ABC News’ ‘Gun Violence Tracker’ Pads Numbers with Non-Crimes: Officer-Involved Shootings, Suicides

Close up of man with a pistol in hand sitting on couch (Stock Photo/Getty Images)
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ABC News’ “Gun Violence Tracker” pads numbers by counting officer-involved shootings and suicides as gun violence.

ABC News is rolling out a “Gun Violence Tracker,” which they will use to keep mass shootings and other high-profile gun crimes at the forefront of American minds.

The launch of the tracker coincides with the network’s current miniseries, “Rethinking Gun Violence.”

ABC News notes, “We…developed a Gun Violence Tracker to help illustrate the daily toll of gun violence in America in partnership with the independent, nonprofit Gun Violence Archive because of the lack of up-to-date federal data.”

The “Gun Violence Tracker” is being carried out in partnership with the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), which ABC News describes as “an independent non-profit [that] has been tracking gun-related incidents in the U.S. since 2013 on a near real-time basis through a variety of other sources including law enforcement, media and other government entities.”

As ABC News includes GVA numbers in the “Gun Violence Tracker,” it is important to note that GVA counts officer-involved shootings and defensive gun uses as gun violence. The GVA notes:

Gun Violence describes the results of all incidents of death or injury or threat with firearms without pejorative judgment within the definition. Violence is defined without intent or consequence as a consideration. To that end a shooting of a victim by a subject/suspect is considered gun violence as is a defensive use or an officer involved shooting. The act itself, no matter the reason is violent in nature.

GVA also points out:

Our definition of gun violence is intended to be fully inclusionary of disparate elements of gun related incidents…in that, all types of shootings are included, whether OIS, accidental, children shooting themselves, murders, armed robberies, familicide, mass shootings, DGU, Home Invasions, drivebys and everything else. We derive our definitions from CDC, FBI, NIH, and other organizations who have established standards.

It is also important to note that ABC News relies on individuals such as Dr. Georges Benjamin of the American Public Health Association.

Benjamin lumps suicides in with homicides as examples of gun violence, “We talk about the mass shootings or the kid in the city that’s shot, but we’re not talking about the other forms of gun violence, the depressed, lonely man who took his own life with a gun.”

ABC News explains that the deaths reported in their “Gun Violence Tracker” will “include homicides, accidental discharges, and suicides associated with police standoffs and murder-suicides.”

Counting suicides as gun violence swells the number of annual deaths via gun violence by roughly 60 percent.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkinsa weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. Reach him at You can sign up to get Down Range at


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