(courtesy Everytown for Gun Safety)

Michael Bloomberg’s personally-funded gun control group, Everytown for Gun Safety (hereafter referred to as EGS for carpel tunnel avoidance purposes) released a “report” yesterday that sought to prove, once and for all, that guns are bad and the “reasonable” restrictions push are in fact needed. Personally, I’m not buying it. The main reason is that while their numbers appear on the surface to support their conclusions, when you take more than three seconds to look at the data they’re presenting you can tell that they’ve tried their hardest to make the results fit the conclusion. For example . . .

The report was focused on “mass shootings.” For years, the mot de jour for gun control activists was “spree killer,” the bogeyman of a “gun nut” who “snapped” and started shooting people at random. That’s the image that people come up with when you say mass shooting, but looking through the provided examples that isn’t really what we see here. EGS expanded the definition to include any incident where four or more people were killed, not just random killings but targeted murders as well. And of those murders, there’s a definite drug and gang related trend evident. Expanding the definition to include all multiple murders definitely brought the numbers up for shock value, but while EGS wants people to associate “mass shooting” with events like Columbine and Aurora the reality is that most of the time it’s gang related or domestic issues — not random acts of violence.

Speaking of the data, EGS compiled this information from an FBI report as well as using media reports of incidents to fill in the gaps. There’s a problem with that methodology: news reports only usually cover headline-grabbing sensationalist events. There’s no way to know if this data is actually statistically significant, and there’s little doubt that “shocking” events are over-represented thanks to that media bias.

As for the results, even that is underwhelming.

The report starts off my announcing that less than one percent of the homicide-related murders in the United States fall into this category. Firearms related homicides are already a rare occurrence (~2 per 100,000 for guns compared to ~10 per 100,000 for car accidents), and the EGS report is focusing on just 1% of those deaths. To put that in perspective, more people die from iron deficiency anemia in the United States than are murdered using firearms, and EGS is focusing on an even smaller percentage of deaths — 0.02 per 100,000 annually in the US. The word “infinitesimal” comes to mind, and EGS wants to change the laws in the United States based on these exceptionally rare occurrences.

Another point that the report tries to make is that most of their cases happened outside gun free zones. “Look!” they yell, “the NRA is lying to you! Gun free zones aren’t the problem!” Well yes, when you inflate the definition of “mass shooting” to absurd levels you stop focusing on the actual events that people care about. Most of the events in EGS’ report are small groups of people or domestic issues where the group was specifically targeted, not the “spree killer” events that get the insane levels of media attention. Problem is, as I said, the small events aren’t the ones that people care about. This report tries to make it sound like it is directly looking at events such as the shooting in Newtown, but that’s not the case.

Going even further, EGS removed any possibility for accurate reporting when they defined “gun free zone” in their research. According to EGS, if at any time the perpetrator of a “mass shooting” stepped out of a gun free zone and into a place where people were allowed to carry it no longer counts. So, if a shooter started in a parking lot and then headed inside a building that was a gun free zone it no longer counts — even if the gun free zone was specifically the target. They’re making some extreme stretches in this case just to make sure the results match their conclusions, and you can tell that they don’t really care about telling the whole truth.

Quite possibly the best thing about this report is a single chart that shows the percentage of cases where either an “assault weapon” or a “high capacity magazine” was used. From a study where they needed to expand the date range to six full years to get enough data points to appear legitimate, only 18% of cases used those evil items that EGS is trying so hard to ban. That’s 18% of 1% of a tiny fraction of deaths in the United States. Remember when I used the word “infinitesimal” before? Yeah, this is smaller.

The great thing is that the opposite is also true: 82% of “mass shootings” do NOT involve an “assault weapon” or a “high capacity magazine.” So even if EGS got their wish and everyone turned in all of those evil items, the vast and overwhelming majority of mass shootings would still take place. In other words, they just proved that their own demands are completely unjustified and ineffective at stopping “gun violence” or “mass shootings.”

