By: Teresa Mull
Michael Bloomberg, 2020 presidential hopeful and anti-gun radical, spent $10 million to run an ad during the Super Bowl last night claiming, “2,900 children die from gun violence every year" in the United States.”
Reason reports, however, that these statistics are just not true. Consider:
Bloomberg’s campaign cited Everytown for Gun Safety, a Bloomberg-backed group, as the source of the number used in the ad. "Annually," the organization said in June 2019 fact sheet, "nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed." The ad changed "children and teens" (including young adults) to "children," presumably because that makes the deaths more shocking, strengthening the emotional case for the gun control policies Bloomberg favors.
According to to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FactCheck.org notes, the average number of firearm-related deaths involving Americans 17 or younger from 2013 through 2017 (the period used by Everytown for Gun Safety) was about 1,500, roughly half the number cited by Bloomberg. Furthermore, nearly two-fifths of those deaths were suicides, meaning the number of minors killed each year by "gun violence," as that term is usually understood, is about 73 percent smaller than the figure cited in Bloomberg’s ad.
Watch the ad here:
Reason author Jacob Sullum concludes properly that,
An honest discussion of this issue would start by clearly defining the problem. Bloomberg fails that test by using a highly misleading number referring to "children," half of whom were adults, and by using a definition of "gun violence" that includes suicides, a very different problem that is likely to require different solutions.
Michael Bloomberg is paying $10 million to run an ad focused on his gun-control advocacy during the Super Bowl. The ad makes the claim that "2,900 children die from gun violence every year" but about half that number appear to be adults. https://t.co/JqnP52oboj
— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) February 1, 2020
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.