in Democrat stongholds like Chicago…

Marcus Traianus on June 29, 2015 at 10:23 AM

43 fatal shootings this year so far in Chicago, yes, that’s about 1 per week. But actually 276 total shootings. That’s about 1.5 per day.

Fenris on June 29, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Marcus Traianus on June 29, 2015 at 10:23 AM

43 fatal shootings this year so far in Chicago, yes, that’s about 1 per week. But actually 276 total shootings. That’s about 1.5 per day.

Fenris on June 29, 2015 at 10:39 AM

Sorrty, my bad! That’s only for June 2015 so far, not the entire year.

Fenris on June 29, 2015 at 10:41 AM

The last Democrat Senator from Conn. that had any actual credibility was Joe Lieberman.

JetBoy on June 29, 2015 at 11:00 AM

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

So stipulated. Then why does your side feel the need to *lie* and/or “exaggerate” on the issue?

Buck Farky on June 29, 2015 at 11:01 AM

it’s an exaggeration, and unfortunately not much of one if you read the post.

It’s not an exaggeration, it’s a lie.

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Ok, make it 1.5 shootings every day. Then it will have the same attention the press is paying to Chicago shootings.

Oh wait……..

itsspideyman on June 29, 2015 at 11:14 AM

it’s an exaggeration, and unfortunately not much of one if you read the post.

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Yet again, you manage to impress with your ability to cram amazing amounts of inaccuracy and flat-out untruth into an incredibly small amount of text.

it’s an exaggeration, and unfortunately not much of one if you read the post.

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade.

As opposed to the claim of one a week. So you’re saying inflating the numbers by a factor of 12 is “not much of an exaggeration.”

If I had said the national debt has increased by 90 trillion dollars on Obama’s watch, instead of the 7.5 trillion that it actually has increased, would you tell me that’s “not much of an exaggeration”?

I didn’t think so.

That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

The only ones trying to stop it are those trying to give people in schools permission to defend themselves. Leftists, on the other hand, are trying their best to extend that defenselessness to everybody.

Except for the actual criminals, of course. Leftists are busily giving them “space to destroy” and working to make sure they have the right to vote.

GrumpyOldFart on June 29, 2015 at 11:20 AM

it’s an exaggeration, and unfortunately not much of one if you read the post.

It was not presented as an exaggeration. It was a factual assertion. An assertion that is not true.

Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

And what a grand impact your efforts are having. Like how the assault weapons ban prevented Columbine. And how background checks prevented Newtown.

And oh, if only we had put back in the laws about those pesky “automatic” weapons that “spray bullets”, then maybe Redneck McGee would not have been able to shoot up that church in Charleston. After all, if he’d been forbidden an “assault” weapon and forced to use, say, a Glock 41, he might have had to reload as many as five times during the conflict, giving plenty of time for all those unarmed crusaders to totally take him down.

It’s a pretty simple premise: if the truth was on the side of gun control, they wouldn’t have to exaggerate and outright lie so constantly.

The Schaef on June 29, 2015 at 11:28 AM

There are about 134,900 K-12 schools in the US. Source.
Which makes the incident rate .002%

I wish the number were zero, but 17 kids die each year just getting to school.

I will be for Gun Free Zones when the NY Times, NBC and the school where their children attend are Gun Free Zones.

barnone on June 29, 2015 at 12:09 PM

How exactly is it that the WaPo can give anyone a Pinocchio for lying?

oscarwilde on June 29, 2015 at 9:37 AM

They’ve built up so many they have plenty to spare.

James on June 29, 2015 at 12:23 PM

I’m embarrassed. He used to be my congressman and now he is my senator. What an ignorant pandering jerk.

steveracer on June 29, 2015 at 12:23 PM

it’s an exaggeration, and unfortunately not much of one if you read the post.

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

We might take you (and everytown) more seriously if you were actually sincere.

