The Gun Violence Archive & Fear Mongering in America

Gunviolencearchive Fear Mongering
The Gun Violence Archive & Fear Mongering in America

USA – -( When most Americans hear the term “mass shooting” they picture a crazed gunman stalking the halls of a school or a shopping mall, coldly and randomly executing innocent young victims. What does not come to mind are rival drug crews shooting it out in Chicago or Detroit, or a madman murdering his entire family.

Yet for one small but influential nonprofit, the Gun Violence Archive, anytime four or more people are killed or even slightly wounded with a firearm, it’s labeled a mass shooting, and politicians, gun control advocates, and the mainstream media treat their reports as if they’re gospel.

The Gun Violence Archive, or GVA, was founded in 2013 by Michael Klein, a left-leaning philanthropist and open-government advocate, and Mark Bryant, a retired computer analyst and GVA’s current executive director.

Gun Violence Archive executive director Mark Bryant. (Photo courtesy Mark Bryant).
Gun Violence Archive executive director Mark Bryant. (Photo courtesy Mark Bryant).

According to Bryant’s all-inclusive definition, there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. The FBI says there were 30, because it uses a much narrower definition.

While the GVA collects and publishes several different types of shooting data – mass murders, number of children and teens killed or injured, officer-involved shootings, defenses gun usages and more – it is their inflated mass shooting numbers that are cited most often by the mainstream media, given its penchant for sensational headlines.

In an interview with the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project on Tuesday, Bryant defended his broader definition and the higher body count it yields.

“It doesn’t parse,” he said. “It gives an accurate picture of the number of times more than four people were shot, whether in a drive-by or a shooting at a rap concert or a country music concert.”

If his higher numbers are misleading the public or being misinterpreted by journalists, it’s not his fault, Bryant claimed. He believes his numbers are fair.

“I do, but I think it’s also up to the journalist and the reader to have a better understanding of what the data says. When a journalist uses the mass-shooting numbers as their lead, they’re not looking at the whole situation.”

That the mainstream media, elected officials, and what he calls the “gun violence prevention” community, or GVP, are using his statistics is not in question.

The Biden/Harris administration has cited Bryant’s data, as have a bevy of other elected officials and political candidates, at the local, state, and federal level.

The New York Times, National Public Radio, USA Today, and a host of other media outlets now use GVA’s broad definition when reporting about mass shootings.

In an interview with the Trace last month, Bryant said CNN “literally cut and pasted our definition for mass shooting into their definition of mass shooting.”

In his interview Tuesday, Bryant deflected blame for the media’s overhyping and misuse of his data.

“If the numbers are misleading, the journalist didn’t do their homework, you could make that argument,” he said.

“The media zeroes in on it, not us. At one point we wanted to take mass shootings out of the loop, but the phone started ringing on a daily basis. It’s important to me that we’re not misinterpreted. We’re not anti-gun. Look at our staff, over half are gun owners. I intentionally do not hire from the GVP community. I want researchers – period. We wanted to have an honest set of data, and you can use it how you want.”


Bryant is a retired computer systems architect who worked on data collection projects for IBM. His current team of 20 researchers has advanced degrees, most in computer science. “We are painfully fastidious on our methodology, on how we log something,” he said.

The GVA has divided the country into specific coverage regions. Every day, Bryant said his researchers consult “a mass of about 7,500 sources. They are law enforcement Twitter, law enforcement Facebook, law enforcement police blotters and then we have media sources. The easiest is to grab media sources. Law enforcement is clinical. The media looks more subjectively at an incident.”

Bryant acknowledged that there have been reliability issues with media stories, especially after a mass shooting. A shooting in Cincinnati, he said, produced several different versions of events.

“When we looked at five media sources, they were all over the map, even about when it occurred. We know that some media reports are erroneous.”

“We drill down to granularity of the street level, which is what the FBI doesn’t do,” he said.

According to the FBI’s newest report titled: “Active Shooter Incidents in the United States in 2020,” the FBI defines active shootings as:

  • Shootings in public places
  • Shootings occurring at more than one location
  • Shootings where the shooter’s actions were not the result of another criminal act
  • Shootings resulting in a mass killing
  • Shootings indicating apparent spontaneity by the shooter
  • Shootings where the shooter appeared to methodically search for potential victims
  • Shootings that appeared focused on injury to people, not buildings or objects

Shootings were excluded from the FBI’s list if they were the result of:

  • Self-defense
  • Gang violence
  • Drug violence
  • Contained residential or domestic disputes
  • Controlled barricade/hostage situations
  • Crossfire as a byproduct of another ongoing criminal act
  • An action that appeared not to have put other people in peril

By comparison, the Gun Violence Archive excludes nothing, even if the shooting is gang or drug-related – the two main causes of most violence in the country today.

