Feb 19, 2018


By now most people should have seen the Washington Post refutation of the widely circulated statistic reporting 18 school shootings so far this year. The number comes from Michael Bloomberg's "Every town for GunSafety," and it is false.
Carrying it a little further, the Post reports that since the 1999 Columbine massacre about 150,000 kids have been present in a K-12 school when a shooting took place. With about 50 million K-12 kids in the country, that means 49,850,000 were not exposed to school gun fire. The percentage is thus about three one-thousandths one per cent over some 19 years.
One more boring statistic, not nearly as flammable as marches on Washington or frantic street demonstrations: There are roughly 98,270 high schools and elementary schools in our country. About 170 of them, according the the solidly liberal and anti-gun Post, have experienced shootings while, therefore, 98,100 of them have not. That percentage is 18 ten-thousandths of one per cent. 
Feel free to fact-check.
Nothing here is meant to minimize the horror of any murder; it is meant to attenuate the mindless drama.

(Just blowing the dust from my blog wth this little item I first posted to Facebook.  How y'all doing out there?)


Rusty Gunner said...

Keeping up, nice to hear from you again.

Jim said...

Thanks for the visit, Gunner.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Uh, no. 170/98270 is the ratio you're looking for, and the quotient is 0.00173, and that isn't in percent, it's in units. So that's 0.173%, or one thousand, seven hundred and thirty ten-thousandths of a percent.

Otherwise I've been appreciating your work for years, and please continue.

Anonymous said...

Did you check the other ratio yet? It's wrong in the same way. 0.3%.

Jim said...

Anon: Thanks for the corrections. When I report numbers beyond the functional-arithmetic level I often include a warning that my offering should be checked, and I obviously should have done so here.

And thanks also for the kind words.

(The long delay is responding is just a matter of not paying much heed to my blog lately.)