The very first school shooting in America actually occurred before there even was an America. On July 26, 1764 a little cold justice was enacted when members of the Lenape tribe used a new weapon brought into their life by European colonists to shoot and kill a schoolmaster and several children in what became known as Pontiac’s Rebellion School Massacre. As of the writing of this article, the latest school shooting in America took place in…well, why bother, since that information will almost certainly be outdated as a result of the lag of several days between writing and publication.
Much controversy has been raised over reports of 74 school shootings between the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, MA in December 2012 and the spate of school shootings in May/June 2014. Politifact.com even went so far as to mark this claim as Mostly False on its Truth-O-Meter despite the fact that even its own article agreed that 74 shootings took place at American schools during that period. The Mostly False judgment is bizarrely based on the fact that–and I am not making this up, see for yourself –almost half the 74 shootings occurred at a college or university rather than K-12 school. Because, one supposes, colleges and universities don’t actually qualify as schools. In some strange parallel universe disconnected from all reality, apparently. Oh, and also the claims of 74 school shootings between Sandy Hook and…whichever school shooting happened just prior to the Politifact.com judgment, I certainly recall which school shooting that was because school shootings have become so commonplace that they are all beginning to blend together in the memory…must be considered a falsehood since 16 of the 74 shootings were not connected to the school or its employees and 6 of the 74 shootings were suicides and 39 of the 74 shootings on school property were actually related to criminal activity that did not specifically target the school’s property as the location for gun violence.
So, clearly, you can see how most of the 74 school shootings between Sandy Hook and June 2014 were not really school shootings at all since the motivation for the shootings on school property was not connected to premeditated massacres of defenseless children at the mercy of those protected by the single most individual right to be found in America (a right explicitly delineated anywhere in the Constitution, mind you, and a right routinely denied by court decisions throughout the most of the history of America ): the right for any individual to own as many guns and as much ammunition as he wants with intrusion into the reasons he might want to own so many guns and so much ammunition being as limited as possible.
The outcry against defamation of gun ownership in this country is always louder and less subject to scrutiny than the outcry against the fact that there is virtually unrestrained access to legally obtained guns in this country. If someone suggest that there have been 74 school shootings since the massacre at Sandy Hook and then provides actual irrefutable evidence that there have been 74 shootings on school property in America since then, the NRA and its faithful unquestioning clones of due-paying members quickly rush to point out that those 74 shootings on school property are not identical events to Sandy Hook.
Because, of course, unless some overloaded gun-owners show up heavily armed and protected against the effects of gun violence upon then, then no student is actually put in danger. Guns don’t kill people at school, lunatics who bought their guns illegally kill people at schools. Which would be nice, except that the overwhelming majority of school shootings in the last decade were the result of legally obtained guns . But, hey, at least the pro-gun lobby can still blame school shootings enacted by those who legally obtained guns on mental illness. Except that the pro-gun lobby are the very people who have fought so hard to make it illegal for mental health care providers to ask patients if they own guns.
Slice the evidence up according to your own agenda if you will, but the fact remains that between the Sandy Hook massacre and July 2014 there were 74 shootings on school property. Even CNN seems to be in the pockets of the NRA with the achingly misleading title “A closer look: How many Newtown-like school shootings since Sandy Hook? ” on their web site. Has the NRA’s ability to buy politicians really reached the point where they have been successful enough in their effort to desensitize us about school shootings that we now don’t even consider a s hooting on school property to be a school shooting unless it carried out military style for the express purpose of killing kids in the double digits for absolutely no reason at all?
Clearly their tactic has worked. Buy enough politicians to stall any gun control action at all for long enough that Americans no longer even get upset anymore when multiple children are killed for no other reason than that the NRA has made it possible that so many of our children could be killed by one person in such a short time. That reality has been made evident by the fact that more people seem to be upset that the figure of 74 school shootings since Sandy Hook doesn’t actually apply to Sandy Hook massacre-style shootings than the fact that there have been 74 freaking school shootings since Sandy Hook and neither Congress nor the President of the United States has done anything at all to reduce the possibility of it happening again.