Asked if he believed that the average news consumer even considers domestic violence or gang warfare when they hear the term mass shooting, Bryant said, “I don’t know. I know what we want to do is provide numbers and let the journalists, advocates, and ‘congress critters’ look at the data, glean details and drill down on it.”


Michael Klein, through his foundation, provides 95% of the GVA’s funding, Bryant said, which is borne out by the nonprofit’s most recent IRS 990 filings from 2017 and 2018.

“He (Klein) did well in business,” Bryant said. “We are one of his two projects that look at shining a light on data.”

Although Bryant declined to identify the donors who supply the remaining 5% of his annual budget, which is approximately $500,000, he said he takes no money from any group affiliated with former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“We take no money from any advocates,” he said. “The closes we get to that is the Joyce Foundation.”

But according to its website, one of the goals of the Joyce Foundation is to “Reduce gun deaths and injuries in the Great Lakes region.”

To achieve this, the Joyce Foundation has a four-step plan:

  1. Advance and implement federal, state, and local policies and practices that reduce easy accessibility of guns to those at risk of violence.
  2. Support policies to reduce easy accessibility of guns to those at risk of violence.
  3. Reduce the next generation’s exposure to gun violence through education on the risks of gun ownership.
  4. Litigate to defend evidence-based gun policies and challenge extreme gun rights policies and practices.


During his interview Tuesday, Bryant quickly self-identified as a gun owner and frequent target shooter. He sold three Colt Pythons, he said, in order to raise startup capital for the nonprofit.

“I own guns. I target shoot. I started shooting at the age of five during the Eisenhower Administration,” he said. “We didn’t have a lot to do in Harlan County (Kentucky), so we would shoot rats. I’m not against guns. I think there is a need.”

However, without supporting data, Bryant said there are thousands of gun owners who lack sufficient training or who may carry a concealed firearm while drinking or while intoxicated.

“If there are 50 million gun owners, 200,000 will go stupid,” he said. “I think that gun owners should get together and come to the table and craft rules that will be applicable to everyone.”

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.”

In the past, Bryant has claimed that 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 Tuesday, which bore his byline, Bryant said, “I didn’t write that. I don’t even know what Devin (Hughes) wrote in that.”

Instead, Bryant 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.”

In a guest column for the Lexington Herald Leader three years ago – without a coauthor – Bryant spoke out against Senate Resolution 172, which encouraged teachers to carry firearms in the classroom.

“It is a fatally flawed solution from folks who learned another lesson about tools: ‘If all you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail’ – the National Rifle Association solution,” he wrote.

Changes Coming?

Several hours after his interview, Bryant emailed a written statement.

“I got thinking about our mass shooting data being disingenuous. And while I disagree, I appreciate the question as it guides us to look at how it is presented to insure it is not.  Since it is raw data there is no ‘motive’ implied … only inferred by end users. The number shot and killed is the same whether it is labeled ‘mass shooting’ or ‘4+ shot and killed.’ As long as the methodology is clearly stated it should not matter,” Bryant wrote. “Obviously, the gun rights side likes a smaller number … it helps blow it off as insignificant, makes whistling by the graveyard easier. By the same token some GVP folks would like to see numbers embellished by going with the 3+ count that Obama wanted to use. Some would also like the number inflated by including suicides in with Killed statistics although, as we discussed because the causes/solutions of suicides are far different than other forms of gun violence that would be misleading.”

Bryant hinted that he may consider a policy change.

“I think that GVA needs to approach mass shootings in a slightly different perspective since they are less than 6% of shootings by number of victims. On the one hand, that may reduce ‘mass shooting’ rhetoric, on the other hand, that will refocus to the much larger ‘ALL’ number,” he wrote. “By using a raw, numerical threshold only we let the user make interpretive decisions. We do the same with (Defensive Gun Usages), not parsing or caveating, publishing the raw data, whether good guy v bad guy, domestic violence, bad guy v bad guy [that number would surprise you]. So that blade cuts both ways.”


In my humble opinion, Bryant is clearly trying to have things both ways. On one hand, he claims he wants his data to be clear, accurate, and not misinterpreted. On the other hand, the data itself is neither clear nor accurate, and it’s so sensational – 417 mass shootings versus the FBI’s 30 for 2019 – that of course the media and gun-control organizations are going to use it and misinterpret it. It fits their “guns are evil” narrative far better than the FBI statistics. And once the mainstream media accepts Bryant’s definition and its much higher numbers, they’re hooked. There’s no going back to the FBI’s data. After all, how would they explain to their viewers that the numbers have declined by 10-fold?

