Categories: OpinionPolitics

NPR debunks school shooting stats, Facebook censors report

Do it for the children! It’s an argument trotted out all too often by politicians, commentators and activists on both ends of the political spectrum when advocating for government to do something; to intervene in order to advance whatever particular agenda they may have.

It seems almost impossible not to have noticed the employment of this tactic when it comes to the issue of gun control. The argument goes that even if you’re wary of governments further restricting or banning firearm ownership you should be compelled to give your head a shake and compromise your position in order to save the lives of poor, defenseless children.  Otherwise you obviously love guns more than children.

Just an appeal to emotion? Okay, well maybe if your cold heart won’t warm up to the thought of the blood of dead children on your hands, maybe your callus conservative mentality will respond to the firm hand of an authoritative voice. Teachers dedicate their lives to children and have no agenda other than to nourish and protect society’s future leaders (yes, even those with conservative parents). The nation’s underappreciated educators who spend their every waking moment on the front lines looking out for your children have come to terms with the fact that taking your guns is the only way to save these precious young lives.

Are a bunch of schoolteachers not an authoritative enough voice for you to change your fossilized stance on gun control? Well what about someone with a doctorate? Even psychologists – men and women whose job it is to know everything there is to know about mental health – agree that the reason for the preponderance of school shootings is not deeply rooted mental health issues, but guns themselves.

What? So you took a rhetoric class in college and aren’t buying the appeals to emotion and authority… Can you even be reasoned with? Surely you can’t deny science. Will cold, hard facts convince you let go of your ideologically-based obsession with gun rights, or will we have to pry that from your cold, dead hands too?

Earlier this year, the U.S. Education department reported that nearly 240 schools … reported at least 1 incident involving a school-related shooting,” during the 2015-2016 school year. Those are pretty staggering numbers.

The admittedly left leaning, state sponsored NPR reported on these numbers, and confirmed that… – Wait. WHAT!? –  … “more than two-thirds of these reported incidents never happened”.

That’s right. When NPR contacted the hundreds of schools cited by the Education Department to have experienced school shootings, they found that the vast majority never even took place. And that’s not including the approximately 25% of schools that never responded to NPR’s inquiries during their 3-month investigation.

This is a big error, and it’s important that the correct numbers are made available. Regardless of your stance on the appropriate approach to gun control, we can all agree that the truth must be allowed to see the light of day, right?

Apparently Facebook doesn’t think so. When a staff member at the Foundation for Economic Education attempted to educate his audience by sharing NPR’s report about the actual number of school shootings on his Facebook page, the post was flagged and removed.

But you don’t really believe that there’s a concerted effort among mainstream media and big tech companies to perpetuate inaccurate information and steer public discourse in order to advance a political agenda of increased gun control, do you? Wow. You really are a right-wing conspiracy theorist nut job!

Dean Tea

Dean Tea is a curiosity-driven writer and editor based in Gatineau, Quebec. He has stood as a candidate both provincially and federally and currently sits on the board of the Libertarian Party of Canada. A bilingual student of linguistics, he will receive his Bachelor of Arts from Carleton University in December 2018.

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