Mayors Against Illegal Guns (MAIG), New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s pro-gun control outfit, recently rattled off a list of names of victims of gun violence at a New Hampshire rally. The event made headlines for the group’s inclusion of shooting “victim” Tamerlan Tsarnaev — one of the guys suspected of instigating the Boston Marathon bombing, who was killed in a shootout with police.
Outrage and public pressure elicited a next-day apology from MAIG, but the slip got 2nd Amendment advocates interested in the other names MAIG was using to round out its list of gun violence vicitms.
Turns out, the group has been using a list on the Slate website that tallies the number of Americans “Killed by Guns Since Newtown.” It’s just a list of names of people who died from a gunshot wound (or wounds) — not a retelling of the stories of their deaths.
The Washington Examiner noted Friday:
A preliminary analysis of the list of shooting “victims” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s group Mayors Against Illegal Guns is reading at rallies for new gun control laws finds that one in 12 are crime suspects killed by police or armed citizens acting in self-defense.
The review of 617 killings found that 50 were suspects in crimes ranging from assault to murder, not the type of violence Bloomberg’s group suggests in its “No More Names” campaign to draw attention to the estimated 6,000 gun death “tragedies” since the mid-December Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings in Newton, Conn.
To use the Bloomberg group’s logic, one would have to accept that everyone who’s shot and killed by a police officer or by a citizen acting in self-defense categorically fits the description of a “victim” of gun violence. Examples of police shootings are, sadly, abundant; but it’s unlikely every cop shooting is a tale of bad cop, poor victim. Even fewer, perhaps, are the instances of reported self-defense shootings that turn out to be false.
As Nick Leghorn succinctly put it in a blog over at The Truth About Guns, “In the minds of MAIG, I guess being shot by a gun is like instantly being turned from a sinner into a saint.”