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United States Surgeon General Vivek Murthy declared that “gun violence” constitutes a public health crisis Tuesday but cited fake mass-shooting data from the long-debunked Gun Violence Archive to support his spurious claims.

Murthy presented his finding in a 40-page Surgeon General advisory, titled “Firearm Violence: A Public Health Crisis in America.”

“While mass shooting deaths represent only about 1% of all firearm‑related deaths in the U.S., the number of mass shooting incidents is increasing. According to data published by Gun Violence Archive, the U.S. experienced more than 600 mass shooting incidents each year between 2020 and 2023, compared to an average of less than 400 annual mass shooting incidents between 2015 and 2018,” the Surgeon General’s advisory states.

In his report, Murthy cites data from the Gun Violence Archive more than four times.

Founded in 2013, the GVA quickly became the administration’s source of choice for mass-shooting data because they hype the numbers. The small nonprofit came up with its own extremely broad definition of a mass shooting, which says anytime four or more people are killed or even slightly wounded with a firearm regardless of the circumstances, it’s a mass shooting. For example, according to the GVA there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. The FBI says there were 30, because it uses a much narrower and more realistic definition, which excludes gang-related and drug-related shootings, which the GVA includes in its data.

Murthy is not the only member of the Biden-Harris administration to use fake data from the GVA. Biden and his handlers have cited GVA’s mass-shooting data throughout his presidency in speeches, written statements and social media.

In an editorial published May 14, 2023, by USA TODAY and reprinted in scores of newspapers across the country, titled, “President Biden: I’m doing everything I can to reduce gun violence, but Congress must do more,” Biden stressed the need for more Red flag laws, advocated for universal background checks and called on Congress to ban “assault weapons” and standard-capacity magazines, stating: “For God’s sake, do something.”

But then there was this: “We need to do more. In the year after the Buffalo tragedy, our country has experienced more than 650 mass shootings and well over 40,000 deaths due to gun violence, according to one analysis.”

The hyperlink whisked readers to the Gun Violence Archive.

When Biden’s staff announced the creation of the White House Office of Gun Violence Prevention last May, they cited GVA data that claimed there had been 500 mass shooting in the country and 118 firearm-related deaths per day, which Biden said was “far too high.”

In a statement released in February after the post-Superbowl shooting, Biden again cited GVA’s mass shooting data, claiming, “We’ve now had more mass shootings in 2024 than there have been days in the year.”

In a previous interview with the Second Amendment Foundation, Mark Bryant, the GVA’s executive director, took no responsibility for the misuse of his flawed data. When asked if he believed the average news consumer even considers domestic violence or gang warfare when they hear the term mass shooting, Bryant said, “I don’t know. 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.”

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

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

Other Inaccuracies

Using fake GVA data is not the only error in Murthy’s report.

“Since 2020, firearm‑related injury has been the leading cause of death for U.S. children and adolescents (ages 1–19), surpassing motor vehicle crashes, cancer, and drug overdose and poisoning,” the report states.

This claim has also been debunked and proven to be nothing more than a frequently cited White House talking point. The numbers only work if you define everyone under 20 years old as children, and for 17-year-olds and younger, the leading cause of death is suffocation.

 

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.

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23 COMMENTS

  1. Since there is no such thing as gun violence. Only violent acts by criminals using guns illegally. This is little more than political hyperbole disguised as caring. If he and the rest of the liberal democrat politicians across the nation truly cared about the violence perpetrated by violent criminals they would lock them up and stop refusing to prosecute them or make deals to keep them from facing the consequences they deserve. If guns cause the crime that injures and kills people and need to be taken from society. Then cars cause the drunk driving that injures and kills people and thus need to be taken from society also. The difference between the 2 is the Constitution protects the right for law abiding citizens to keep and bear arms. While no Constitutional Right exists to own or drive a car.

