The School Shootings That Weren't


I post this for two reasons.

First and most importantly is the actual topic.This is top notch reporting, and NPR is to be commended for fact checking a government report that apparently is grievously inaccurate and then reporting its findings.

The bottom line, as I and others here as well as a small minority of folks across the country have repeatedly said, school shootings are incredibly rare. We live in one of the safest societies in all of the earth’s history. We should always tread lightly when we discuss limiting the rights of American citizens out of unrealistic fear of lottery-odds risk. This article pretty much shows that modern American liberal progressive regressives are just flat wrong about school shootings – like they are about gun violence in general.

This spring the U.S. Education Department reported that in the 2015-2016 school year, “nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting.” The number is far higher than most other estimates.

But NPR reached out to every one of those schools repeatedly over the course of three months and found that more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened. Child Trends, a nonpartisan nonprofit research organization, assisted NPR in analyzing data from the government’s Civil Rights Data Collection.

We were able to confirm just 11 reported incidents, either directly with schools or through media reports.

“When we’re talking about such an important and rare event, [this] amount of data error could be very meaningful,” says Deborah Temkin, a researcher and program director at Child Trends.

Second, based on recent history, I have little doubt that anyone here would accept as credible anything coming from NPR. If this story had confirmed the ODE’s figures, much like just happened in another thread citing Politifact, it would be dismissed as a story from a liberal news source. So, I invite you all to treat this as more lies from “fake news.” Or will you latch onto it to support your pro-gun arguments?

I’m curious to see whether the left will treat this information and the clearly conservative NPR the same way the alleged capitalists of the right have treated actual capitalists and capitalist publications, like Reason and Cato, on free enterprise economics, just calling it a bunch of lies and fake news while clinging to the ODE’s inaccurate report of nearly 240 school shootings.

Democrats hold on Blacks weakens as Black owned businesses surge to new heights!

For comparison, the Everytown for Gun Safety database, citing media reports, listed just 29 shootings at K-12 schools between mid-August 2015 and June 2016. There is little overlap between this list and the government’s, with only seven schools appearing on both.

This is one of those other estimates out there. I suppose this is the number that liberals are all charged up over, but we don’t really hear gun-control advocates use numbers like this very often.

As the story reports later, the 240 is less than 1 percent of schools surveyed. That’s rare to start with, and this every town statistic is just more than 10 percent of the false figure. School shootings are incredibly rare.


I’ll agree to a point that we tend to dismiss leftist sources at the drop of a hat (although all too often, they’ve given us plenty of justification; if they can lie on some things, why should we trust them for others?). As to specific cases like this, I would be a little more inclined (but not perfectly so; some on both sides like to bait the other with fake news) to believe them when they put out something contrary to their leftist agenda, although I’ll still be distrustful of their motivations. I remember that the Huffington Post actually published a survey that showed that Fox News was the most trusted major news source. I was surprised that they actually admitted it, but I still wouldn’t trust them farther than I can throw them.


I’m inclined to buy NPR’s conclusions. Not because I inherently trust NPR, but because this confirms other data from other sources that indicated most “school shootings” were merely in proximity to or on school property and didn’t necessarily involve the school itself.


Agreed with the above poster. I would also trust NPR on this issue. However, I think that as with every major news source, there should always be thorough investigation and use good judgement on what we believe and what we don’t believe. Most of us conservatives have the rare gift of common sense, though, so that helps a lot. ha.


Some pretty thoughtful responses. Do you folks think that the left will dismiss NPR? Or is it close enough to reality they won’t latch onto the bad government report?

This is pretty good ammo for gun liberty. Honestly the statistic is one of the best defenses. It leaves the gun control crowd only this argument: “But 11 or 29 is too many. One is too many.” This of course is a terrible argument for curtailing our liberty as opposed to the sentiment, which I think we all hold.

Of course the inclination to trust this NPR story while outright denying information posted by conservative and libertarian news sources about the effects of the president’s tariffs (and other topics) continues to strike me as odd. It seems to me you decide based on whether the information confirms or denies your own conclusions on a subject. So many posts here at this site that say “Reason lies,” “Cato” lies, “National Review” lies, etc., and they’re just a bunch of liberal socialists, which of course is hilarious. It makes it virtually impossible for us to have a discussion though when sources of information are simply dismissed when the information conflicts with someone’s viewpoint.

