Culture Wars/Current Controversies

There Have Been 13 Mass School Shootings Since 1966, Not 27 This Year

By Robby Soave, Reason

Don’t conflate mass shootings with school shootings.

For many people, the Uvalde, Texas, mass shooting—which claimed the lives of at least 19 children and two adults—seemed all the more horrible after they learned it was the 27th school shooting so far this year. That fact makes it harder to view Uvalde as any kind of isolated incident.

An NPR article highlighting this statistic has been shared frequently on social media. The headline, “27 school shootings have taken place so far this year,” probably gave many readers the impression that gun-related killings in schools have been especially high this year, even before Uvalde. Naturally, the prospect of 26 other previously unnoticed mass shooting events in schools should provoke alarm. It should also raise eyebrows.

The problem here is that three very differently defined terms are being used somewhat incautiously and interchangeably: school shooting, mass shooting, and mass school shooting. Uvalde was a mass school shooting; the 26 previous tragedies at schools this year were not.

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