When Gun Violence Archive Numbers No Longer Matter – Bearing Arms

When Gun Violence Archive Numbers No Longer Matter – Bearing Arms

Both the media and anti-gun politicians love to cite statistics from the Gun Violence Archive. 

The website is routinely cited as the source for numbers for mass shootings, often without any discussion of how they define mass shootings–a definition different than literally every other database that tries to track these things.

Yet there’s another source for statistics that gets cited almost as much, particularly by politicians who want to make it seem like crime isn’t what it’s been billed as.

Someone who has used both is President Joe Biden.

Over at The Gun Writer, Lee Williams makes an interesting point about that.

Joe Biden flipflops on violent crime rates — sometimes they’re going up, sometimes they’re going down — depending on who is in the audience. He uses two vastly different data sources to create his mixed messages.

Biden cites FBI data when trying to convince voters that crime is not out of control, so they feel safe in their communities and reelect him to office. But when he panders to the gun-ban industry, advocates for an “assault weapon” ban, or announces yet another infringement of the Second Amendment as part of his ongoing war on guns, Biden cites mass-shooting data from the Gun Violence Archive.

To be clear, the Gun Violence Archive, which has been widely debunked, collects much more than just mass-shooting data, but Biden never uses any of these statistics. He only cherry-picks GVA’s mass-shooting data, for obvious reasons. The other data shows violent crime has exploded during his presidency — especially when compared to President Donald J. Trump’s term in office.

“Crime is either up or it’s down, but Joe wants to have it both ways, depending upon who he’s talking to,” said nationally syndicated talk radio host, Mark Walters, who first spotted the trend. “And it was only a matter of time before the rest of that GVA data came back to bite him.”

Nearly every type of shooting death tracked by the GVA over the past 10 years increased substantially after Biden took office: Deaths (willful, malicious and accidental), mass shootings, deaths of children (age 0-11, age 12-17), unintentional shootings and suicide by firearms all increased under the Bide-Harris administration.

Go and read the whole thing, but I can’t help but laugh a little at the fact that Biden has gotten caught up in this.

See, we’ve been warning people about GVA’s mass shooting numbers for years. As Lee notes, they’ve been widely debunked, yet they’re still cited regularly. Hell, I wrote about a story that cites it–again, without an explanation of the definition they use for mass shootings–on Tuesday.

So the question then becomes whether or not Gun Violence Archive numbers on so-called gun violence in general are valid or not. If they were similar to the FBI numbers, it probably wouldn’t matter, but the FBI statistics say violent crime is down. GVA numbers, on the other hand, are saying otherwise.

If the GVA  numbers are wrong–which Biden and others using the FBI numbers instead suggest they at least think they are–then that raises another question.

How can their mass shooting numbers be accurate when they use the exact same methods for data collection for those as gun violence in general?

GVA doesn’t have some special method for learning about shootings. They simply gather data from media reports. If that methodology is so flawed that they’re reporting an increase in violent crime when the FBI is saying the opposite, how can that same methodology be trustworthy on the subject of mass shootings?

That’s the question I want answered. Unfortunately, we’re not going to get it.

Politicians are going to use whatever data they can find that most supports what they want to do anyway. On guns, someone will be happy to provide the data if you’re pushing for gun control, which is much of what GVA does. They’ll keep using GVA mass shooting numbers because they sound scary. Who cares if they’re true or not?

Not people like Biden or his anti-gun allies, that’s for sure.

Originally Posted on: https://bearingarms.com/tomknighton/2024/06/19/when-gun-violence-archive-numbers-no-longer-matter-n1225330
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