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By definition, in 2018 there have indeed been 18 school shootings in the us

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/18/2018 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 414 times Debate No: 108190
Debate Rounds (3)
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This has been a hot topic since the school shooting in Florida last week. A few days after the shooting, an article was published that claimed there have been 18 school shootings this year. I agree: there has been 18 school shootings this year. The article has received critical reviews; with many pundits claiming the number is much lower, anywhere from 2-8.

If you disagree, please let me know the number of school shootings that have occurred and explain why the remainder do not meet the definition of "school shooting."


This depends on what you define as a school shooting. By my definition, which I believe is reasonable, a school shooting would be an attack against the school, its faculty, and/or its students, using a firearm. By this definition, there have been a total of 11 school shootings. This includes instances where no injuries or deaths were reported, and where a firearm was discharged with the intent to harm another. The other 7 instances were a combination of accidental discharge of firearms and suicides by firearm. While 11 is still a high and concerning number, it is not the 18 that is being reported.

Below is an article by PolitiFact, a fact checking website that has been deemed reliable by multiple sources. The original report was published by EveryTown, a gun-control advocacy group, and the incidents used for this report are listed in the Politifact article.
Debate Round No. 1


Good point, the definition of 'school shooting' needs to be established. Your definition is as follows: "an attack against the school, its faculty, and/or its students, using a firearm." The definition you give is limited to willful malicious intent. It may not be what you meant, but this is what you said. What your definition seems to exclude are unintentional (and other types of intentional) shootings.

Is there a definition for school shooting? No...there is not one way to classify school shootings. As evidence, Everytown has a definition that requires two conditions must be met: the firing of a gun on school property.

The term 'school shooting' is just that. When a firearm is discharged on school property, it is a school shooting. Death or injury does not need to occur, nor a minimum number of rounds fired, to meet the standard.

The phrase at question is 'school shooting.' Not 'deadly school shooting' or 'mass shooting' or 'accidental school shooting.'


Yes, the term up for debate is indeed "School Shooting" and not "Deadly School Shooting" or "Mass Shooting" or "Accidental School Shooting". The term "School Shooting" itself is a relatively new term, and has no legal definition. So we have to look further into the context in which it is used to determine whether or not gun-suicides and accidental discharges would classify as a shooting in general, or, when taking place in a school, would be defined as a school shooting.

Now, the dictionary definition of "shooting" is "the action or practice of shooting", meaning that in this context, any discharge of a firearm would be considered "shooting". The defining point is when the noun "shooting" is placed into a term. For instance, the term "mass shooting" could grammatically mean "the action or practice of shooting en-masse", but this is not what the term is actually used for. It is used to denote a situation in which a gun is "discharged multiple times by one or more parties into a group of unarmed victims"*. This definition is most often used by the media to denote a mass murder that was performed with a firearm. By this definition a "school shooting" would be the same scenario, but performed in a school, and it is used in such a way by the media.

A good way to bring this into perspective would be to compare "shooting" to a word of similar meaning: "stabbing", which is defined as "a thrust of a pointed weapon". This, in and of itself, does not specify that the stabbing must be directed at a living target, but this is what is implied when the news states that "a stabbing occurred". You'd be hard-pressed to find an article in which a "stabbing" does not refer to a violent crime performed with a "pointed weapon". The same goes with "shooting", which is to say, when the media refers to a "shooting", they are almost exclusively referring to a violent crime performed with a firearm. Further, when the media refers to a "mass shooting" or "school shooting", there is little to no context in which this does not imply a violent crime.

So, based on all of this, when EveryTown For Gun Safety states that there have been 18 "school shootings" so far in 2018 they are deliberately implying that these were violent crimes, knowing that people across the US have come to understand that "school shooting" bears relation to mass-murders such as Columbine, Sandy Hook, and now, Parkland. There may not be a set-in-stone definition of what a "school shooting" is, but it has been used in reference to the previously stated events enough that it would be difficult not to associate the phrase with them.

Finally, it bears merit to ascertain the motivation behind the reporting party, to determine bias and furthermore, whether or not that bias has affected the reporting. Everytown For Gun Safety is a non-profit organization that's stated mission is to end gun violence and build safer communities**. Based on this, we can assume that they are, to an extent, looking to reform gun laws, which gives us an idea of the direction of their bias. So, it is not out of the question that, in order to drive their cause further, they used language that would be most likely to draw a response, i.e "school shooting". It is also beneficial to note that the organization is funded primarily by Michael Bloomberg, who is liberal-leaning and has often spoken for stricter gun control, and thus it would make sense that the organization was in keeping with his values

In summary, I would like to argue 3 points:

1. While the definition of "school shooting" is far from concrete, it has historically been used in reference to mass murders taking place in schools and using firearms.
2. Everytown For Gun Safety is a biased organization which has the goal of supporting gun regulation reform. This bias can effect the impartiality of their reporting.
3. Everytown For Gun Safety used the term "school shooting" to support their political bias, taking advantage of the loose official definition of the term to make their report more politically inflammatory and giving them a sharper edge to their argument.

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Wylted 3 years ago
They"re calling things like a drive by shooting on one kid in a gang as a school shooting. When people say school hooting they envision a sandy hook, so when liberals say there was 18 sandy hooks this year which is what they are implying by omission, than they look like hysterical liars or idiots
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 3 years ago
To VIEW humanity from an unbiased standpoint, IS the secret of Fairness, Truth and equality. This is an excellent opportunity for me to show you HOW God views the World and teaches SOME humanity to do the same. In this way, there is complete and total fairness and equality in all required judgements.

18 school shootings out of 98,271 Public Schools = 0.01%
Babies Murdered Legally by women 893,000 of 157 million = 0.56%


Disconnect the emotion and look at the Reality. WHERE is the EVIL?
I know that you are honest according to yourselves. However, are you honest enough to see the hypocrisy in the actions of humanity, who cries foul on 0.01% BUT ignores 0.56% WHEN the deaths BENEFIT themselves?

God see"s the hypocrisy in YOUR actions, and enables Me to see them also. REALITY not emotion, because EMOTION clouds judgement, makes JUSTICE unattainable through self serving viewpoints.

Evil exist no doubt ... but IS it being done ONLY by the Criminal? Murder is wrong in any way shape or form. Stealing is still theft even when legal?
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