With the liberal media's psuedo-religious devotion for gun control, it's no surprise that they greeted the PSA from the group Sandy Hook Promise with open arms. So on Friday, our friends Charles Fain Lehman and David Rutz at the Washington Free Beacon published a study that found he video aired nine times in two days on NBC News and cable partner MSNBC.
Not to be outdone, Lehman and Rutz found that “CNN and HLN aired it at least five times, and the ad was also covered on CBS Evening News.” This was despite the fact that, as they noted, the chances of students dying in school shootings don't match the fear-mongering out there in the liberal media.
They added that “hosts added their own commentary for the ad, which aired as the gun control debate has reignited in the wake of mass shootings last month in Texas and Ohio.”
The ad, labeled, “Back to School Essentials” had a rather innocuous start with students expressing excitement about a new school year, but then took a dark turn with students expressing thanks to their parents for items like a new skateboard, socks, or phone that they would use during school shootings as chaos unfolded around them.
Besides noting how two MSNBC hosts reacted to the ad and that multiple 2020 Democratic presidential candidates have shared the ad, they also slammed this exercise in fear-mongering. While a 2018 Pew Research Center poll found that large majorities of students and parents are fearful of mass shootings, their chances are still slim (click “expand”):
These anxieties, however, seem out of proportion to the numbers.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the average rate of multiple-victim school-associated homicides between 1994 and 2017 was about one in 12.5 million. In 2018, there were 55 gun-violence deaths in schools—a number which, while lamentable, is roughly on par with the historical average for lightning strike deaths. Fifty-five may be an overcount, as such estimates tend to rely on a fairly broad definition of school shooting—narrower, more intuitive measures put the true number even lower.
Recent research suggests that schools have been getting safer. A report from Northeastern University found that the rate of students killed today is roughly a quarter of what it was in the 1990s. That is in line with a report from the Bureau of Justice Statistics, which found rates of violent victimization, theft, and self-reported fear in schools have all declined substantially since the 1990s.
So for all the liberal media gripes alleging adversaries like Fox News and President Trump gin up fear amongst their supporters, perhaps the liberal media should clean house first when it comes to that exercise considering their hourly attempts to scare their partisan audiences about everything from climate change to guns to the President himself.