The rest of the report harps on the same old tropes that they always pull out to energize their base. “Mass shootings impact more women! Gun owners are misogynistic women haters and guns kill women!” FYI, even with “mass shootings” the proportion of women killed compared to men still doesn’t match up with the national average. Men are more likely to be killed during a “mass shooting” as defined by EGS, period. “42% of shooters were prohibited from owning a gun! We need background checks!” And I’m willing to bet that those 42% fall squarely in the “gang banger” category and obtained their firearms illegally in the first place, no “gun show loophole” required, and even if there were mandatory background checks they would still get guns.

The list goes on.

Basically what it all boils down to is that EGS is following in the wonderful footsteps of Leni Riefenstahl. For those of you who don’t know her, Leni was another beautiful woman and master of propaganda (like Shannon Watts), but she worked for the Nazis. It’s all about re-enforcing the belief among your followers that they’re right, and shaming everyone else into falling in line with the “right” crowd. You can make a report say anything you want, and it’s no surprise that Everytown for Gun Safety has carefully crafted a report to exactly fit their pre-existing prejudices against gun owners.

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40 Responses to Bloomberg Group Releases “Report” on Mass Shootings

  1. According to Sen. Fauxcahontas Warren, the purpose of mass shootings by climate change deniers is to prevent women from having abortions because George Bush did it.

    Which makes as much sense as Everyclown Against Everything Including Big Sodas.

    • Careful Ralph, we have some “pro-gun” regulars here who will gleefully vote for the illustrious Senator Warren if given the chance.

  2. I feel bad for the people who support them and don’t know they are being fed flat-out lies.
    Then again, not really.

    • “I feel bad for the people who support them and don’t know they are being fed flat-out lies.”

      I think the majority of their supporters know that it is propaganda/lies. They just don’t care because it fits their narrative. The ends justify the means.

  3. Once you get past the initial charts and into the details of each case it’s actually reasonably informative and doesn’t really support the gun control agenda. Very few of these murders could have been prevented by their proposals.

  4. I read just a few their case reports (starting at the end), and noticed several of their “not a gun free zone” entries were CA and NY. I’m sure there were NJ, Maryland, and similar cases scattered throughout. So, yes, those murders may have happened in places in which you could carry a gun if you have a permit. Of course, they don’t say that it’s almost impossible to actually get a permit issued in these areas, making them gun free zones in practice.

  5. only 18% of cases used those evil items

    The “report” claims 13%, which was 14 instances, over the course of six years.

  6. ” they’ve tried their hardest to make the results fit the conclusion.”

    Like anthropogenic global warming?

    • Yes, much like Mann made global warming. And as poorly as their models fit actual temperature data, recall that they have already “adjusted” the data to better fit their models previously and threw out the raw data. Altering data to fit your model is a mortal sin in science, a game in which you are worth less than nothing if you don’t have integrity. And, even with cooking their data, their models still don’t fit worth a damn.

      • First of all, I have no idea which studies you’re referring to cooking their data, but the vast majority of climate science isn’t based on fabricated data and overwhelmingly supports anthropogenic climate change. There is a huge deal of uncertainty in the models so their exact predictions (date of N degrees warming, etc.) I wouldn’t put any of my own money on but the fact is that only the sign of the derivative is important. And the data on this overwhelmingly supports that we’re having an impact. Not to mention these studies are published with (usually) proper statistical analysis making them hard to misinterpret in the same way the whole Australian gun law effect BS so often is. You can doubt climate change all you want but the analogy here is false.

        • Mmmm, the scientists at GISS, HadCRUT and some other other institutes have behaved very unethically with the data, and engaged in unscientific activism. I’m willing to concede that AGW is happening, but every time NCAR’s Trenberth says the latest weather calamity is caused by global warming, he’s contradicting science and even the IPCC, which show no increase in extreme weather. Their activism hurts their credibility, and their cause is further damaged by climate alarmists who oppose nuclear and fracking for natural gas, which have already reduced CO2 emissions in the US. They fly around in private jets and advocate against the most effective methods to reduce to CO2, so I put many of them in with the VPC and Bloomberg-type “science” folks.

