Fact or Fake news
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C.A. Bridges, a “digital producer” for Gannett’s USA TODAY Florida network, wrote basically the same story on May 12 and May 28, which claimed that Florida has experienced more mass shootings than any other state. Unfortunately for Bridges and his readers, both stories were wrong, incredibly biased and typical of the fake news that permeates today’s corporate media, especially when the topic involves guns.

On May 12, Bridges wrote a story titled “Florida leads country in mass shootings after gunfire injures several. What to know.”

“Tallahassee’s early Sunday morning shooting of multiple people at a shopping center means Florida remains the state with the most mass shootings across the country, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive,” Bridges wrote for the May 12 story.

On May 28, Bridges wrote a story titled “Florida has most mass shootings in U.S. in 2024 with latest in Fort Pierce, Sarasota.”

“Florida has now seen 16 mass shootings this year, more than any other state in the nation and two more than the Sunshine State saw by this time last year according to the Gun Violence Archive,” Bridges wrote for the May 28 story.

Much on the data, findings and examples Bridges wrote about on May 12 were republished in the second story. To be clear, he relied solely on data from the Gun Violence Archive for each story. No other data set or human source was referenced or quoted.

Bridges’ stories were republished and reposted by other Gannett newspapers throughout USA TODAY’s Florida network and seen by thousands of Floridians. One Democratic lawmaker, Congresswoman Frederica Wilson, who represents Florida’s 24th District, used the May 28 story in a Facebook post that calls for an “assault weapon” ban.

Fake Data

The Gun Violence Archive has been debunked multiple times by multiple reliable sources such as TTAG. Even some in the gun-ban industry have moved on from the GVA and are using other, less-notorious data sources. The GVA uses an overly broad definition of a mass shooting, which creates inflated statistics designed to appeal to journalists who are seeking a sensational headline. For example, according to the GVA’s all-inclusive definition, there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. The FBI says there were 30, because it uses a much more realistic definition.

To his credit, Bridges explained to his readers that the GVA defines a mass shooting solely based upon the number of people wounded or killed, four or more, not including the shooter. However, he completely mischaracterized and misstated the FBI’s definition.

“The FBI does not define ‘mass shooting’ at all. The agency defines ‘mass killing’ or ‘mass murder’ as an incident in which four or more victims are killed by any intentional means, which may include gun violence. There also may be a distinction made between private and public mass shootings, and mass shootings committed by foreign terrorists are not included no matter where the shooting occurs or how many people are killed,” Bridges wrote.

According to their report titled: “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2020,” the FBI defines active shootings as:

  • Shootings in public places
  • Shootings occurring at more than one location
  • Shootings where the shooter’s actions were not the result of another criminal act
  • Shootings resulting in a mass killing
  • Shootings indicating apparent spontaneity by the shooter
  • Shootings where the shooter appeared to methodically search for potential victims
  • Shootings that appeared focused on injury to people, not buildings or objects

Shootings were excluded from the FBI’s list if they were the result of:

  • Self-defense
  • Gang violence
  • Drug violence
  • Contained residential or domestic disputes
  • Controlled barricade/hostage situations
  • Crossfire as a byproduct of another ongoing criminal act
  • An action that appeared not to have put other people in peril

By comparison, the Gun Violence Archive excludes nothing, even if the shooting is gang or drug related — the two main causes of shooting deaths in the country today.

In a previous interview with the Second Amendment Foundation, Gun Violence Archive founder and executive director, Mark Bryant, was asked if he believed that the average news consumer even considers domestic violence or gang warfare when they hear the term “mass shooting.”

“I don’t know,” Bryant said. “I know what we want to do is provide numbers and let the journalists, advocates and ‘congress critters’ look at the data, glean details and drill down on it.”

Other Data Problems

Bridges also left out that there are serios problems with GVA’s methodology. Bryant’s small staff routinely gleans its “data” from media stories and law enforcement sources, to include Twitter/X and Facebook. Following a mass shooting, many initial media accounts are completely wrong, as are social media stories, even those operated by law enforcement agencies.

Similarly, Bridges never disclosed to his readers that the GVA is extremely anti-gun, which also contributes to its flawed data sets.

