Whenever Bloomberg Businessweek writes about firearms or the Second Amendment it’s forced to disclose to readers that its owner is rabidly anti-gun.
No one has spent more of their personal wealth to infringe upon the Second Amendment 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 long-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 is not 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. There is no serious discussion of GVA’s loose, all-inclusive definition of a mass shooting, which states that anytime four or more people are shot or even wounded, the GVA rings the mass-shooting bell. Unlike the FBI, Bryant’s team does not 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 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, Muller claims no federal agency tracks mass shootings, which she wrongly considers a public-health crisis, so the GVA fills a 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 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.
Bloomberg claims Bryant is not 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.
This is 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.”
Bryant has tried to claim he is “anti-violence” and not anti-gun but 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 bore 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.”
Whenever the legacy media defends the GVA, the question to ask is why now? Muller concedes in her story that the nonprofit needs a more reliable funding source.
It costs around $800,000 to operate the GVA annually, she points out, and the GVA has only one source of funding, an 81-year-old billionaire named Michael Klein, who runs a real estate information company.
Both Klein and Bryant acknowledge, Muller wrote, “that they need to figure out how to secure long-term funding and how to provide leadership for the GVA for the future.”
Today, it appears that the nonprofit may be facing hard financial times, and Bryant is looking for a replacement so he can retire. This must terrify the legacy media, because they could lose their number-one source of overblown, fictional 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. 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.
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