          Entire fields of science can be taken over by a few aggressive activists who get enough politicized grant money. We saw this with nutrition. Always be aware of that.

        • Thirty plus years ago the headlines were proclaiming global cooling. Internationally recognized scientists concurred and the data was irrefutable. Didja ever see that Twilight Zone episode where the women was sick with fever and dreamed the Earth was falling into the sun and then she woke up and as she was enjoying the cool air she learned the Earth was orbiting away from the sun? Didja ever read the quotes of P.T. Barnum?

        • Ice age is defined by percentage of the land surface (namely the poles) covered by ice year round. The most recent ice age ended around 10,000 years ago, with a mini ice age about 500-1000 years ago. This was decidedly before the industrial revolution. It stands to reason that if the earth exited an ice age 10,000 years ago, that we are either continuing along that trend and warming, or reversing and going back into an ice age. The climate is not stagnant, so we are obviously entering a warm period. These are normal climate cycles. Anthropogenic climate change accounts for less than 1% of natural climate change. Go outside right now. Look down at your yard. See that sand or dirt? If it’s in situ, it was deposited underwater. Dig down a mile and you’ll find alternating layers of sedimentary rock of varying deposition environments. In a nutshell, these layers represent either sea level change or river deposition, which is related to sea level. That land was once underwater, now it’s above, and the reason is (largely) due to polar ice, which is a function of climate change. That climate changed without humanity, just like it has for billions of years. The same is happening now regardless of our intervention.

        • I know a little bit about how these models are constructed and run. First, there are large numbers of unknown factors. We do not understand the feedback loops in the atmosphere and the climate. Therefore compensation factors are put in. Call them “k” factors. These variables are adjusted until the model output looks reasonable. Reasonable being what the modeller thinks it should look like. Of course most modellers attempt to make the model fit historical data; but historical data is woefully inadequate to model to even a couple of degrees, let alone the fact that huge areas of the globe lack even basic historical data.

          Therefore, the models cannot be verified against real data. We are not even in agreement with how to treat important parts of the model such as the heat island effect for cities overtaking traditional data collecting points.

          The modellers look at the data, run the models, then adjust the “k” factors to get what they want. When the models do not, and the generally do *not* match up with what data exists, the tweak the “k” factors some more.

          The models, and there are many, have overwhelmingly done very poorly at predicting what will happen in the future.

          As for them agreeing on the direction of temperature movement, no one says that we have been in a general cooling trend… but nearly everyone agrees that the temperature, as well as we can measure it, which is fairly limited, has been stable for about the last 18 years. Most of the models did not predict results of stability for 18 years. A few included that option in the range of their predictions, which can be rather wide.

          Finally, we should separate climate science from the modellers. Most climatologists, the last time I read about them, did not support the theory that we are experiencing anthropogenic global warming that is likely to lead to catastrophic consequences. Most climatologists are not modellers. Billions of dollars have been poured into the coffers of people who produce climate models that show what is now called “climate change” to be a catastrophic problem, though usually, decades out. You would not expect people who are getting paid to do so to come up with much different when the models results depend on their adjustment of the models.

          Lastly, “Climate Change” is a non-falsifiable concept. It is not science. The climate is always changing, so if the temperatures go up, we have “climate change”. If they go down, we have “climate change”. If they stay the same, as they pretty much have done for 18 years, “climate change” is coming.

          If it is not falsifiable, it is not science. Tell us, how can we falsify “climate change”?

        • 100% of warming in the US temperature record over the past 40 or so years is derived from fabricated station data. The percentage of fabricated station data has increased significantly over that time, and thus far in 2014 accounts for fully 40 percent of the US temperature record.

