Previous Post
Next Post

By Larry Keane

It’s like deja vu all over again. When gun control groups need to gin up fear about lawful gun ownership, there’s not a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistic they won’t throw in the bucket to mislead the American public.

Everytown for Gun Control, the gun control group that’s bought and paid for by antigun billionaire Michael Bloomberg, has its own propaganda press called The Trace. It pitches itself as an independent journalist enterprise, but it’s run by longtime Bloomberg lackey John Feinblatt. He’s been at Bloomberg’s side pushing antigun agendas since Bloomberg’s days as New York City mayor. The Trace recently tossed out a headline that was intended to shock the senses and scare America.


They proclaimed that gun deaths in America topped 45,000 in 2020. Of course, they tied it to the record level of background checks for lawful firearm purchases. That was the extent of the explanation of how they arrived at the figures, which are based on CDC data drawn from the WONDER – or Wide-ranging Online Data for Epidemiologic Research – database.

Everytown Bloomberg John Feinblatt
Bloomberg lackey John Feinblatt (Photo by: Demis Maryannakis/STAR MAX/IPx via AP)

The Trace reported that 45,222 gun-related deaths were recorded in 2020. It’s a stark number indeed, but it’s a number presented without any explanation by the gun control group.

The figure actually includes all intent injuries, meaning it captured data that were homicides, accidents, and suicides. When filtering the CDC WONDER data to reflect injury intent, being homicide, and injury mechanism, being firearm, that figure is 19,384 deaths, not 45,222, or about 43 percent of what they reported.

Trumpeting over 45,000 deaths in America is meant to scare the uninitiated. There was no mention of the lawlessness that took over much of the country in 2020. Rioting plagued the country in the summer of 2020 at the same time Everytown for Gun Safety was backing calls to defund police.

George Soros-backed district attorneys embraced no-bail and catch-and-release policies that put criminals back on the streets within hours of committing their crimes. Everytown backed these plans in the name of racial justice. They did so without acknowledging that African-Americans lawfully purchased their own firearms at a rate over 58 percent higher in 2020 than it was in 2019, while Hispanic-Americans purchased guns at a 49 percent higher rate and Asian-Americans bought guns at a 43 percent increased rate during the same time period.

Just this week, newly-installed Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg boasted of his soft-on-crime approach while New York City is in the grips of criminals. That includes a purported plan to reduce armed robbery to a petit larceny charge, which is a misdemeanor, provided no victims are seriously injured and there’s “no genuine risk of physical harm.” That takes a 25-year sentence to less than a year and a $1,000 fine.

Ramping Fear

That wasn’t all. The Trace amplified the fear factor by comparing it to deaths caused by vehicles and showing that firearm injury deaths are the 13th leading cause of death, edging out car-related deaths. Nowhere does The Trace call for a ban on cars, but the gun control mouthpiece gladly parrots any line of gun control it finds convenient.

That even applies to suicides. Suicides are tragic and the firearm industry recognizes this. That’s why the firearm industry teamed up with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to create a program for firearm retailers and ranges to provide resources to intervene before a crisis. That partnership now includes the Department of Veterans Affairs to encourage gun owners to have a “brave conversation.”

Conflating criminal misuse of firearms and the mental health issues of suicides might be politically expedient for Everytown’s The Trace. They reported their shocking 45,222 figure by adding in 24,292 suicides recorded in 2020. However, the two issues are unrelated and treating mental health crises through the lens of gun control doesn’t address the underlying mental health concerns.

When gun control groups lump suicides with deaths caused by criminal misuse of firearms, they deny warnings of mental health experts that say the pandemic lockdowns have had an increasing negative effect on Americans.

Suicide is a mental health issue that isn’t solved by gun control. It’s resolved by levying greater attention and resources to those working to heal from those issues. Treating them as a convenient statistic to advance a political agenda is appalling.

Data without explanation is worse than fuzzy math. It’s the ambient background noise that drowns out coherent thought. Data manipulation, though, is just a blaring megaphone that’s quickly tuned out.