I also believe Bryant was somewhat less than candid about the public’s perception of a mass shooting. He knows full well what most Americans believe constitutes a mass shooting, and it’s not a couple of gangsters shooting it out over turf, a drug deal gone bad or a psycho who shoots his own family.

I also find his methodology particularly flawed – especially since it relies upon media reports and law enforcement’s social media. Media reports – especially cable TV news – are almost always wrong after a shooting of any kind. They strive to be first, and they don’t let the facts get in their way. As to the use of law enforcement Twitter and Facebook accounts, while some of the larger agencies use social media as a way to keep the public informed, others Tweet out pics of the Sheriff’s favorite sandwich, or an homage to a K9 “officer” who joined the Choir Eternal.

I’ll give Bryant the benefit of the doubt when he claims to be a gun owner, but he’s clearly a Fudd and a Second Amendment butter – I support the Second Amendment, but … His database is being used by anti-gun politicians, the gun-control crowd, and their supporters in the mainstream media to infringe upon our God-given constitutional rights. Keep in mind they’re citing GVA’s data as proof our rights need some infringing. If Bryant honestly believes in an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, he’d shutter the GVA tomorrow.

I doubt that will ever happen.

The Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project wouldn’t be possible without you. Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to support pro-gun stories like this.

About Lee Williams

Lee Williams, who is also known as “The Gun Writer,” is the chief editor of the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project. Until recently, he was also an editor for a daily newspaper in Florida. Before becoming an editor, Lee was an investigative reporter at newspapers in three states and a U.S. Territory. Before becoming a journalist, he worked as a police officer. Before becoming a cop, Lee served in the Army. He’s earned more than a dozen national journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. Lee is an avid tactical shooter.

Lee Williams

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The number of shootings is irrelevant in regard to the absolute right to own, possess, and use weapons of war, which each individual possesses. The government is, in every way, shape, and form, denied any power to limit, restrict, or legislate rights, else they become government-granted privileges, and not rights at all. By labeling something as a right, it becomes, at least in the framework of governmental powers, separate and protected and unassailable. As the Declaration of Independence declares: rights are certain, Creator-granted, and unalienable. So let the liars spout their lies. As soon as any government official attempts to… Read more »


These same people would have you think opinion poll results should be the national law, ASAP.

American Cynic

There are all kinds of reason one can have for being anti-gun, and the anti-gun crowd are varied bedfellows. The Biden/Harris administration doesn’t represent the the “gun violence prevention” community, or GVP. They represent an agenda to further the political and legal powers of a one-party Leftists government; call it what you will. It is a much more pervasive and sinister agenda. Gun violence prevention has been hijacked, a smoke & mirror, dog & pony show mainly to disarm law biding American citizens for political reasons. Gun control is exactly what you think it is. It isn’t about mass shootings,… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by American Cynic

I have a bone to pick with you on your nomenclature! There is no such thing as gun violence! Guns are inanimate objects, and like every other inanimate object on the planet they can do nothing in and of themselves, because they are not alive and cannot engage in actions! What we have these days, as was also the case historically going all the way back to the time of Hammurabi, is criminal violence! There was no such thing as spear violence, sword violence, bow and arrow violence, nor cudgel violence, nor knife violence! We in the Pro second amendment… Read more »


Good post


you don’t need magazines that hold 30 or 60 rounds to “get off”, they are not protected by the second amendment. I don’t see anywhere in the second amendment where it says what we can or cannot have, gun wise or capacity wise. The government determined that we cant have fully auto that we need a special permit for a sound suppressor or an SBR and now they are working on reclassification to make more guns require fees and permits for the purpose of making money and registration and the larger hope is that less people will want to own… Read more »


“you don’t need mags that hold 30 or 60 rounds…not protected by 2A. 2A doesn’t say what gun or capacity we can or can’t have.”

Under that POV any Goldilocks ban is constitutional.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Okay, I’ll bite, what is a Goldilocks ban?


Goldilocks Gun Control.
“This one’s too hot.”
“This one’s too cold.”
“This one’s too good at doing what it’s supposed to.”
“This one’s too scary looking.”


My first sentence is a quote from Bryant. I don’t think any ban on anything is constitutional regarding guns. Maybe I should have put more of it in quotes. The part that pissed me off most though was that he thinks we need that many rounds to “get off” as in having an orgasm making it sound like we are sick Fu—ks like him. I only need one round right in the bullseye to get off but the more of them I have, the more I get off.


Yep. Figgered that.


