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.
The group is using an online list published by Slate.com which simply lists the killings. In Concord, N.H. this week, Bloomberg’s group read the name of Boston Marathon terrorist Tamerlan Tsarnaev off the list during a rally. The group later apologized, saying that his name shouldn’t have been read because he was “not a victim.”
The National Rifle Association told Secrets that reading Tsarnaev’s name and including those of other suspected vicious criminals distorts and undermines the No More Names campaign as it travels through 25 states in 100 days to attack legislators opposed to expanded gun control.
“This calls into question every statistic that Bloomberg and MAIG has used and will use to promote their cause,” said NRA spokesman Andrew Arulanandam. “Bloomberg has proven that he will stop at nothing, including repeating flawed statistics, in pursuit of his gun control agenda. And he'll do this with no regard for the truth.”
Mayors Against Illegal Guns said they plan to scrub the list. They also said the focus shouldn’t be on the circumstances of the shootings, but the numbers, according to Buzzfeed.
The NRA analysis has reviewed the first 18 days of killings on Slate’s post Newtown list, December 14-31. The NRA is reviewing the Slate list in chronological order and the analysis is ongoing. To determine the events, the NRA is using news clippings.
Examples found include an Ohio man shot by police while he was holding a gun in another man’s face, and a 79-year-old Indiana man who shot a 19-year-old who was attacking his granddaughter.
A separate analysis looked at 13 gun deaths in Montana listed on the Slate list used by Bloomberg’s group. It found that more than half were the result of police shootings or suicide.