Larry Keane is SVP for Government and Public Affairs, Assistant Secretary and General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation.


Previous Post
Next Post


  1. American english is a sloppy language. “Sew” has to do with needles and thread; “Sow” is about spreading seed, and such.

  2. The Trace uses statistics much like a drunken man uses a lamp post; not so much for illumination, but to keep from falling flat on the pavement.

  3. So all this manufactured grief over the past couple of years could have been avoided if cops just beat perps to death?

    Thanks, Shannon. Let’s hope they get right on that reform.

  4. “They proclaimed that gun deaths in America topped 45,000 in 2020. Of course, they tied it to the record level of background checks for lawful firearm purchases.”

    Well of course they did. They are continuing their campaign of correlation equals causation, its to appeal to people who do not realize that data in a correlation equals causation is ‘manufactured’ and not real. To do that there are usually two somehow related data sets like they have used here by the key word ‘gun’ and ‘violence’ to define an emotional correlation that seems true for causation because it kinda sounds like it fits. A key tip off to a ‘correlation equals causation’ scheme is that if the data does not support a reverse trend using the same methods of stats correlation employment in the ‘correlation equals causation’ scheme then the resulting ‘stats’ are not valid.

    So far this is their whole campaign ‘more guns sold so more gun violence’ when that is 100% false. If it were true then there would not be many people left in the United States now and the population would be moving towards zero population and reach zero in the next five years.

    Its an emotional scheme designed to appeal to people who do not know better and operate on emotion and there are plenty of those in the anti-gun community where they all live in this little bubble comfortable with this type of stuff.

    correlation does not equal causation, never has and can not.

  5. In actuality suicides can often be prevented and making it easy for Teenagers and children to do it on the spur of the moment is criminal. Immature teenagers and children who get humiliated on the internet or lose a boy friend or girl friend often act on a moment of impulse and loaded guns laying around the house not only make it easy but no one who blows their brains out is saved by a first responder compared to those that deliberately overdosed on prescription medication or tried to drown or hang themselves or slit their wrists. Sometimes these people are saved by first responders but never when they blow out their brains all over the floor.

    The Republicans have consistently blocked funding for a National Health Care program which would make mental health care more affordable and the Republicans have blocked safe storage laws which would prevent most of the unnecessary 1,300 child deaths each year from unattended loaded guns laying around the house which have also been used by mentally deranged children to take to school and commit mass murder with.

    The Far Right can play with statistical numbers all they want and lie about them until the cows come home but the dead body count does not lie no matter how hard the Far Right try to use smoke and mirrors and outright lies about the problem.

    • Yah – too bad your mom didn’t leave a lot of bang-bangs laying around for you to find.

      Why do you spread your stupid lies here, of all places, where people know better?

    • You need to get up to date.

      Drowning, drug overdose, hanging, electrocution, jumping from heights, and bleeding (cutting wrists, sometimes throat) are tied for the number one spot for ‘fatal’ impulse suicides by teenagers even if there is a gun available. Coming up in a close second is ‘helium’ suicide if the teen has time. Guns were in sixth place but have now slipped to eighth for teen impulse suicide due to the efforts of NSSF and other pro-gun organizations.

      The anti-gun freaks campaigns have never stopped one suicide or violent crime, or any crime, from happening – ask them for the stats on how many their ‘gun safety’ (gun grab) campaigns have stopped. If they would put half that energy, time, and money into programs to stop teen suicide and crime then country would be a safer place. Instead, they spend their time on stupid false crap like in this article and on twitter

      66% of suicides by gun are later found to have not been suicide but to have been either accidents or homicide. These are never removed from suicide stats.

      Do impulse suicides by teens happen with guns? Yes, they do but in an impulse over 80% of teens will choose a method that may be at hand but not necessarily and tend towards the method with the least immediate fatality (in a last hope they might be saved).