In the past, Bryant has claimed that he is “anti-violence” and not anti-gun, but he has publicly lobbied for stricter gun control, and he has called for standard-capacity magazine bans.

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

Takeaways

Corporate journalists have developed a specific set of rules that are used only when they write about guns or gun rights. Anyone who calls out their errors or “sins of omission” is immediately marginalized, labeled a pro-gun extremist and their criticisms are treated as opinion rather than fact.

According to his bio, Bridges’ previous stories have shown how Florida ranks in terms of mail carrier dog bites, how the state ranks in student loan debt, and this: “Billie Eilish’s new album dropped. Is her tour coming to Florida?”

Bridges did not respond to interview requests seeking his comments for this story, which is not a surprise. Members of the legacy media rarely want to hear how their firearm-related stories leave out more facts than they include.

This story is courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to the project to support pro-gun stories like this.

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60 COMMENTS

  1. Silly little man. By his definition I’ve been to several mass shootings. Uh, no. It is true that I was first on scene at a quadruple homicide, and worked two triple homicides, thet were not mass shootings. They were not even mass murders in the sense that most people think of them. Unlike Bundy, and others, everyone knew each other. The two triples were drug deals gone bad. The quadruple was love unrequited. Those are not mass shootings.

    • The ‘news’ media has a lot in common with the religion of Islam.

      Ask any scholar of Islam and the will tell you lying is expressly forbidden.

      With one caveat – Lying is permitted, and even encouraged, if it is in the interest of Islam.

      Those folks were told in university ‘journalism’ school that they are to be activists above being neutral journalists. This is what is happening right now, and to their utter horror, are finding out that nobody considers them neutral sources of news, and that is confirmed by their plummeting viewership numbers in broadcast and dead tree newspapers.

      Further supporting evidence is the fact they have had a hard lock on the public school system, and the kids coming out are roughly 50-50 in political bias.

      Combine all of that with the distressing news (to them, anyway) the brown and black vote are switching parties and the trend is actually *accelerating*. I predict in two major election cycles the Leftist Scum ™ will be demanding a secure border. All this is to me is utterly hilarious, they are gonna start accusing them of being closet racists. That right there will accelerate it even faster, since good people have a very serious problem with being accused of racism.

      The whole machinery they set in motion years ago to forget the old, fat, white middle class as a voting bloc, will be offset by the new southern border folks turning conservative on them. They truly never expected that to happen, and it’s about to bite them in the ass bigtime… 😉

      (BTW, those brown border crossers are devoutly religious, and will take a dim view of the left mocking them for their belief of ‘sky daddy’, and express that come election time…)

    • Fortunately, the purveyors of fake news, aka propaganda, are being held to account for their lies:

      “A Belated Apology for ‘2000 Mules’
      Salem Media settles a defamation lawsuit for a ‘significant’ amount.
      By The Editorial Board
      June 5, 2024 5:45 pm ET

      The movie “2000 Mules” was supposed to be the definitive proof that Democrats stole the 2020 election from President Trump. Last week it was quietly retracted. Salem Media Group, which co-produced this Trumpian fantasy mockumentary, ceased distribution of the film and issued an apology to Mark Andrews, one of the Georgia voters depicted as an illegal ballot “mule.”

      Folks can lie all they want on the Internet, and make fraudulent claims in order to grift off the “poorly educated”.

      But when the issues reach a court of law, it turns out that while speech is free, lies you gotta pay for.

      The conservative right wing propaganda media outlets are now facing consequences for their criminal activities, the chief financial officer of the Epoch Times has just been indicted on a $67 million money laundering conspiracy involving the Chinese CCCP.

      Fox ‘News’ was forced to pay $787 million for their lies and fake news regarding the 2020 election.

      And the hits just keep coming

  2. I signed up for the MU school of journalism after my service time. It took very little time to realize that there is no such animal as unbiased reporting.

    I felt dirty after just a few classes and meeting real newsmen. I decided to pursue other interests. That was over 50 years ago.

    • jwm,

      No, no human being can be “unbiased”, just as no human is capable of perfection. I think it would be a noble goal for humans to ASPIRE to being unbiased, just as we should strive for perfection, even though both are unattainable. But, anyone can be aware of their bias, and if their job is to accurately report “the news”, make an honest effort to eliminate their bias from their reporting, to the extent they can, or just go whole hog with the bias, but make it clear, up front, that you are reporting with an obvious, uncontrolled bias.