The government fully understand what they are doing and why they are doing it. The government also relys on the apathy of the American citizens to remain silent and complacent like good little taxpayers.


Blaming the oppressed again, I see.

“The government” relies on government employees to enforce their will. Those government employees they rely on include many good little veterans who previously received paychecks for being Marines. Can’t lose that pension.

When are you going to get off your apathetic ass and take your made-in-Texas suppressor somewhere other than the Texas desert and show “the government” what a tough guy you are?

If some Marine veterans (in their 20s and 30s) who are now enforcers arrest you, just hire a high school civics teacher to defend you – piece of cake.

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

Good little slaves is more like it.


Taken any commercial flights lately?


“American” Air is leading the industry push for FBI to arrest & mercilessly prosecute all who fuss over mask issues. Over 3k arrested this year, vast majority re mask.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

Lots of government employees at the airport to hold any victims until the FBI arrives. Totalitarianism works best with lots of laws and lots of law enforcers who will obey orders (to enforce firearm registration, to enforce firearm bans, to enforce redistribution of wealth, to enforce cultural revolution, to enforce herding people onto box cars, etc.). It’s easy to walk around the desert of Texas (or the nasty interior or Florida) and shout about not being a slave or a bitch or a complacent little taxpayer. Some people have reasons to travel to many different places. I don’t believe the… Read more »


Will – 7/9/21: “Kid,I see you’re still just kinda off the wall with your logic or lack of there of. “Texas,like a whole other country” ! TX Gov Greg Abbott just signed into law a grand slam of pro2nd amend.proConstitution laws. Gun grabbers everywhere are screaming in horror about these new laws too.That even makes it sweeter because when that happens you know it’s a great thing!” Response to Will: It is a good thing. Unfortunately, there’s no teeth to the laws. Enforcers can do whatever they want. Maybe you will be able to ammend the carry law Abbott signed… Read more »


Response “awaiting for approval” – and I was nice.

You should be able to see the response early next week.


Looks like the “kid” comment about how perfect Texas is was deleted. Good.

None of the bills Abbot signed would’ve saved the defenseless people at the El Paso Mall. The “gun free” zones were all left in place, including giving businesses that are open the public the “right” to randomly declare “gun free” zones. This under the excuse of “private property”, which somehow doesn’t prevent “private businesses” from serving rat sh1t, cockroaches & rancid grease.

So the massacres will continue in “Constitutional Carry” Texas.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r


Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

Will, we probably agree on a lot of things.

The comment I made (that went on hold) included a statement that the good people of Texas deserve good laws and I hope the laws Abbott signed are amended with improvements.


Roger that. Figgered as much. It’s sad they did nothing about the “private” property “gun free” zone option that made the El Paso massacre possible. It’s far from Constitutional Carry. There were few if any such “gun free” zones in 1789.


What?!!! You mean you’re not a “Courageous Lion”???

Kidding aside, nothing else you can do except drive or get a pilot license and your own plane.


Legally, yes. Prudentially, yes. Morally, no. “American” is a common carrier that lobbies government for ridiculous power over us and our medical decisions. When it’s a quasi-govt oligopoly and you have nowhere else to go, it’s tyrannical. Most folks have no real choice.


Unless a person is a recluse living in isolation with his sisters, they follow laws they don’t like – or they end up in prison, guarded by a wide variety of people, some of whom are loons (or worse). I fault no one for flying commercially without a firearm, going to a parent/teacher conference without a firearm, going to traffic court without a firearm, or going anywhere else where they have concluded they have more to fear from government employees enforcing laws than they do from violent criminals. It’s just good risk management. Fighting government employees on their terms is… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC

What makes you think I’m faulting anyone for flying commercially without a firearm? It would be foolish to try to carry, or to argue about masks, unless you want to be institutionalized where you will be guarded & bored to death by some pill like JohnLloydSchart. That’s rather my point to the various tiger talkers around here. I hope you’re not reading what I didn’t write, like Schart likes to do.


I don’t think you are faulting anyone.

I was agreeing with you.

Also, JLS is a recluse living with “women.”


Agreed, of course.




PS…you want to see “gun violence”? Try to take away my right to defend myself and you’ll see “gun violence” like you’ve never seen before.


Do you carry concealed into courtrooms, schools and police stations?


Schools and police stations? Yes. I last stepped into a courtroom 45 years ago and the Judge said, “I agree with your position, case dismissed.” Your mileage may vary.


Try it now.


Outside of Oklahoma.


What is it that I am supposed to “try” now?


Try carrying into a courthouse, school or police station now — unless of course you’re one of the “only ones”.


