On February 21, Planned Parenthood tweeted out the following message:
Without a hint of irony, the abortion provider stated: “Schools are meant to be safe — they are sites of growth and development for young people.”
Below that, Planned Parenthood cited an alleged statistic: “As of 2013, the United States has averaged nearly one school shooting per week.”
While many on Twitter were quick to point out that alongside schools, a womb is “meant to be safe” and a “site of growth and development for young people,” no one seemed to question the “once a week” school shooting statistic.
Let’s examine that.
The tweet from Planned Parenthood links to an article. Within the article, a link to the organization from which they obtained the statistic can be found. Unsurprisingly, the abortion provider got their information from the infamous Everytown for Gun Safety.
Everytown’s official website has an interactive map where you can click on each of the alleged “291 school shootings in America since 2013.” However, upon further examination, it becomes clear that Everytown’s definition of “school shooting” is rather broad.
Here are several examples:
- On February 15, 2018, “a sound thought to be a gunshot put North Broward Preparatory School on lockdown. During the investigation of what turned out to be a false alarm, a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy unintentionally discharged his firearm, injuring his leg. The deputy was treated at the scene.” This took place at North Broward Preparatory School in Coconut Creek, Florida.
- On September 12, 2017, “an unidentified campus security guard was carrying his personal handgun while on duty when he unintentionally discharged it while handling it, hitting himself in the shoulder. He was able to walk to a campus medical center, where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries. The security guard originally told officers he was shot by an unknown assailant, causing a manhunt and the campus to be locked down, but later admitted to shooting himself. He was arrested and charged with reporting a false crime.” This took place at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- On November 2, 2016, “shortly before school let out in the afternoon, an unidentified student shot and killed themselves in a car in the student parking lot. Grand Junction Police declined to immediately release additional details.” This took place at Grand Junction High School in Grand Junction, Colorado.
- On September 28, 2015, “a 21-year-old Montana Tech student was cleaning a firearm when he unintentionally discharged a round into the floor of his university-owned apartment. No one was physically harmed. The incident occurred in a 60-unit building that provides housing for students, families, faculty and staff.” This took place at Montana Tech in Butte, Montana.
- On April 13, 2015, “a 20-year-old assailant fatally shot Ron Lane, 44, with a shotgun in the school library. Law enforcement apprehended the shooter and charged him with murder. Lane was an openly gay man and the shooter admitted that he ‘hates gays with a passion.’” This took place at Wayne Community College in Goldsboro, North Carolina.
While the above incidents range from foolish to tragic, few would call them “school shootings” in the same vein as Parkland, Sandy Hook, or Columbine. Yet Everytown and Planned Parenthood don’t bother to make those necessary distinctions.
Taken at face value, Planned Parenthood’s info-graphic makes it seem as though “school shootings” like what occurred in Parkland, Florida, are a once-weekly occurrence, which is patently false.