      • to add: The term “impulse” is a trigger word that a lot of anti-gun freaks like to use in terms of suicide and guns. It makes it all sound like ‘because there was a gun in the house they had the means and then suddenly grabbed the gun and killed their self’. At some point after pushing that ‘impulse’ thing you will see the standard false ‘correlation equals causation’ stuff from the anti-gun freaks with basically a call of ‘decrease guns and decrease suicide’ type of thing sort of like dacian spews now.

        1. Suicide often not preceded by warnings. The anti-gun freak idea is people who will commit suicide can be identified and helped before they commit suicide. You will see the anti-gun freaks use the term ‘at risk’ a lot in relation to removing guns from the home as if all people who will commit suicide can be pre-identified by ‘warning signs’. The truth is almost 90% of suicide attempts and actual suicides people don’t display or indicate any warning signs so there is nothing to identify that would indicate they are ‘at risk’ so the ‘anti-gun claims of identifying ‘at-risk’ and their further implied claims that everyone in a home with a gun is ‘at risk’ for suicide is overall false.

        2. There is a difference between suicide attempts and actual suicide. Yet in reporting from half the states in the country attempts are all reported as ‘suicide’ in stats even though the person that attempted is still alive. This falsely inflates the suicide stats.

        Its true that a considerable proportion of suicide attempts are the result of sudden desires (e.g. sudden impulse). It is not true that a considerable portion of actual suicides are impulse. Its a word and stats game anti-gun and special interest groups play. Basically, a person who ‘attempts’ suicide is still alive and a person who is successful in their act of suicide is an actual suicide and died as a result of the act. Like dacian has done here, anti-gun freaks like to conflate these two as being one all lumped under a title of ‘suicide’ when over 70% of the people who at some point ‘attempt’ suicide and recorded in stats as suicide are still actually alive when their attempt is included in stats as a suicide. (note; more defining: Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. A suicide attempt is when someone harms themselves with any intent to end their life, but they do not die as a result of their actions.)

        3. Impulsive and Non-Impulsive (AKA ‘planned’) suicides, in the execution of the act, are very difficult, nearly impossible, to classify as either. Yet, like dacian does now, the anti-gun freaks will throw the word ‘impulse’ out there to evoke an emotionally based idea that all in a home with guns will suddenly grab a gun in a moment of ‘sudden impulse suicide ideation’ and kill their selves – this is overall false. Up to almost 80% of people with suicide ideation, impulse or not, will never act on the suicide ideation even though there is a gun or other method available. The term ‘impulse’ also means a driving or motivating force; an impetus. This ‘driving or motivating force’ can last for a long time, its culmination is not ‘spur of the moment’ sudden usually but is quickly realized once put into action and is difficult to identify. The majority of ‘impulse’ teen suicides (and such impulse suicides in general) have been contemplated over time even though not yet planned being driven by a ‘driving or motivating force’ of some sort in their lives (e.g. social, family, offenses against them, bullying, etc…) that starts to become more of a focus for the person and in that contemplation for the actual act eventually they begin to plan and choose a method and this method is often not immediately fatal because they want to be found in time to be saved. In the majority of suicides investigated in depth its found the actual suicide started as an attempt with the idea they would be found in time and saved, but it doesn’t work out and they are not found in time and by this time the person is unable to undo what they did in their attempt and save their own life.

      • “66% of suicides by gun are later found to have not been suicide but to have been either accidents or homicide”

        I certainly would be interested in seeing a source for that particular claim.

    • To Dacian
      If you look at suicides, Japan has a 1% per capita higher suicide rate than the USA and they have extremely strict gun control.

      As far as restricting health care is concerned, nationalizing all of health care just for mental health would cost the tax payers trillions. You’re better off spending your own money on mental health, or using medicare/medicaid which is already taxpayer funded (and inefficient).

      Canada has a socialized health care system but there are more and more private health care clinics popping up that you have to pay out of pocket for. Why is this? Because the socialized program is bloated and inefficient.

