The figure originated with Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit group, co-founded by Michael Bloomberg, that works to prevent gun violence and is most famous for its running tally of school shootings.
“This,” the organization tweeted at 4:22 p.m. Wednesday, “is the 18th school shooting in the U.S. in 2018.”
A tweet by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) including the claim had been liked more than 45,000 times by Thursday evening, and one from political analyst Jeff Greenfield had cracked 126,000. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted it, too, as did performers Cher and Alexander William and actors Misha Collins and Albert Brooks. News organizations — including MSNBC, ABC News, NBC News, CBS News, Time, MSN, the BBC, the New York Daily News and HuffPost — also used the number in their coverage. By Wednesday night, the top suggested search after typing “18” into Google was “18 school shootings in 2018.”
It is a horrifying statistic. And it is wrong.
Everytown has long inflated its total by including incidents of gunfire that are not really school shootings. Take, for example, what it counted as the year’s first: On the afternoon of Jan. 3, a 31-year-old man who had parked outside a Michigan elementary school called police to say he was armed and suicidal. Several hours later, he killed himself. The school, however, had been closed for seven months. There were no teachers. There were no students.
Also listed on the organization’s site is an incident from Jan. 20, when at 1 a.m. a man was shot at a sorority event on the campus of Wake Forest University. A week later, as a basketball game was being played at a Michigan high school, someone fired several rounds from a gun in the parking lot. No one was injured, and it was past 8 p.m., well after classes had ended for the day, but Everytown still labeled it a school shooting.
Everytown explains on its website that it defines a school shooting as “any time a firearm discharges a live round inside a school building or on a school campus or grounds.”
Sarah Tofte, Everytown’s research director, calls the definition “crystal clear,” noting that “every time a gun is discharged on school grounds it shatters the sense of safety” for students, parents and the community.
She said she and her colleagues work to reiterate those parameters in their public messaging. But the organization’s tweets and Facebook posts seldom include that nuance. Just once in 2018, on Feb. 2, has the organization clearly explained its definition on Twitter. And Everytown rarely pushes its jarring totals on social media immediately after the more questionable shootings, as it does with those that are high-profile and undeniable, such as the Florida massacre or one from last month in Kentucky that left two students dead and at least 18 people injured.
After The Washington Post published this report, Everytown removed the Jan. 3 suicide outside the closed Michigan school.
The figures matter because gun-control activists use them as evidence in their fight for bans on assault weapons, stricter background checks and other legislation. Gun rights groups seize on the faults in the data to undermine those arguments and, similarly, present skewed figures of their own." Go to: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/no-there-havent-been-18-school-shooting-in-2018-that-number-is-flat-wrong/2018/02/15/65b6cf72-1264-11e8-8ea1-c1d91fcec3fe_story.html?utm_term=.6d7f7be863aa
for full article.
Nb. The Washington Post article leads with the an argument concerning the classification of acts of terror perpetrated on children not how such numbers simply don't compare to those of the rest of the world! Is it any kind of coincidence that The Washington Post changed its motto to; "Democracy Dies in Darkness" last year?
Extending Thomas Jefferson's ideals, Arendt argues;
"If the ultimate end of revolution was freedom and the constitution of a public space where freedom could appear, then... no one could be called happy without his share of public happiness, that no one could be called free without his experience in public freedom, and that no one could be called happy or free without participating, and having a share, in public power."" Go to: http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2012/06/20126187529252770.html
for full article.
"This is why Jefferson advocated the ward system so strongly—it would have allowed every citizen to participate in the governance of the state, and thus, to be able to actually pursue public happiness. Today, not only is the “pursuit of happiness” understood exclusively as the pursuit of private happiness, but we have also forgotten the origins and the spirit of the American Revolution. That phoenix was reborn once from the ashes of the Dark Ages, and perhaps, as long as there are great minds like those of Arendt left to conceptualize and pursue it, will be reborn again." Go to: http://fadeyev.net/public-happiness/
for full article.
..and this from, "The Atlantic",
Quote; "Conservatives argue that the American Revolution exalted the individual. Certainly, the colonists didn't want the British Crown telling them what to do. But the Revolution wasn't just about getting the government out of people's lives so the Founders could pursue their private desires.
George Washington and Thomas Jefferson had nice houses. They could have enjoyed contented private lives. But it was not just about their property. They believed that you attained happiness, not merely through the goods you accumulated, or in your private life, but through the good that you did in public. People were happy when they controlled their destiny, when their voice was heard, when they participated in public events, when the government did not do things to them, or even for them, but with them.*" Go to: https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/06/the-pursuit-of-happiness-what-the-founders-meant-and-didnt/240708/ for full article.
*Italics mine Ed.
All three of the articles above touch on the rumoured conspiracy that, "The pursuit of happiness", the phrase that appears in The Declaration of Independence that is held in the National Archives Museum in Washington, was not the phraseology that appeared in a preceding, and original, document (signed by possibly more -or the same number-, of the Founding Fathers than the other). Arendt would I think agree that as the upshot of "The American Revolution" was to see the instigation of, "perpetual war" between the republic and democracy and if, "by their works shall ye now them" it would not be surprising to discover that an earlier more egalitarian drafting of The Declaration existed. The notion that the learned elders were incapable of explicating from both the British and (at that time burgeoning), French revolutions a more egalitarian (and enlightened), conception of social well-being and social order seems most errant nonsense and is given no credence by the correspondence quoted in my previous post warning Washington of the influence of Illuminati, "free-marketeers" within the American Lodges. This "preceding document" to which I refer is supposed to have contained the phrase; "the pursuit of public happiness" rather than the shorter apparently more individualistic but apparently object-less (and therefore meaningless?)*, one that appears on the version that is extant, it has also been suggested that Washington and others were responsible for secreting the original document away from the centres of power and beyond-the-gaze of those who wanted its destruction. That we see now how America continually, "makes war on its children" should also give credence to the notion that The New World never did truly sever its links with the old and simply substituted a dictatorial republican hierarchy for a monarchical one, that these same republicans should have been relying so heavily on our queen in order to maintain the status quo and further their own social- Darwinist agenda in recent years also suggests that the full story of The American Revolution (and how it is not yet over), has been deliberately kept from the American people.
*Quote; "Howard Mumford Jones said the pursuit of happiness is, “the ghastly privilege of pursuing a phantom and embracing a delusion.”" Go to: https://hac.bard.edu/amor-mundi/hannah-arendt-and-the-poetics-of-the-pursuit-of-happiness-2020-09-08
Nb. Part1 (due to what is apparently some kind of formatting/programme error), has disappeared from the timeline..it can however be found if you click on the post chronology page right..this has not happened before on Blogger and I will attempt to resolve the issue...here is the link.. go to: http://www.arafel.co.uk/2018/02/part-1-of-discussion-concerning.html ...