USA Today highlighted a study on gun violence, giving it top billing on its front page March 5. The headline read: “Gun Violence Annual Cost: $12 Billion.” But the USA Today story didn’t give any indication of the left-wing inclinations of the group behind that study.
The Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, or PIRE, is a Maryland based advocacy group that is anti-alcohol, anti-tobacco, and in its latest study, anti-gun. The $28 million non-profit organization is also financially connected to left-wing donor George Soros. PIRE has received funding through the Tides Foundation, which itself is a Soros-funded organization.
According to Ted Miller, the author of PIRE’s anti-gun study, “gunfire deaths and injuries incur a direct societal cost of $32 per gun.” This is not Miller’s first study on firearms. Miller told USA today he decided to re-run his twenty year old study after the Newtown, Conn., tragedy.
Miller claimed that the costs per injury had doubled since the first time he ran the numbers.
USA Today failed to mention any of PIRE’s advocacy against alcohol and tobacco or their calls for more regulation and tax hikes on all things they deem bad for “public health.” Nor was there any opposing viewpoint … like how many lives have been saved because of guns.
According to the National Rifle Association (NRA) , while the number of guns owned in America has risen to “upwards of 300 million,” the number of deaths caused by gun accidents has fallen “to an all-time low” of 0.2 per 100,000 people. This was ”down 94 percent since the all-time high in 1904.”
Or, USA Today and other media outlets could heed the advice of economist and gun advocate John Lott. In an op-ed published on Mar. 5 for National Review, he charged that a little less media coverage of mass shooters could be helpful for public safety, something PIRE loves to talk about. “We should be trying to deprive these killers of what they crave: attention and easy targets,” he wrote.