Bloomberg Super Bowl Ad Inflates Child Deaths to Push for Gun Control

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg addresses a news conference after launching his presidential bid in Norfolk, Virginia, U.S., November 25, 2019. (REUTERS/Joshua Roberts)

Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg ran a 60-second Super Bowl ad which made the claim that “2,900 children die from gun violence every year,” despite data showing that over half that number are actually adults.

Bloomberg’s ad, which highlights his gun-control advocacy, makes the claim without citation, but the stat appears to be drawn from a gun-control non-profit, Everytown for Gun Safety, which Bloomberg started in 2013.

A report from Everytown states that “nearly 2,900 children and teens (ages 0 to 19) are shot and killed” annually, a number it pulled from the Center for Disease Control’s online database over the years 2013 to 2017. Bloomberg’s Super Bowl ad omitted the “teen” qualifier from its statement.

The same data, when reviewed for the same time-frame while omitting legal adults — 18 and 19 year olds — shows an average of 1,499 annual gun deaths for children, or about 51 percent of the number claimed in Bloomberg’s ad.

Bloomberg spent approximately $10 million for the ad, part of a massive self-funded effort to campaign nationally, with data showing that the former mayor has spent over a quarter of a billion dollars in advertisement efforts so far, despite only joining the race in November.

Gun control features prominently on Bloomberg’s platform, which includes universal background checks and “red flag screening” measures.

Bloomberg was criticized last month by the armed parishioner who took down a shooter at a Texas church in December, after suggesting at a campaign event that “You just do not want the average citizen carrying a gun in a crowded place.”

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