Also, other sources confirm that school shootings (and nearby shootings) are simply rare too. It’s not just that they take place off campus.


I believe what I’ve found out for myself, RWNJ, and dismiss what I know to be false. Frankly, VERY few so-called “think-tanks” publish demonstrably-honest opinion pieces very often any longer. I don’t know why that is other than an effort to propagandize us. As for the NPR piece…I doubt that the mainstream media will even acknowledge it. THAT’S how they skew things their way as much as just publishing what is false on its face. They IGNORE it or bury it on paragraph 75 of a 76-paragraph piece.


Hi again, RC!


Hello! How are you? :slight_smile:


And how do you find out? Do you call the sources and verify what you read? Do you attend the meetings and interviews? Do you rely solely on what you see in a video to prove someone said something?


Yeah, ditto what FC said!


I use my INTELLECT. Something that liberals and RINOs seem to have forgotten about. I have lots of time on my hands since retirement and I am a PRODIGIOUS reader. I probably average reading 2 books per week these days, plus newspapers, magazines, e-zines, etc. I just received my copy of Ann Coulter’s “Resistance is Futile” and I’ll have it finished by this coming Sunday evening. Why do you think I need to justify HOW I find out and verify information to you, by the way?


Holding together! I’ll go into more detail when I respond to your e-mail.


I’m not asking you to justify anything. I’m asking you where and how you acquire information. You are among those who flat out dismiss information if it comes from the “wrong” source. That includes mainstream media as well as conservative and capitalist sources. It makes it difficult to have any discussion when you don’t believe or accept any information that appears contrary to the way you see things. This especially happens with the tariff discussion. There’s a reason I labeled that thread “lies.” That’s what a lot of people around here seem to think of actual free market capitalists. I literally don’t know how to discuss this subject with you and certain others because a beer maker is a liar, the soybean farmers are liars, the cherry industry lies and a pig farmer is a welfare rat and irrelevant to the discussion – because anyone who opposes a tax on trade is somehow a socialist, anti-Trump or just wrong. And in the case of :“Reason” and “Cato” liars devoted to leftwing, socialist economics.

It seems more and more difficult to have any discussion with partisans on either side. I know liberals who are convinced that collusion between Trump and Russia is proved beyond a shadow of a doubt and that Hillary is as pure as the wind-driven snow and did no wrong. They dismiss any sources that suggest any other conclusion. They quote any source that supports their conclusions.

As for how you verify information, most of us literally cannot verify much information on our own at all. Our ability to reason truth, to use our intellect, is limited by the facts we know. Our Ability to verify information is blocked by practical considerations and access to the source of the information. In this thread, NPR had the time and resources to call each of these school districts. Maybe you might, but I do not have time to verify NPR’s findings.

How we acquire and process information is very much part of a valid part of a discussion. It helps create more productive discussions, and I appreciate that you’re discussing it with me.


If you had the LEAST inkling of how Trump thinks and ACTS on his thoughts, you’d perhaps understand the tariff issue and why we support the President’s position vis a vis them. His announcements are NOT designed to actually IMPOSE tariffs…merely use the announcements of them as bargaining chips…and so far, that strategy is WORKING just fine with Mexico, Canada and the EU. Sooner or later, it’s going to work with China, too, because they simply CANNOT feed their own people without our help.


Good plan! It’s not working. Now we’re going to increase the number of welfare rats in the farming industry.

If I posted links, would you believe any stories about businesses shutting down or laying off their employees all to save an industry that was never suffering? Would you believe prices on American steel are rising, making production of other products more expensive and companies less competitive around the world? That last one is happening very close to home for me, thank you very much.

I do actually know how Trump thinks and acts. He keeps saying the same thing. In fact, his views on international trade are about the only thing I know about him since he’s so shifty on everything else. He’s been saying it for at least 39 years. There is no inscrutable angle that is going to make us all more prosperous. This is one of many videos demonstrating his opposition to free trade. This one includes a clip from about 30 years ago back when everyone hated Japan:

Same old collectivist song and dance. It really hasn’t turned out so badly over the years since Japan was “dumping” its VCRs on our market – as if it’s actual countries that actually trade. He’s been singing this tune consistently all his life.


Sounds like a plan, FC!!