What we saw at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., is no less shocking and horrific than every school shooting we've seen since Columbine in 1999. Seventeen people were killed at the hands of 19-year-old shooting suspect Nikolas Cruz, who was expelled from the school and banned from returning to campus.
It's the type of shooting that makes you sick to your stomach.
You want to get all the facts and gather all the information that you can to ensure that a tragedy such as this never happens again. However, the media has been trying to convince you that these types of shootings where there are mass casualties are happening every day.
It all began on Wednesday when reporting on the developments at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, MSNBC host Brian Williams said that this was the 12th school shooting of 2018.
.@BrianWilliams @MSNBC just reported this is the 12th school shooting in America in just the first 45 days of 2018. Appalling
— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) February 14, 2018
Ever since then, the talking point was corrected in that there were actually 18 school shootings in 45 days. And many in both the media and politics have used it as a rallying cry to make some legislative push to impose new restrictions on guns.
The problem is that it's not accurate. There haven't been 18 of what we would refer to as "school shootings" in 2018. The media is either sheepishly or deliberately moving the goalposts and widening the definition of what constitutes a school shooting.
Of the 18 school shootings as listed by the pro-gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety Support Fund, here's what actually happened in each of these cases:
1) A man committed suicide using a gun in an elementary school parking lot when the school was closed and there were no children present in Clinton County, Mich., on Jan. 3.
2) Shots were fired at New Start High School near Burien, Wash., on Jan. 4. No one was hurt or injured, and no suspects were apprehended.
*3) A 32-year-old man shot a pellet gun at a school bus, shattering a window, in Forest City, Iowa, on Jan. 6. No injuries were reported, and the suspect was apprehended.
4) A Grayson College student confused a real gun with a training gun and accidentally fired a bullet into a wall on Jan. 10. No injuries were reported.
5) A 14-year-old seventh-grade student shot and killed himself inside the bathroom of Coronado Elementary School in Cochise County, Ariz., on Jan. 10.
6) Gunshots were fired at a campus building at Cal State San Bernardino on Jan. 10. No injuries were reported.
7) Two people in a car exchanged gunfire at a Wiley College dorm parking lot on Jan. 15. No deaths or injuries were reported and no suspects were arrested, however, one bullet was fired into a dorm room with three female students inside.
8) A Winston-Salem State University football player was shot and killed at a sorority party following an argument in Winston-Salem, N.C., on Jan. 20.
9) A 16-year-old male student shot a 15-year-old female student in the cafeteria at Italy High School in Italy, Texas, on Jan. 22. While the victim was injured, she was expected to make a full recovery. The shooter was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. This one we would probably all refer to as a proper "school shooting."
10) An unknown assailant in a pickup truck drove by the NET Charter High School in Gentilly, La., and shot at a group of students on Jan. 22. A 14-year-old boy was initially thought to have suffered a gunshot graze, but it turned out to be an abrasion.
11) A 15-year-old male student shot and killed two students and wounded 18 others at Marshall County High School in Benton, Ky., on Jan. 23. The shooter was apprehended.
12) A 16-year-old student fired a gun at another 16-year-old student during an altercation at Murphy High School in Mobile, Ala., on Jan. 25. No injuries were reported and the suspect was taken into custody.
13) Shots were fired in the parking lot during an altercation between two nonstudents during a basketball at Dearborn High School in Dearborn, Mich., on Jan. 26. No injuries were reported, and no suspects were arrested.
14) A 32-year-old man was shot and killed in the parking lot outside Lincoln High School in Philadelphia, Penn., on Jan. 31 during what police believed to be an altercation between students from rival schools. No suspects were arrested.
15) A 12-year-old female student accidentally fired a real gun thinking it was a fake gun. Four students were injured, including one who suffered a gunshot wound to the head, at Sal Castro Middle School in Los Angeles on Feb. 1. The 12-year-old girl was taken into custody.
16) A teenage boy was shot in the chest and nearly killed by another student who conspired with the boy's ex-girlfriend in the parking lot of Oxon Hill High School in Oxon Hill, Md., on Feb. 5. The suspect was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder.
17) A third-grade student pulled the trigger of a police officer's holstered weapon at the Harmony Learning Center in Maplewood, Minn., on Feb. 5. No injuries were reported.
18) A 17-year-old student was arrested after firing a gun into the floor of a classroom of Metropolitan High School in the Bronx, N.Y., on Feb. 8.
19) The shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., on Wednesday that left 17 dead.
Now, you'll notice that there are 19 shooting incidents listed above, not 18 like the media were trying to make you believe. That's because the third incident on the list involving a pellet gun and a school bus has at least been ruled out as a "school shooting," after it was included in the list of 11 school shootings by the media after the shooting in Benton, Ky., on Jan. 23. But frankly, most of the incidents above — probably at least 14 of them, don't really qualify as what we think of as "school shootings" at all.
And of all the shootings listed above, only two qualify as mass school shootings — the one in Benton, Ky., and the shooting in Parkland this week. Everything else was either an isolated incident, non-school-related, or an accident.
Make no mistake, every shooting incident listed above is concerning and indicative of a cultural problem in how people deal with conflict resolution, but, in no way is a mass shooting at a school happening every two-three days in the United States. It's an unfair, dishonest, and disingenuous characterization by the media. Don't let an emotional issue like gun violence prevent you from remembering to report the facts.
Siraj Hashmi is a commentary video editor and writer for the Washington Examiner.