      I don’t understand why giving more power to the government would be a good thing. You appear to be willing to vote for higher taxes and restrict people’s gun rights. This country was built by brave men and women who did not want a government that could take control of its citizens easily (unlike australia). Giving the government more money and more guns would be like feeding a baby alligator you’re stuck in a cage with; eventually the alligator gets too big and eventually you run out of food to continue feeding it.

      Also, in terms of far right and far left ideologies. The right has some bad ones I’ll give you that, but the body count under far left policies takes the cake by an order of magnitude.

      • A bill has been introduced in California to pay for state-wide universal health care. As previous studies have shown that the cost of such a program would be at least double the California budget during Governor Brown’s reign (it has now been significantly bloated with billions in surplus and federal funds), the bill calls for more than doubling state income taxes, imposing a gross revenues tax on businesses of 2-3%, and taxing capital gains on retirement investment accounts annually, not when withdrawn. The estimated burden on middle class tax payers would amount to approximately 50% of adjusted gross income when federal income tax is factored in.

      • to Forp

        quote———–As far as restricting health care is concerned, nationalizing all of health care just for mental health would cost the tax payers trillions. You’re better off spending your own money on mental health, or using medicare/medicaid which is already taxpayer funded (and inefficient).——-quote

        The usual same old tired Far Right Falsehoods. Lets face the truth for once. Small countries like Europe and some small Asian countries are far less rich and they have afforded National Health Care for decades. The difference between them and us is that we let the Gangster Criminal Republicans steal billions of the working mans tax dollars because the super rich pay no taxes and then they have the audacity to steal the working mans taxes by stealing billions of tax dollars by the use of Corporate Subsidies which is Corporate Welfare and that is wheel barrows full of cash stolen form the working man so that there is none left to fund European Style Socialist programs. Again programs that have been in place for decades.

        quote——–Canada has a socialized health care system but there are more and more private health care clinics popping up that you have to pay out of pocket for. Why is this? Because the socialized program is bloated and inefficient.———quote

        More Right Wing propaganda. Canadians do not die like dogs in the street because they cannot afford life saving operation and also preventive health care. Their price of drugs is cheaper than in the U.S. as well but they are also working on getting drug coverage even more affordable by coping eventually the European style laws.

        Yes some Canadians come here but that is because they are the super rich who do not want to wait for minor procedures. I might add in Capitalvania I have seen friends of mine die because they were told they had to wait 3 months to see a specialist and this included myself having to wait. So do not tell me about wait times in Canada that is only for minor procedures while in Capitalvania you die waitng not even knowing how serious your condition is until its suddenly terminal before you even got to talk to a specialist.A

        After the Trump Tax rape bill passed which exempted the rich from paying any taxes there was an in depth historical discussion about the past history of the U.S. taxation of the rich and it was proven that the National Debt could be paid off because that is how many trillions of dollars the Rich steal from the government in unpaid taxes.

        The Trump Tax rape bill added 2 trillion to the National Debt but the Far Right did not complain that this was to expensive.

        So do not tell me we cannot afford a civilized national health care plan as every other civilized nation has had one for decades and there citizens do not die like dogs in the street from a lack of preventable health care or affordable drugs and operations. That is fact the Far Right can never lie their way out of.

    • That’s funny I had gunms laying all over the house and none of my kids committed suicide.
      Maybe its parenting and not the implements of destruction that leads to a suicide?
      Nah , cant be that.

      • Maybe their paws were to small to reach the trigger.
        Depression leading to suicidal ideation and suicide often has physiological basis unrelated to parenting.

        • What, like making your kid think he’s so special that when life hits them in the face they cant deal with it?
          The parent fcked up somewhere when a kid commits suicide over what someone said to them on fakebook.

      • In all my years of being around guns from childhood to present, I know of one person who “committed suicide” with a gun. A little over a year later it was found to be have instead been homicide staged to look like suicide, the boyfriend did it with the kids downstairs. He later confessed. He asked her to try out a new sleeping bag to see if its comfortable enough for her, they were planning a camping trip. She gets inside to try it out and he zips it up the sticks the gun inside and pulls the trigger then put the gun inside the sleeping bag so it looks like she had the gun in the bag with her and didn’t want to leave a mess (which is common) so got in the sleeping bag and shot herself. He runs back down stairs and the kids (4 % 5 year old ask what the noise was and he tells them mom is cleaning up and dropped something and goes on to feed the kids and gets them in bed. Two hours later he calls the cops to report that his wife had shot herself. Police arrive, there for a while, and call it ‘apparent suicide’.

