#FakeNews alert: Bloomberg's gun group's claims about school shootings are rather... fanciful

Is this what they mean by “fake news” today? I’m not expecting to see it highlighted on MSNBC anytime soon, but the Huffington Post recently spooned out some “data” on school shootings supplied to them by Everytown For Gun Safety. The Michael Bloomberg funded group has been compiling statistics on mass shootings at schools which have taken place since Sandy Hook and the numbers are seriously alarming.

There Have Been Over 200 School Shooting Incidents Since The Sandy Hook Massacre

There have been over 200 school shooting incidents ― an average of nearly four a week ― since the horrifying morning when 20-year-old Adam Lanza marched into Sandy Hook Elementary School and did the unthinkable…

According to data from Everytown for Gun Safety, which tracks gun violence and other shootings on school grounds, there have been at least 94 gun-related deaths and more than 156 people injured as a result of more than 200 school shooting incidents since Sandy Hook. This doesn’t include plots that thankfully didn’t come to fruition, like the one police stopped this week in Oklahoma, when they arrested a heavily armed 13-year-old girl who had reportedly threatened her classmates.

Wow. 200 shootings. I knew we still had a problem with crazy people and criminals who get their hands on guns, but even I didn’t think it was that bad. But is it really? As with so many other “factoids” which show up at sites like HuffPo and in the mainstream media, you might want to do a bit of research on your own before swallowing them whole. That’s precisely what our colleague Bob Owens did over at Bearing Arms. Unlike the Huffington Post, Bob investigated the actual incidents listed in the Everytown spreadsheet and immediately began noticing some discrepancies. For starters, he established a basic definition of a “school shooting” as an incident where someone actually was intentionally shot in or on the property of a school. (Doesn’t sound too unreasonable, does it?) Applying that to the list of incidents he immediately began noticing a pattern. Here’s just a couple of the early examples.

1/7/13 FORT MYERS, FL Apostolic Revival Center Christian School

The incident in question was what authorities believe was a drug deal gone bad, occurred off-campus.

Fact Check Tally: 0 School Shootings | 1 Everytown Lie

1/16/13 CHICAGO, IL Chicago State University

The tragic shooting of Tyrone Lawson by a couple of suspected gang members in a parking lot at 95th Street and King Drive in Chicago was near, but not on the campus of Chicago State University. Not a school shooting.

Fact Check Tally: 2 School Shootings | 3 Everytown Lies

2/7/13 FORT PIERCE, FL Indian River State College

Fort Pierce Police Chief Sean Baldwin said that a police chase that went across the city that ended up in a shootout between the suspect and the police in a campus parking lot was “just a coincidence.” This was not a school shooting.

Fact Check Tally: 5 School Shootings | 4 Everytown Lies

It goes on from there. And on, and on and on and on. Bob has done the hard work which is normally left to professional journalists in the mainstream media, but HuffPo’s uncritical regurgitation of this Bloomberg group’s “fact sheet” demonstrates why the job can’t be left entirely up to them. Everytown claimed a grand total of 203 “school shootings” to push a maximum shock factor out to the public. What was the final tally when Bob finished his investigation? I’m not going to print the number here and steal his thunder, but if you click through to Bearing Arms and scroll down to the bottom you will see a figure which demonstrates precisely how much credibility should be assigned to Bloomberg in these matters. The percentage of incidents in the report which would qualify as a “school shooting” even under the most generous of definitions is greater than the amount of copper you find in the average 2016 penny… but not by all that much.