Forget for a moment that the National Rifle Association's new $1 million nice guy report on school safety recommendations would cost between $1 billion and $6.7 billion to enact. By the NRA's logic, one "detail" in the 225-page "report" that the gun lobby's National School Shield task force has now corrected should make the whole report just about useless.
Yes, there are enough school shootings that last week's NRA-funded research findings managed to find a school shooting that never happened. Former Congressman Asa Hutchinson, despite being paid by the NRA to make the report, said he hoped the gun lobby would accept his recommendations. But the NRA's Wayne LaPierre and many gun enthusiasts often abide by a simple trope: People who know basic gun trivia don't get to talk about guns. As The Atlantic Wire's Elspeth Reeve has pointed out repeatedly, LaPierre doesn't think those who interchange "semi-automatic" for "machine gun" should have a legitimate voice in the gun legislation debate. So what about so-called "experts" who interchange "in 2010 a 16-year-old attacker killed six people hiding in a locked classroom in Hastings Middle School in Minnesota" for "in 2005 a 16-year-old attacker killed six people hiding in a Red Lake High School in Minnesota"?
Well, the paid consultants at the task force admitted their expert "oops" today. Several days after The New York Times and Mother Jones caught the Minnesota school shooting swap — the 2010 shooter wasn't 16, and no one died — the National School Shield formally apologized and corrected the report. Here's the statement (via Talking Points Memo):
“We have corrected that detail in the report and sincerely apologize for the error,” the National School Shield task force said in a statement sent to TPM. “We particularly regret any hurt the error may have caused to those who experienced or were close to those involved in either horrible event.”
“[T]he original report erroneously characterized an incident in which a 16-year old attacker gained access to a locked classroom and killed six people hiding inside as having occurred at Hastings Middle School in Minnesota in 2010,” the the NRA task force’s statement said. “In fact, the tragic event as described occurred at Red Lake High School in Minnesota in 2005.”
The NRA had no comment on whether its own mistakes would come back to bite them in the ongoing legislative fight.