Letter: Editorial’s definition of school shooting challenged

Editor: In his editorial (the Times, Feb. 21) Mr. Kidd of the Penticton Western News makes the assertion that in the US there have been 18 school shootings in the US since Jan. 1, 2018. He must not have been listening to any news this year, because had he been in the loop, he would know that the horrible massacre in Florida is the first for this year.

There have been other incidents in schools during January, such as in one school in the evening a gun accidentally went off, with no one injured.

I would not call that a school shooting. Other similar incidents happened, but did not hit national news, as they were not mass shootings.

Also, there is no evidence to connect the shooting with the white nationalist militia. That is all hearsay.

Black Press must report these things accurately.

I sincerely hope that all this senseless killing stops, because it is tearing people’s lives apart.

Dave Larson,

Langley

Editor’s note: The writer is correct in that the stats cited in the editorial do include accidental discharge of weapons on school grounds. It is our opinion, however, that there is no minimum number of child deaths nor gunshot injuries required in order to qualify as a school shooting if the incident occurred on school grounds. The loss of even one young life is tragic and, to use Mr. Larson’s word, senseless.

• Parkland was not the first “mass” school shooting of the year in the US. On Jan. 23 in Benton, KY, 16 people were shot by a fellow student, including two teenagers who died.

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