Before you can work on solving any problem, you need accurate information. You need the truth.
This is evident everywhere: A carpenter can’t fix a table if the measurements he’s given are wrong or his tape measure is inaccurate. A pilot can’t land a plane if all the instruments have been tampered with, and show dangerously incorrect readings for altitude and speed. Truth and accuracy matter — and the more important the problem, the more vital this is.
It seems CNN, however, hasn’t gotten the memo. In the wake of the tragic school shooting in Texas, the left-leaning news network seemed to put a narrative ahead of everything else.
During its coverage of the crime, CNN repeated gun violence statistics, but inflated the definition of “school shootings” to make them seem wildly more common than they are.
“There has been, on average, 1 school shooting every week this year,” the outlet declared in a headline on Friday.
“We’re only 20 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 22 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed,” CNN continued. “That averages out to more than 1 shooting a week.”
That’s a lot — especially when you imagine each of those incidents being equivalent to the shocking attacks in Parkland, Florida, or Santa Fe, Texas.
But there’s a problem: Those numbers are exaggerated, purposely padded to give a false impression of a mass-shooting crime wave that doesn’t exist.
That’s exactly what journalist Tiffany Craig at KHOU11 News in Houston brilliantly pointed out over the weekend. Breaking down the Texas incident and related claims, she separated the facts from fiction and exaggeration … or as we used to call it, did actual journalism.
“Social media has been abuzz today with this,” Craig said. “The first one is this information that there were 18 school shootings in 2018. This number, 18, is not mass shootings like what you’re seeing today here in Santa Fe.”
— Tiffany KHOU 🏴🇺🇸 (@TiffanyKHOU) May 18, 2018
The keen reporter pointed out something that the mainstream media seems eager to hide: Numbers are being padded to include situations that no reasonable person would call a “school shooting” in the common sense.
“These include smaller incidents that might be around the school or even suicides, and all of those numbers get pooled together and they’re presented in a way like this that instills fear in some people,” she explained. “So this is a false piece of information, and we want to let you know that.”
She’s 100 percent correct. Sure enough, a closer look at CNN’s article reveals that they’re counting things that may be crimes, but — at best — stretch the definition of a school shooting.
One “shooting” counted by the news channel, for example, involved one student shooting another … with a toy BB gun. Nobody was seriously hurt.
Another incident included by CNN to arrive at its numbers was an accidental discharge of a firearm during a public safety class. Preventable? Yes, but not really a “school shooting.”
You get the idea.
These are the same number-padding tactics used by the liberal lobbying group Everytown for Gun Safety. As The Western Journal has previously noted, outlets choose a vague definition of “school shootings” and pile any possible incident into the category to come up with a shockingly high number.
It may not be outright lying, but it’s almost certainly deceptive.
By the same token, “assault rifles” and “semi-automatic weapons” are still the buzzwords of the day, despite the fact that neither of those were used by the Texas criminal.
That raises a question that Americans should carefully consider: Why do left-leaning groups need to exaggerate facts and pad numbers to push their agenda?
The answer is that despite dramatic headline-making incidents, America’s school children are safer in classrooms than they are riding their bikes or walking down the road … and there’s no dangerous correlation between gun sales and crime rates.
Crimes like the Santa Fe shooting are tragic, but they’re also statistically rare — and infringing on the rights of law-abiding citizens isn’t the answer to stopping them.
Truth and Accuracy
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