          Of the actual station data available, rural stations are on a 90-year cooling trend. Only urban stations have warmed, due primarily to UHI effect.

          The climate changes. Humans have approximately 0 percent impact on that change.

          The analogy is spot on.

        • You’re out of luck; Obama announced that his election as president stopped the rising seas.

          Or, maybe it was the impact of the unusually low solar cycle we’re experiencing. Who am I to judge?

      • As cold as last Winter was and how cool this Summer is, it almost seems to support a coming Ice Age predicted by climate change scientists back in the 1970s.

    • If they were motivated by data they would just fold up their tents and steal away into the night.

  7. Maybe we could counter with a Midway coupon with a nice long-gun or pistol on it, saying “You can always use one more”. I dig Larry Potterfield, and I think he’s a great (genuine) spokesperson for Midway, and the U.S.

    and Bloomberg is the debil (and if his anti-gun campaign is getting a tenth of a penny from overseas he should get jailed for sedition).

  8. Yeah I was gonna say, except for the nonsense about gun free zones, these pie charts look like great graphics to support the non-regulation of firearms.

  9. I wonder if anybody actually believes their blather anymore. I know the brain-dead newsreaders mindlessly and dutifully parrot it verbatim, but after their first “report” was so thoroughly debunked even as the newsies continued to repeat it, I just have to wonder.

  10. “Public Mass Shootings” such as Aurora and Newtown have a definition. Four or more victims and none of the victims are known to the shooter. All you have to know about the EGS report is by ignoring this definition they immediately invalidate everything that comes afterwards. Why must they lie? Because they ain’t got nothing else!

  11. Ok… so…who cares about gun violence?

    According to this source:
    http://smartgunlaws.org/category/gun-studies-statistics/gun-violence-statistics/

    There were 11,078 homocides in 2010 and 606 unintentional deaths and injuries.
    I left out suicides because honestly – it doesn’t even belong in there. The antis don’t talk about razor blade violence or bridge jumping violence or garage tail pipe violence so they shouldn’t be talking about suicide gun violence. Period. Suicide rates are a ploy to inflate their numbers – that’s it. But I digress.

    Anyways – That is 11684 people affected in 2010. If you use 2010 as a basis – and the average lifespan is 72 years that is 841,248 people. There is currently 314 million people in the US. 2.7% affected.

    Now lets look at cancer. 1 out of 2 men will be affected by cancer in their lifetime and 1 out of 3 women. Depending on your sex that is 50% or 33%. Who cares about gun violence? (Saw this on a TV commercial).

    Now – looking at this source:
    http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/content/@epidemiologysurveilance/documents/document/acspc-026238.pdf

    (page 1): There was 1,529,560 new cases in 2010. Average that over 72 years – 110,128,320 people. About 1 out of 3 (35%).

    There was 569,490 deaths from cancer in 2010. Averaged over 72 years – 41,003,280 people – or 13%. Slightly over one out of 10 will die from cancer compared to say 3 out of a hundred by means of a criminal using “guns.” Now you can argue that number further. If all guns were banned, how many would die by knife, or poison, or other means anyways (assuming the killer couldn’t get a gun and picked up another weapon).

    Now compare to cancer.

    Who cares about gun violence??? Seriously? However are the anti’s going to realign their priorities? No way. Because guns are scary and cancer is not.

      • Agreed. Even at 2.7% I would be a lot more concerned about cancer. You are correct – 0.267% chance of being involved in violence involving a gun. 3 out of one thousand.

  12. Speaking of the data, EGS compiled this information from an FBI report as well as using media reports of incidents to fill in the gaps.

    Hmmm – any double-counting?

  13. Yeah, I can’t get behind shortening Everytown for Gun Safety to EGS, because EGS is already short for El Goonish Shive (http://www.egscomics.com/), a pretty awesome webcomic. It’s not quite as quick to type, but using “Everytown” works very well, seeing as it’s a made up word no one else uses.

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