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January 26, 2018

NY Times Peddles More School Shooting Deception

School shootings are no doubt heartbreaking. But the bigger story is the Times is complicit in its own immorality.

We’re not even a full month into the new year and already The New York Times is peddling deceptive information to spur action on gun control. On Tuesday, following the unfortunate situation in Benton, Kentucky, in which innocent students were ruthlessly attacked (and two killed) by a fellow pupil, the Times ran with this narrative-infused headline: “School Shooting in Kentucky Was Nation’s 11th of Year. It Was Jan. 23.” Only in the sixth paragraph did it almost unnoticeably get around to printing this disclaimer: “Some of the shootings at schools this year were suicides that injured no one else; some did not result in any injuries at all.” How nice of the Times to let that cat out of the bag — you know, after the agenda-driven drivel was already featured in the headline.

“A closer look at the statistics tells a different story,” says Daniel Lee, a former emergency medical technician, in The Wall Street Journal. Citing information from the notorious anti-gun group Everytown for Gun Safety, which news outlets consult for “gun statistics,” Lee explains that a slew of these incidents are extremely dubious when they are referred to as “school shootings.” For example, in Iowa, the window to a school bus was shattered courtesy of some dunderhead brandishing a pellet gun. In Texas, during a weapons class being hosted at a community college, a firearm was erroneously discharged. The list continues:

  • “A vehicle that pulled into a parking lot at Wiley College in Texas at 2 a.m. struck a wall, and someone inside fired shots apparently at random before fleeing the scene.

  • "A shot from off campus struck a building at California State University, San Bernardino at around 6 p.m.

  • "A 14-year-old Arizonan committed suicide without threatening anyone else.

  • "A veteran with posttraumatic stress disorder shot himself in the parking lot of a closed Michigan school. No students were present.”

Pellet ammo hitting a school bus; an erroneous firearm discharge; off-campus ruckuses that spill onto campus property; suicides — does any of that sound even remotely like what most of us consider a “school shooting”? The Times does say in its reporting that the Benton ordeal “was one of at least 11 shootings on school property recorded [emphasis added] since Jan. 1, and roughly the 50th of the academic year.” But that’s not implied (intentionally so) in the headline, which sounds more like gruesome gun slaughters have gone down 11 times already. Moreover, you cannot possibly conflate the “shootings” above with what happened in Kentucky this week.

To be clear, any school shooting not in self-defense is unjustified. And we all would do well to comfort those hurting and do our part to change the culture that breeds such violence. But the bigger story here is that the Times is complicit in its own immorality. By overplaying the statistics, it strives to encourage more people to yearn for gun control. Disregarding the truth and facts are far more dangerous than anything that can conceivably happen in a free nation.

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