        90% of all suicides are never investigated beyond the police arriving and looking around. Their initial observations decide if it was suicide and if there is no immediate evidence to contradict that initial assessment it goes in the records as suicide. Over half of these are later discovered to have been accidental or homicide.

        66% of suicides by gun are later found to have not been suicide but to have been either accidents or homicide.

        These are never removed from suicide stats.

        • He tried to pass her off as his wife, she wasn’t. The cops never asked and just took it for granted. A little over a year later a detective is looking at the file to make sure its complete before the records get transfered to storage as a closed case and wonders why the guy referred to her as his wife and later in another interview as his girl friend. So the detective goes to ask the guy a few more question. The guy breaks down and confesses everything.

      • Rick, dacian the stupid has no shame. And no brain. And no knowledge. And no education. But he can incoherently babble far left talking points like a pro – EXACTLY like Senile Joe reading his teleprompter.

    • So lil d problem is his lack of affordable “mental health”. He needs a pshirink. Yeah sounds right.

    • dacian the stupid,

      Did your unfortunate parents have any children that lived?? Tell me, again, why Japan, with absurdly strict gun laws has a higher suicide rate than the U.S. Tell me why Mexico, with almost equally strict gun laws as Japan, has a far higher murder rate than the U.S. Tell me again why all the “blue” cities, with strict gun control laws, have FAR higher murder and gun crime rates than the “red” areas. Or are you just talking out your @$$, again?

      The cable misses you, dacian the stupid and demented.

  6. Why can’t these propaganda rags be sued for spreading lies? Call it false advertisement, they are trying to sell you on something that just isn’t true. A class action lawsuit for $10 billion would get even Bloomberg’s attention.

  7. Pencil neck, the far right can play with statistics? The left invented it.
    What was it Samuel Clemens said? There are lies, damn lies and statistics. You are a silly little man. You should be quite.

  8. So the people who tell us that 2+2=5 are ginning up more fake numbers? I use my shocked face so much now that I need a new shocked face.

  9. There is kind of a shocking revelation there. The annual suicides and accidents aren’t up substantially. A typical year is in the 30-35k range, with 8-10k being homicides. The homicide rate seems to have doubled, which is unsurprising given the lack of law enforcement. It was the Ferguson Effect across the entire country, plus defending. Linking the cause of the hpmicide increase to increased gun sales is unsupported. There is no data showing new guns were behind 50% of the homicides. People saw the spike in crime and lack of police response, realized they were on their own, and decided getting a gun was the best way to protect themselves.

    • according to ‘American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’ >

      In 2019: 47,511 Americans died by suicide

      The age-adjusted suicide rate in 2019 was 13.93 per 100,000 individuals.
      The rate of suicide is highest in middle-aged white men.
      In 2019, men died by suicide 3.63x as often as women.
      On average, there are 130 suicides per day.
      White males accounted for 69.38% of suicide deaths in 2019.
      In 2019, firearms accounted for 50.39% of all suicide deaths (47,511 total) (that’s ~23,755.5 firearms suicide deaths.)

      There were, in 2019, 1.38 Million attempts. The actual number of actual suicides is low in the U.S. compared to attempts. But of every thing, in 2019, suicide was only 10th for leading cause of death in the US. In 2019 the leading cause of death was heart disease.

