WashPost Leaves Out That Gun/Suicide Study Funded by Anti-Gun Foundation

Update at bottom of page.

Harvard researcher Matthew Miller released a study on April 10 that ties higher suicide rates with higher rates of firearm ownership. Six days later the Washington Post's Shankar Vedantam printed a five-paragraph brief in the paper's "Science Notebook" that cribbed heavily from the Harvard School of Public Health press release. Yet nowhere in his story was the fact that a liberal anti-gun think tank gave $700,000 to finance the School's research.

No gun rights advocates or independent statisticians were quoted to critique the study's methodology or to question the political motivations that may have guided the study, although Vedantam had five days to round up critics of the study.

Another glaring omission in Vedantam's April 16 story: he failed to inform readers that the Harvard study was financed by the liberal Joyce Foundation.

A review of the Joyce Foundation's Web site makes clear it has an activist anti-gun ownership agenda.

For one thing, the foundation only gives grant monies to organizations it feels will help advance its liberal, anti-gun agenda. According to a "Common Question" page in its "gun violence" section:

We focus our grantmaking on initiatives that promise to have an influence on public policies. That includes advancing the public debate about important policy issues, most notably the need for federal consumer product health and safety standards for the firearm industry. We believe such policy initiatives can lead to broad, systemic changes that affect the most people over the long run.

Another anti-gun initiative the group has helped bankroll (with a $175,000 grant) is a conference of mayors "against illegal guns." Of course, many of those "illegal guns" are perfectly legal in the suburbs of major cities like Chicago, New York City, and Washington, D.C., all of which have strict handgun control laws, or outright bans on firearm ownership.

You can search for a full list of grants the Joyce Foundation has doled out to study "gun violence" here, including $700,000 to the Harvard School of Public Health.

UPDATE: Not all liberals are happy with groups like the Joyce Foundation, or in the liberal media that uncritically pass along anti-gun studies. A Web log called progunprogressive.com picked up my item, noting of NewsBusters, "I don’t buy everything on their site, but the case for the existence of a clear and definite media anti-gun bias is too solid to ignore." Take a look at their site when you get the chance.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters