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By Lee Williams

Whenever Bloomberg Businessweek writes about firearms or the Second Amendment, it’s forced to disclose to its readers that the publication is owned by a rabid anti-gunner.

No one has spent more of their personal wealth to infringe on Second Amendment rights than former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg. So, when the topic is guns, his mainstream newswire adds a strange disclaimer, which labels the work as propaganda for the boss, not news . . .

“Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg Businessweek parent Bloomberg LP, also founded Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates gun-safety measures.”

In a recent story titled “Tallying the Best Stats on US Gun Violence Is Trauma of Its Own,” Businessweek extolls the alleged virtues of the often-debunked Gun Violence Archive, which is the legacy media’s favorite source of sensational, misleading, and inaccurate mass shooting data.

The puffery is strong in this piece. The author, Madison Muller, who usually writes about weight-loss drugs, is clearly trying to prop up the foundering GVA. Businessweek isn’t the first media outlet to jump to the GVA’s defense. Last year CNN defended the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit from serious allegations raised in a special report by the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, which GVA founder and executive director, Mark Bryant, dismissed as “irrelevant.”

Bloomberg’s recent story is best defined by what it doesn’t say about the GVA. There is no serious discussion of GVA’s loose, all-inclusive definition of a “mass shooting” which states that any time four or more people are shot or wounded, the GVA rings the mass-shooting bell. Unlike the FBI, Bryant’s team doesn’t exclude anything. Even if the shooting is drug- or gang-related, which are the two main causes of shooting deaths in the country, the GVA counts it. The nonprofit also includes shootings that are done in self-defense or the result of domestic violence.

Using Bryant’s all-inclusive definition, the GVA claims there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. The FBI says there were 30, because it uses a much narrower and realistic definition. This year, the GVA claims there have been more than 72,000 shootings, of which 636 were mass shootings — an average of more than 1.7 per day.

Citing debunked stats, Bloomberg’s Muller falsely claims no federal agency tracks mass shootings, which she wrongly considers a public-health crisis, so the GVA fills that necessary niche.

“Data is siloed, which makes it difficult to study a public-health crisis that kills more kids annually than cancer, drug overdoses or car accidents,” the story states.

She points out there is a culprit that is responsible for this “lack of transparency” It’s the NRA’s fault, of course.

“The National Rifle Association successfully lobbied lawmakers to pass a provision in annual appropriations legislation that for years prevented US health agencies from collecting data on shootings,” she wrote, adding that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health would be far better arbiters of mass shooting data.

Not Anti-gun

Bloomberg claims the GVA’s Bryant isn’t anti-gun.

“They want to remain as nonpartisan as possible. ‘We do stats, not advocacy,’ Bryant says. And though he says he’s ‘not even remotely for banning weapons,’ he wants to see policies enacted that could help reduce deaths, such as the safe-storage requirements and child-access-prevention laws that public-health experts have widely endorsed,” Muller wrote.

That’s bunk.

In a previous interview with the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, Bryan revealed himself to be extremely anti-gun.

Asked if he supported the Second Amendment, Bryant said, “I do, as it’s written, but I have a problem in the way people look at the last half and not the first half and parse that. If anyone is looking at the whole amendment, and I say this in interviews often, I don’t have the balls to tell someone how to defend themselves. My job is statistics, not opinion.”

Gun Violence Archive
Gun Violence Archive founder Mark Bryant (image courtesy Mark Bryant)

Bryant has tried to claim he’s “anti-violence” and not anti-gun but he has publicly lobbied for stricter gun control.

In 2018, he coauthored a guest column for the Los Angeles Times, titled: “Op-Ed: We have all the data we need: Stronger gun laws would save lives.” The column was coauthored with Devin Hughes, founder of GVPedia, which, according to its website, is a “project created to provide ready access to academic research and high-quality data on gun violence.”

In their column, Bryant and Hughes called for more anti-gun legislation, stating . . .