      In 2019 there were 38,300 deaths from guns, total, counting all homicides and accidents and any spree mass shooting also, in the final count. This number includes 23,755.5 firearms suicide deaths. 38,300 – 23,755.5 = 14,544.5 fire arms deaths due to other than suicides.

      based on the period 1999-2019 and 2021 on CDC WONDER Online Database and other CDC data, and FBI reports for the same period coupled with states reporting of crimes and suicide, NHTSA data bases and information, NIS studies, WHO stats and reports…

      in the aggregate from those … In 2019 there was only a 3% increase in gun-related assault deaths from previous year 2017 (1% increase in 2017, a 4% decrease in 2018). Suicide deaths involving guns decreased 2.0% in 2019 over previous year 2018. Preventable or accidental gun-related deaths increased 6% in 2019 but the years prior 1999 to 2019 the preventable gun-related deaths decreased 41%. In 2019 36% (36.275%) of gun suicides were later found to be homicides and 29% (29.457%) were found to be accidental. In 2020 suicide dropped to the 11th leading cause of death and in 2021 was still 11th and remains 11th into this beginning of 2022

      In 2021, the ten countries with the highest suicide rates (number of overall suicides per 100k) were:

      Lesotho – 72.4
      Guyana – 40.3
      Eswatini – 29.4
      South Korea – 28.6
      Kiribati – 28.3
      Federated States of Micronesia – 28.2
      Lithuania – 26.1
      Suriname – 25.4
      Russia – 25.1
      South Africa – 23.5

      In 2021 For the United States total overall suicide rate: 16.1 (Male Rate: 25 – Female Rate: 7.5) (un-adjusted for factors based on raw reporting)
      In 2019 For the United States total overall suicide rate: 14.5 [Male Rate: 22.4 – Female Rate: 6.8] (un-adjusted for factors based on raw reporting)

      There was an increase in the raw reporting rate for suicide between 2019 and 2021 in the United States. Adjusting for factors such as discovery of accident or homicide or undetermined instead of actually suicide in 2019 the total overall suicide rate was 13.6 and for 2021 the total overall suicide rate was 12.3.

      but, also in the aggregate … In 2019 there were 36,096 deaths due to fatal car accident and over 2 million non-fatal injuries (including pedestrians stuck by cars – of those over 2 million ~1.1 million will die later in about 2 – 5 years due to those injuries either directly or as a contributing cause). In 2021 there were more than 40,000 deaths due to fatal car accident and over 2 million non-fatal injuries.

      A person is statistically more likely to be injured or killed by a car traveling on the roads, or by heart disease, … and numerous other causes (including falling from a ladder) than they are to die by firearm due to homicide, accident, or suicide.

      Why are these gun-control freaks not spending their time and money time on all this other stuff to reduce deaths and injury? Considering all this other stuff guns are the safest and less lethal and less injurious thing to be around even with an increase in gun ownership.

      • note and addition, in the aggregate :

        In 2019 to this beginning of 2022 other violent crimes either involving firearms or other weapons which did not result in immediate death to the victims continued to outpace all other types of crime. The number one first physical contact attack weapons employed by criminals in 2019 to this beginning of 2022 was either hands or some sort of clubbing object followed by use of a gun except in armed robberies of stores or home invasion where the gun was the primary attack weapon.

        There were 6, 637 reported daily gun defense uses in the U.S. in 2019 (including scaring away burglars) and 15% actually fired shots – criminals mostly ran away when realized victim was armed. In 2021 there were over 8,000 reported daily gun defense uses in the U.S. (including scaring away burglars) and 47% actually fired shots – criminals stopped running away and became more aggressive.

        • note:

          Above I posted this…

          “In 2019 to this beginning of 2022 other violent crimes either involving firearms or other weapons which did not result in immediate death to the victims continued to outpace all other types of crime. “

          the “immediate death” here means victim not killed first before the crime proceeded, during or after the main crime act completed was when the victim was either killed or severely injured. The use of “other violent crimes” means violent crimes other than, for example, simple hands on assaults without a weapon or attempted crimes for which the bad guy weapon was never used.

          In other words violent crime in which the victims were either killed or severely injured continued to outpace all other types of crime.

  10. The knowledge you share really changes me in life, I sincerely thank you for what you have done, surely your blog will help more people. retro bowl

Comments are closed.