      THAT is what I despise the “Fourth Estate” for – not that they are biased, but that they (i) make no particular effort to curb their bias in their “reporting”, and (ii) deny their obvious bias if confronted about it. Makes one tend not to believe anything they say. (And, yes, that applies to “new reporters” on right-of-center outlets, too.)

      • “…THAT is what I despise the “Fourth Estate” for – not that they are biased, but that they (i) make no particular effort to curb their bias in their “reporting”, and (ii) deny their obvious bias if confronted about it….”

        Interesting post/comment. I am biased against individuals who commit murder. Should that be disclosed when discussing murders?

        Or am I non-biased because my viewpoint is the only “truth” that is legitimate?

      • “Makes one tend not to believe anything they say.”

        Plummeting newspaper subscriptions and TV news numbers falling of a cliff are proof of that.

        Let’s not stop the enemy from destroying itself… 😉

  3. I’m pretty sure that journalism these days uses the National Enquirer as their model publication. Many so called reporters use X, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media sites as their primary sources and seldom seem to check for accuracy let alone truthfulness. In the world of news disguised as opinion, finding the facts is a job that most consumers of said news don’t bother to check for themselves.

    • In modern media time is critical. Publish or perish. And monetize the content too.

      Accuracy, truth, and unbiased reporting are unfortunate victims.

      • “Accuracy, truth, and unbiased reporting are unfortunate victims unnecessary and unwelcomed.”

        FIFY

      • “Accuracy, truth, and unbiased reporting are unfortunate victims.”

        A lie will make it around the world twice before the truth gets its socks on…

  4. When you hear mass shooting, you think lone wolf in black trench or camo going through a school or office shooting random kids… which is what they want you to think.

    Not a gang drive-by shooting up a rival’s birthday BBQ. They don’t care about doing anything to stop the second scenario which probably happens every weekend in Chicago. But if people think the first case happened 500 times a year, yeah, ban those ARs and trench coats and camo too!

  5. Everything you need to know about the fake news media can be found in George Orwell’s ‘1984’. It like with the liberal/progressive democrat party has made it their playbook for control over society. Even though Orwell wrote it as a warning about the dangers of the government driven, media supported dystopian society. He wrote it 1949.

    • “Even though Orwell wrote it as a warning about the dangers of the government driven, media supported dystopian society.”

      Orwell didn’t write 1984 as a general warning, but a warning about the spread of socialism in England. England was so self-absorbed about wealth re-distribution, Churchill was defeated as Prime Minister, six months before WW2 ended. It was the flower childs of the 1960s who set the lie that Orwell was writing about “right wing” government, specifically the US.

      • “Orwell didn’t write 1984 as a general warning, but a warning about the spread of socialism in England.“

        Really?

        I must admit, I am glad to see so many on this list champion the perceptive views of one of the worlds greatest socialist minds.

        “Orwell was an atheist who identified himself with the humanist outlook on life.

        Orwell’s writing was often explicitly critical of religion, and Christianity in particular. He found the church to be a “selfish […] church of the landed gentry” with its establishment “out of touch” with the majority of its communicants and altogether a pernicious influence on public life.

        In Part 2 of The Road to Wigan Pier, published by the Left Book Club, Orwell stated that “a real Socialist is one who wishes—not merely conceives it as desirable, but actively wishes—to see tyranny overthrown”. Orwell stated in “Why I Write” (1946): “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.” Orwell’s conception of socialism was of a planned economy alongside democracy, which was the common notion of socialism in the early and middle 20th century. Orwell’s emphasis on “democracy” primarily referred to a strong emphasis on civil liberties within a socialist economy as opposed to majoritarian rule, though he was not necessarily opposed to majority rule.“

  6. Violence is Violence…However History does Confirm Gun Control is Rooted in Racism and Genocide. And with that fact established there is a thing called, “Gun Control Violence.”

  7. You give them too much credit for complexity and execution.

    It’s all just writing the conclusion you want on every page in a webring.

    The professionals call it journalism, the academics call it peer review, salesmen call it product saturation but it’s all the same shit it has always been for hundreds of years.