Let’s unpack your statement, shall we? You lie about the severity of a problem to support legislation you favor. When it’s pointed out that your numbers don’t support the charge, you accuse us of “quibbling”, and that since they are “the only ones trying to stop it” (another lie), we should let them misinform the public. Why? Is it because you think the public is easily led, and a little “exaggeration” is a small price to pay for the cause? Why do you insist on lying? It it because the cause is (to you) so just that *any* tactic is justified, even blatant lies? Why are you insulting the public?

Jeff Weimer on June 29, 2015 at 12:44 PM

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.
Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

So when a psycho snaps and decides to go out and kill a bunch of people, why do suppose they choose schools so often?
What is the one factor that nearly all mass shooting locations have in common?

dentarthurdent on June 29, 2015 at 12:53 PM

democrats and the liberal turds that support them are ok with lying. They never let truth get in the way. They are drama queens and more interested in stirring emotions than thinking.

crosshugger on June 29, 2015 at 1:00 PM

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Have you found the “sunken” remains of the USS Liberty yet?

Looking back at a complete list of US school shootings year-by-year starting in 2005, we find…that as usual, you’re Lying through your teeth.

1 mass school shooting in March 2005.

The only other “mass school shooting” in 2005 was 8 months later, in Tennessee, in which a student shot 3 school administrators in their office.

F- #1.

2006:

March: 2 students shot in the Blue City of Reno.

October: Amish School shooting.

F- #2.

2007:

April: Virginia Tech massacre.

October: Success Tech Academy shooting in Ohio.

F- #3.

2008:

February: Louisiana Tech shooting

Also that month, the NIU shooting in Illinois. Notice both are schools for adults, unlike Newtown.

October: Mass (4 people) public school shooting, Blue City of Detroit.

Also that month, University of Central Arkansas shootings.

F- #4.

2009:

January: Dunbar High School in Democrat Chicago shooting. Gang related, nothing to do with the school itself, and it happened outside of the school after school hours.

April: Hampton University pizza delivery man shooting. Adults.

June: Shooting at International Studies Academy, Blue City of San Francisco.

F-#5.

2010:

February: University of Alabama shooting, where a professor kills 3 of her fellow professors. All were adults.

Also that month, a mass (2 students) middle school shooting in the Blue State of Colorado.

September: Mumford High School shooting in Blue City of Detroit.

F- #6.

2011:

January: High school mass shooting in Omaha.

March: Houston Texas high school powder puff football game mass shooting.

I could continue sinking your boat, but you get the idea. There have been nowhere near the number of “mass school shootings” as you believe in the past decade. The vast majority of what gun grabbers call “school shootings” have specious relations to schools at best; they include shootings that don’t actually take place inside the schools (one of the “mass school shootings” in 2010 took place in a private apartment on a university campus in (the Blue City of) Los Angeles). Likewise, “school shootings” as defined by the Left include any incident where a student brings a gun to school and then kills himself, or herself, without shooting anyone else.

However, it is interesting to examine that data because two other things jump right out:

1. The majority of school shootings in the 2005-2014 decade took place after January of 2009, when your Cult Leader took office, and

2. The majority of mass school shootings in the 2005-2014 decade took place in Blue States or Blue Cities, and in places that already had draconian gun laws.

Your problem is that you believe Newtown was the norm for school shootings. In fact, it was the exception.

F- #7.

Del Dolemonte on June 29, 2015 at 1:33 PM

Something else to consider: there are something like 100,000 schools in the U.S. Even if it was one shooting per week, we are talking about less than a tenth of a percent chance per school per year.

Count to 10 on June 29, 2015 at 2:12 PM

Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc

We’ve seen what happens when your side tries to stop shootings. No thank you.

xblade on June 29, 2015 at 2:15 PM

people keep talking about Connecticut and gun control. a large part of New Londons’ financial base is or was from the Coast Guard academy and the Navys’ submarine base there. it’s telling about Cts’ populace that even now there are signs on lawns in that area that say “sailors and dogs keep off the grass” just as there were when i was stationed there in 1958. Connecticut be damned.

bilker on June 29, 2015 at 2:23 PM

Most of the good points have been made above.
All of them are repeats from prior discussions (extending back for years), kind of like the debunking of the Senator’s claim.