More guns mean more crime and more death. Gun possession significantly increases your risk of being killed by someone you know. A gun in the home doubles your risk of homicide and triples your risk of suicide. The presence of a gun increases the lethality of domestic violence. Areas with higher gun ownership see a significant increase in burglary. And states with higher levels of gun ownership experience higher rates of firearm fatalities.

Asked about the column — which bears his byline — Bryant said, “I didn’t write that. I don’t even know what Devin (Hughes) wrote in that.”

Bryant also said he supports restricting standard-capacity magazines.

“I think magazine capacity is an issue that should be addressed. You don’t need 30-round mags or a 60-round drum,” he said. “While they are great ‘get off’ tools, they’re part of a hobby, not part of the Second Amendment.”

Funding concerns

Whenever the legacy media defends the GVA, the question you have to ask is…why now? Muller concedes in her story that the nonprofit needs a more reliable funding source.

It costs around $800,000 annually to operate the GVA, she reports, and the GVA has only one funding source, an 81-year-old billionaire named Michael Klein, who runs a real estate information company.

Muller writes that both Klein and Bryant acknowledge, “that they need to figure out how to secure long-term funding and how to provide leadership for the GVA for the future.”

Takeaways

It appears that the Gun Violence Archive may be facing hard financial times, and Bryant is looking for a replacement so he can retire. That must terrify the legacy media, because they could lose their number-one source of overblown, wildly exaggerated mass shooting numbers.

CNN has cited GVA data, as have CNN, MSNBC, CBS, ABC, The New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today and FOX News.

The GVA has become one of Joe Biden’s favorite weapons in his war against law-abiding gun owners and the companies that produce them. He has cited GVA data in dozens of speeches.

The only good thing about the Gun Violence Archive is that once you see its data cited in a story, you can stop reading. The article is a work of fiction. The GVA has become the ultimate red-flag for discerning readers.

 

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

This story is part of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project and is published here with their permission.

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19 COMMENTS

  1. Gun violence statistics are so screwed up and skewed they are 0% reliable. Including suicides in gun deaths adds about 56% on average to the real number. On top of that, these idiots can’t seem to comprehend that they all have a hard on for the AR15 which is probably the least used firearm in crimes. Twice as many people annually die from being struck with a hand, fist or foot than are killed by rifles. yet you don’t hear liberals calling for the amputation of hands and feet to prevent crime.

    • 67ish percent suicides generally, substantially higher in less populated regions but not far off in urbanized zones which largely dictates the stats.

    • John Lott doesn’t appear to have trouble with accumulating data for his research. Is it because he’s not lazy an knows where to look?

        • SAFE – it could be because he originally was NOT a firearm advocate. He always has been that ‘objective researcher’ and followed the real facts instead of trying to ‘prove’ a particular agenda (like bloomie).

    • “Michael Bloomberg, founder and majority owner of Bloomberg Businessweek parent Bloomberg LP, also founded Everytown for Gun Safety, which advocates gun-safety measures.”

      The Roots of mini mike’s agenda…

  2. You had me at ” Bloomberg….”
    then I closed the article.
    I know that we’re supposed to” know thy enemy ” but it’s like listening to your Biden – fan neighbor ramble on about something he heard from his brother-in-law’s barber’s wife’s mechanic about a shooting somewhere he can’t remember the name of…. but it was online so it must be TRUE.
    Oh, and he’s coming to my house if the “shit hits the fan !”… not recommended.

    • I know people that think I’m a little off because I own more than a couple of firearms who say the same thing about coming to my place when things go pear shaped. I tell them they are welcome as long as they also bring all their canned and non perishable food with them. I’ve never promised they could stay however.

  3. Maybe SAF could take over the GVA, correct the methods and update the existing data as well as publish more accurate data going forward. Maybe funding help could be secured from all of the pro gun groups and the pro WLP group as well.

Comments are closed.