A new campaign video sponsored by anti-gun billionaire and presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg claiming 263 school shootings since Donald Trump took office has gone viral with more than 1.4 million views, negative reviews by grassroots rights activists, and some questionable claims.
One statement in the video, that “21 kids get shot in America every day,” is particularly bothersome if one breaks out a pocket calculator, as one Twitter respondent did, stating, “But 21 per day would be over 6,000.”
Actually, 21 per day would put an annual total of 7,665 “kids” getting shot. And in his Twitter message, Bloomberg transforms the statement to “21 students are shot every day.”
Which is it? Are all of these “kids” shot on school campuses? One response to the Bloomberg video observes, “He is framing teens as students. Whereas many of the teens shot are street gangs and not ‘students’.”
At another point in the video, a caption appears stating, “Donald Trump says he wants gun safety.” It is quickly followed by the question: “So why has he consistently sided with the NRA?”
An answer to that might be found at the National Rifle Association’s website. There, the NRA reveals it has a network of some 125,000 certified firearms instructors who teach more than 1 million students annually. According to the website, “the NRA is recognized nationally as the Gold Standard for firearm safety training.” Can Bloomberg or his gun prohibition lobbying group Everytown for Gun Safety make that claim? Is there a gun control group that trains and certifies firearms instructors to provide gun safety courses all over the country?
Newsweek, reporting on Bloomberg’s video, states, “In 2014, Moms Demand Action joined up with fellow gun reform organization Mayors Against Illegal Guns to form Everytown for Gun Safety, which Bloomberg founded and pledged $50 million towards.”
What is a “gun reform” organization? According to Second Amendment activists, the term “gun reform” is defined as “camo speak” to disguise the fact that it’s a “gun control” lobbying group and nothing more. This camouflage language also substitutes “gun safety” or “gun responsibility” for the politically toxic “gun control” to mask what they are really about.
21 students are shot every day—because of Trump’s unwillingness to act. Between protecting the NRA and our children, he's made his choice. Which is why we need to beat him. pic.twitter.com/qUXTKxXWow
— Mike Bloomberg (@MikeBloomberg) December 16, 2019
The video asks why the NRA spent $30 million to help elect Trump. The answer to that might be found in the federal courts, where Trump has been filling vacancies with pro-rights jurists who purportedly understand the Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights and it refers to an individual right to keep and bear arms. Balancing the federal courts may be his longest-lasting legacy.
Newsweek said Bloomberg released a statement asserting, “In 2012, the Sandy Hook Elementary School community suffered an unthinkable tragedy-and seven years later, the federal government has still not responded, even as more schools and public places have become the sites of shootings.”
But the anti-gun former New York City mayor apparently failed to acknowledge that none of the restrictive gun laws in effect at the time in Connecticut prevented the tragedy.
- Sandy Hook killer Adam Lanza’s mother legally purchased several firearms, completing background checks as required by law.
- Adam Lanza murdered his mother and took her firearms—bypassing any background check requirement that could have been imposed—to commit his rampage.
- Sandy Hook, like any other public school, was a “gun free zone.” That designation did not prevent the tragedy.
Bloomberg’s claim of “263 school shootings” since Trump was inaugurated may not stand up under scrutiny. KUNC radio in Greeley, Colorado published a report in mid-August that noted, “Since 1999 — when the Columbine High School massacre occurred — there have been 68 school shootings.”
The story also noted, “In 2018, there were nine school shootings, the highest number in the 20-year period since 1999. This year tied with 2012 as one of the two deadliest years: 30 people were killed and 52 were injured in those nine shootings. In 2012, 29 people were killed in school shootings and six were injured.”
The New York Times last month reported on school shootings in 2019 stating, “Across the country this year, according to media reports, at least 11 shootings have taken place on American high school or college campuses, including the attack in Santa Clarita, Calif., on Thursday. And school officials and law enforcement agencies have responded to dozens more credible threats of attacks.”
And the BBC, in a Nov. 16 report, said there were 24 school shootings last year and 22 so far this year. That doesn’t square even closely with the Bloomberg claim.