    All one giant circle jerk. The suckers are the naive morons who genuinely believe anything is true, honest or righteous and the simps who slobber knob over anyone in a tie. The people who know better are destined to be swept along in the noise.

    The people who say we need to be six feet apart.
    The people who believe those who said it.
    The rest of us who just had to put up with it.

    COVID taught and continues to teach us a lot about how the real world works. Master, slave, outlaw. The only three avatars there really are.

    • I saw a double masker today in a gas station. I haven’t seen anyone wearing even a single mask in a long time. The mask touching his face was filthy! It had to be at least a few months old with daily use. It was nasty looking.

    • Laundering is certainly a thing but the real key to the kingdom in every instance you mention is gatekeeping.

    • Schriftleitergesetz….The Nazis managed to take control of press and radio within a very short space of time. Even before the Schriftleitergesetz (Editor’s Law) was passed, journalists had become public servants who were dependent on the goodwill of the Nazi regime if they wanted to stay out of danger.

    • Pravda and Izvestia were the truth and news. Even the locals knew there was no news in the truth and no truth in the news.

      A whole system of lies. Fabricated results went up the reporting chain and completely impossible plans and quotas using non-existent materials went back down. Chernobyl was an unfortunate product of the system.

      • “Our job is to report the news, not fabricate it. That’s the government’s job.” V For Vendetta

        Until we get all the way there the “media” has to freelance the fabrication part all by itself. All “news” is biased and twisted to push an agenda.

        • I realised since the 1980s the media was extremely biased on certain issues. Guns in particular

          When the media is not out-and-out lying, they are certainly distorting, exaggerating, or omitting.

  8. “Florida has now seen 16 mass shootings this year, more than any other state in the nation and two more than the Sunshine State saw by this time last year according to the Gun Violence Archive,”

    OK, so that’s 8% of GVA’s current total (200) for the 3rd largest state in the Union which has about ~7% of the US population.

    That’s like 7.08e-7 mass shootings per person for the state compared to 5.87e-7 mass shootings per person for the rest of the USA.

    Sounds like an absolutely terrifying departure from the mu.

      • First time legal gun owners in the United States equals the population of Florida. If a homeowner or citizen shoots more than 1 criminal while defending themselves or a loved on. The gun violence archive considers it a mass shooting. Regardless of intent.

      • Top Five States by Population:

        1. California (2023 est.) 38,965,193
        2. Texas (2023 est.) 30,503,301
        3. Florida (2023 est.) 22,610,726
        4. New York (2023 est.) 19,571,216
        5. Pennsylvania (2023 est.) 12,961,683

  9. Crack head Hunter Biden wasn’t smoking crack the exact moment he lied of his background check.

    • “The media is controlled by the Jews“

      Interesting:

      “Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch marries Jewish scientist Elena”

      “The clan is helmed by 92-year-old patriarch Rupert Murdoch, an Australian-born media mogul who owns News Corp., which includes The Wall Street Journal, The Times (of London), Fox News, and The Sun“

    • I’m done with them after they dropped the guy in VA who was later acquitted. I see where they’re trying to address that but it’s too little too late.

  10. News publications/media outlets and the so called journalists/reporters working for them are biased? I’m shocked and appalled!!(SARC)
    Anyone reading newspapers or other print publications over the last century, or on line social media outlets over the last couple decades who doesn’t realize there is a definite usually leftist/socialist/dementiacrat bias to the majority with a smaller number pushing the right of center opinion has either been unconscious or living in a hermetically sealed bubble.
    In regard to the article and it’s obvious bias, even the disarmament industry crowd sees the usual misinformation being sold as fact to the ignorant and lazy consumers of the media.
    Never under estimate the power of stupid or ignorant people in large numbers to support an agenda that will cause themselves infinite pain and suffering.

  11. GVA also keeps things in their list even when shown later they weren’t mass shootings like only 1 wounded/killed.

  12. People seem to prefer their lies from the organizations that match their politics. Libs get their lies from CNN and Huffington Post, while conservatives like their lies from things like Fox and Newsmax. They will call the other side out, even though their side is guilty of the same (though no one else has yet hit that magical $1,600,000,000,000 of wrong like Fox…yet).

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