Well, it has been two years since I have done the last two. That’s because I have had no reason to enter either of those places in the last two years. As far as, “the only ones”, I am sure I have no idea to whom you may be referring.


Don’t be coy, Roy. Few states let civilians do that. Were you a civilian? Not a cop, judge, prosecutor, some other “only one” or ex-same?

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

See below.


See what below?


“I used to be a federal enforcer.”

Not me – Roy.


Then he’s just full of S.


I don’t believe that is the case.

There are many different groups of people that have something in common, but have become polarized over over certain issues.

It’s a shame because it prevents some good discussion.

FYI, Roy has spoken out against the despicable actions of federal LEOs at Ruby Ridge and Waco.

Last edited 1 year ago by JSNMGC
Mike the Limey

Point of fact: Police, judges & prosecutors are all also civilians.
They’re also minions of the state to a greater or lesser degree but NOT a part of the armed forces of the state.


Oh boy, now you’ve done it.

American enforcers hate being called civilians (even though they are not subject to the UCMJ and even though the military has their own police).

It’s unclear why they so desparately do not want to be viewed as civilians, when civilians are the ones in charge.

One of them wants to post a link to a dictionary definition of a civilian (the same dictionary that says a semiautomatic AR-15 is an “assault rifle”).


Former enforcer: “Do you know who I am? I used to be a federal enforcer. You can’t arrest me.”

Current enforcer: “Hands behind your back, old man, and STFU.”




I’ll say.


Typical Scum of the Earth! He reviles in spreading his ‘Weasel Words!’


You should learn the definitions of words. It really helps.


“learn definitions of words. It helps.” -Jimmy.

You know what he meant. Don’t be a snippy anklebiting word-b1tch. A friendly suggestion of the right word is the most that was called for.

Last edited 1 year ago by Russn8r

He wasn’t being mean he was simply stating a fact. Could he have used more neutral nomenclature? Yes. However, the accuracy of his statement cannot be obviated, and the fact that you seem mildly butthurt I view is yet another sign that far too many people do not like to be corrected when it comes to their language, and so automatically take offense when they see it happening to others. My grand folks were Southerners and stressed education very greatly. They came of age during the Great Depression, Grandma made it to the 8th grade and my grandfather the 10th… Read more »


Good grief. What a load of bull.


Samuel Clemens nailed it when he said something like, “figures lie and liars figure”.

Roland T. Gunner

“I even own a gun, but…”


 “By using a raw, numerical threshold only we let the user make interpretive decisions. We do the same with (Defensive Gun Usages), not parsing or caveating, publishing the raw data…”

Pure BS. If his sources for all of his data are the same, his research is just GIGO.


HARLEY would agree: “I BM you BM we all BM for IBM!”


I am leaving this here again. Because frankly I don’t give a flying rats ass what they pass. If it violates SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED and I decide I’m going to ignore it, I’m going to ignore it…all I can say to their enforcers is…BE AWARE. If you come down my hallway in the middle of the night I made sure all the doors are locked on the way. Just so I can liter the hallway with bodies when it comes down to it. Think I’m kidding? Better stop me for a traffic stop. It will be a LOT safer… Read more »


Try flying commercial, big fella.


Sensationalism sells to any group who would not have reason to question source or accuracy of the report. In short: if you are anti-gun you tend to believe, if you’re pro you won’t. Organizations like this prefer the former. A side note: more crazies drive cars than shoot people.

Boris Badenov

Dead on!! Violence with a ….. doesn’t make a headline.


A quote from Mark Bryant who is, obviously, a firearms use expert. BRYANT: Well, because folks – AR-15s is a gun that a lot of hobbyists use and they build up like you build up a Jeep or you build up a hot-rod car or other hobbies. And one of the things that you do is as you build larger magazines into the system. And when you use them for nefarious purpose, they dump a lot of lead into a room very, very quickly. A hundred-round magazine literally will pull – will shoot as fast as you can pull your… Read more »


Yes, unfortunately, the media often use information considering whether it will be sensational or not. But, nevertheless, even if there were 30 cases of domestic violence, and not 417, is this not enough? It seems to me that this is very unethical, in such a way to talk about human lives …

Mike the Limey

Interesting map used at the head of this article.

It shows that in general, the more leftist the administration running a state, the greater number of homicides there are.

Seems to me it’s liberal(AKA socialist) politicians who are the problem, not firearms…


The last paragraph says it all.


Firearms are very dangerous. I wrote an essay about gun violence. I decided to check it out in order to study more the degree of danger and consequences of the use of weapons. I think we need control over him. Murder is terrible.

Last edited 1 year ago by JeffThorsen777