(NEWS BUSTERS) – The Thursday of edition of MSNBC’s Jose Diaz-Balart Reports included a wild claim that 348,000 students in the United States have experienced gun violence at school. The number is in itself misleading, but MSNBC would add another layer of misinformation by suggesting that number represents deaths.
Speaking with the Dean of the Clinton School of Public Service at the University of Arkansas, Victoria Defrancesco Soto, Diaz-Balart asked, “You know, Victoria, a new piece in the Washington Post highlights that 348,000 students in this country have experienced gun violence at schools since Columbine, 348,000. Think about that. What do you think the impact of that is going to be on us all?”
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What Diaz-Balart referenced is not actually new, but a database the Post maintains to keep track of school shootings during school hours. However, it is very misleading. The Post lists 376 school shootings, but while that number grabs headlines and provides content for liberal cable networks, the number includes accidental discharges by law enforcement, stray bullets that hit the school, violence from parking lot drug deals, and shots fired by law enforcement to stop would-be assailants with bladed weapons. Uncritically repeating the number makes it seem as if they are all analogous to Monday’s shooting in Nashville, which they simply aren’t.
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