    • My gats never killed(or shot)anyone. There’s a horrific increase of youts in Chiraq murdering & shooting any & all. Swift & lethal punishment “may” cause a lessening of that. It likely won’t happen in ILLannoy so unlike Red states who deal with criminal behavior this state continue to “blame the gun” and not the shooter.

      • waterhead…Spin it to race and provide cover for a profession where the listings for medical malpractice attorneys take up a large portion of the Yellow Pages.
        There is one time when it is appropriate to note Race and that you dumbfuk is when reminding democRats their beloved Gun Control is Rooted in Racism…something you and your ilk do not have the sense or decency to do.

    • Dark – many (most?) people with a functional brain realize the facts you articulated. Oh wait, that would NOT include the “81 million” that ‘voted’ for brandon, never mind.
      I’m still waiting for someone to find out who invented the bogus ‘gun violence’ term. As most of us know, violence is an act, NOT a piece of hardware – or software if we count fists 😉

      • After much searching on the interweb all the way back to Clinton’s assault weapons ban the first use of the term ‘gun violence’ I could find is in an interview on NPR with Dementia Joe in January of 2013.

  2. So Vivek Murthy lied during senate confirmation hearings, who would have guessed. Sure glad he didn’t say we have a gang violence problem, sq. At least El Salvador is taking care of their gang problem. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak4p7Vqx10M
    Where as the left uses gang violence unabated against it’s population to restrict freedom/rights for control.

    • Vinny,

      “… the [Left] uses gang violence unabated against it’s population to restrict freedom/rights for control.

      Absolutely correct and true. You, sir, win the Intertubez for best comment of the year.

      By the way this is an excellent example of the saying, “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The populace is the enemy of Democrats and thus criminal gangs, who are also enemies of the populace, are therefore “friends” of Democrats.

  3. I like how they intentionally conflate gangs in “mutual cultural combat” with little Johnny 2nd grader finding his wine aunts pistol in her nightstand and sending one through a wall.

    Completely unrelated shocking numbers paired with stupid baby emotional attachment makes for excellent support of bad policy. Especially from women who seem to lack more and more reasoning ability with each successive generation.

    A key component of government control.

    • “Especially from women who seem to lack more and more reasoning ability with each successive generation.”

      LOL. They never had it in the first place. One of the main reasons our civilization is in the shytehole it’s in.

      Repeal the 19th.

    • This. If you want to infringe on people’s rights, call something a “health crisis.” It’s a free pass for charlatans and liars.

    • Whoa. Most Drs (especial surgeons) I know, are strong 2nd Amendment supporters and see this bullshit data for what it is. A political ploy to rile up Biden’s base

  4. The Surgeon General is another government entity that needs to disappear. We have no need for such a waste of tax dollars

    • Government agencies have learned to play the p0litical game to keep their funding. The Democrats say “follow the science” and p0litics is the ultimate science.

  5. There is another foreign entity in America that is sneakingly taking control.
    Nah ma say who it is because I’m out classed.

  6. The US Surgeon General is now become just another “Dr. Fauci” of government
    medical expertise.

    In Germany, government doctors were put on trial for crimes against humanity. At the end of WW2. Hopefully the government doctors in the US, will also be put on trial as well.

  7. So, feds comparing pre-pandemic to pandemic numbers here to show that “gun violence” is supposedly increasing, but feds also telling us that crime is down in the last year+. Clearly cherry picking the dates to suit the narrative of the moment, and of course the compliant media isn’t going to point out the discrepency for their short-attention-span readers/viewers.

    “the number of mass shooting incidents is increasing” – Sure sounds like proof that Biden’s “Safer Communities Act” has been a failure.

  8. I declare the Biden administration a bunch of a$$ wipes but yet they are still in power.
    I declare illegals raping and killing a crime but it’s still happening.
    I can play this game all frickin day .
    Clean this all up before you Even think of coming to take my guns.
    Then I will give you my weapons one bullet at a time.

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