CNN Trio Debunks Bloomberg Group's School Gun Violence Claim, But Still-Present Video Report Gives It Credibility

First the good news: Ashley Fantz, Lindsey Knight and Kevin Wang at CNN did a very good job this morning in an online writeup debunking Michael Bloomberg's anti-gun group's claim "that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months."

The bad news is that the web page still contains the CNN video which aired the Bloomberg claim without challenging it, thereby continuing to give it credibility.


The CNN trio's report knocked Everytown For Gun Safety's claim down by 80 percent (bolds are mine throughout this post):

A closer look: How many school shootings since Newtown?

After Tuesday's shooting at an Oregon high school, many media outlets, including CNN, reported that there have been 74 school shootings in the past 18 months.

That's the time period since the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were shot to death./p>

The statistic came from a group called Everytown for Gun Safety, an umbrella group started by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, a passionate and public advocate of gun control.

Without a doubt, that number is startling.

So on Wednesday, CNN took a closer look at the list, delving into the circumstances of each incident Everytown included.

Everytown says on its web site that it gleans its information from media reports and that its list includes school shootings involving a firearm discharged inside or on school grounds, including assaults, homicides, suicides and accidental shootings.

CNN determined that 15 of the incidents Everytown included were situations similar to the violence in Oregon -- a minor or adult actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one shooting every five weeks.

Some of the other incidents on Everytown's list included personal arguments, accidents and alleged gang activities and drug deals.

Unfortunately, as the following transcribed excerpt from the still-present video shows, CNN didn't originally question Everytown's stat, and gave a group spokeperson an open mic to capitalize on their falsehood:

EverytownGunGrabberonCNN0614

(0:35) REPORT NARRATOR: Since December 2012 when 20 children and 6 adults were shot to death at Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, there have been 15 similar incidents. That's an average of one every five weeks. shootings on school property or targeting students, teachers or administrators. ...

(1:05) One group, Everytown for Gun Safety, reports 74 incidents of gun violence of all sorts at or around American schools or colleges since Newtown.

EVERYTOWN SPOKESPERSON JOHN FEINBLATT: What we see is that Newtown, which we thought was an exception is becoming the norm, and I think that what we understanding is that it could happen to anybody.

The fact is, as CNN itself reported a year ago (HT Erika Johnsen at Hot Air), that "Gun-related homicides and crime are 'strikingly' down from 20 years ago, despite the American public's belief that firearm crime is on the upswing." Further, "a Pew Research Center study found U.S. gun homicides rose in the 1960s, gained in the 1970s, peaked in the 1980s and the early 1990s, and then plunged and leveled out the past 20 years."

What CNN should be doing is either pulling the video or prominently noting a correction at its beginning. Failing that, much of the potential corrective value of the work done by Fantz, Knight and Wang is being lost.

Is that accidental or deliberate?

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer
Tom Blumer is a contributing editor for NewsBusters.