This sticks out to me:

Maybe Murphy should focus on his education system and it’s liberal occupants who allowed the insane Newtown shooter to skate outside the system because they didn’t want to “stigmatize” him.

You want a scapegoat? Start there.

Marcus Traianus on June 29, 2015 at 10:23 AM

AesopFan on June 29, 2015 at 2:53 PM

From the FBI link above:
 

The 39 incidents that occurred in educational environments (27 schools, 12 IHEs) resulted in 117 individuals killed and 120 wounded
 
https://www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2014/september/fbi-releases-study-on-active-shooter-incidents/pdfs/a-study-of-active-shooter-incidents-in-the-u.s.-between-2000-and-2013

 
One hundred and seventeen people killed in schools between 2000-2013.
 
One hundred and twenty people wounded in schools between 2000-2013.
 

In fall 2014, about 49.8 million students will attend public elementary and secondary schools… An additional 5.0 million students are expected to attend private schools…

In fall 2014, some 21.0 million students are expected to attend American colleges and universities…

Public school systems will employ about 3.1 millionfull-time-equivalent (FTE) teachers in fall 2014…
 
http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372

 
Seventy nine million people in schools.
 
(And that’s not even counting non-teacher admin and other personnel)
 
Only one hundred and seventeen (117) people killed at twenty seven (27) schools out of about 150K (one hundred and fifty thousand) campuses during the last decade.
 
It’s amazing to realize how much of a non-problem it truly is.

rogerb on June 29, 2015 at 6:25 PM

Addendum:
 
Oopsies. I only counted the school population for one school year.
 

Seventy nine million people in schools.
 
rogerb on June 29, 2015 at 6:25 PM

 
Only there were 13 years.
 
79M x 13 = 1.027B
 
one billion twenty-seven million (1,027,000,000) people in schools (fun fact- that’s 1/7 of the world’s total population)
 
117 (one hundred and seventeen) people killed.
 
That’s absolutely astonishing.

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 6:00 AM

Perspective:
 
Seating capacity 247 passengers
 

http://www.airbus.com/aircraftfamilies/passengeraircraft/a330family/a330-200/

 
Imagine one of these jets crashing into the ocean a once every 13 years and half the passengers surviving.
 
That’s pretty much the extent of the “problem”.

rogerb on June 30, 2015 at 6:13 AM

Observing these parties now several years via internet, I notice attacks are always from the left and always begin with a lie. Most time is spent fixing the lie while the second phase of attack is activated and a second front opened. Another attack flying in from out of far left field. And as reasoned responses are fashioned for both broadsides are being prepared for third and fourth attacks and so on in series ad infinitum.

bour3 on June 30, 2015 at 8:51 AM

A mass school shooting every 3 months for at least a decade. That’s horrific, Yet you’re quibbling over the exact number and insulting the only ones trying to stop it.

Tlaloc on June 29, 2015 at 9:54 AM

Would you like to know the absolute safest place on Earth to be during wartime?

A United States Navy aircraft carrier. (All of them nuclear-powered, by the way) Now ask yourself why this could be such a safe place. It couldn’t be the protection of half-a-dozen well-armed warships picketed around it, or the self-protection of 50-plus warplanes carrying better weaponry than any potential enemy, could it?

Nevermind, let’s not strain you too much. Why aren’t there mass shootings at police stations? Oh, someone tried that recently, how’d that turn out, and why?

In your imbecilic non-analysis, every person who owns a gun is a bad guy. If more good people ignored your ilk, and owned a gun because it’s a wise thing to do, fewer citizens would be victims, and fewer criminals would take the risk. The math is quite simple, really.

Freelancer on June 30, 2015 at 11:44 AM