The ending credits of a popular NBC drama series contained a promotion for Everytown for Gun Safety, a nonprofit organization financed in large part by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
As Newsbusters reported, “This Is Us” aired an episode on Tuesday that ended with a frame recognizing the deadly mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday.
“Our hearts are broken,” the screen read. “We stand with our television hometown of Pittsburgh.”
Following the message was a call to action for viewers who wanted to “learn more about ending gun violence,” prompting them to visit Everytown.org.
Writer Dan Fogelman also shared a still frame of the end card from “Kamsahamnida,” the latest episode in the critically acclaimed series.
— Dan Fogelman (@Dan_Fogelman) October 31, 2018
Many fans applauded the move, though some critics of the organization point to evidence that suggests Everytown for Gun Safety uses misleading statistics to artificially inflate the problem it aims to address.
The Washington Free Beacon‘s Stephen Gutowski studied the data for an article published in January.
Following a school shooting that left two dead and many others injured, he pointed to media reports citing Everytown statistics that suggest there had already been 11 school shootings at that point in the year.
“However, nearly all of the incidents included alongside the Marshal County shooting bear little or no resemblance to that shooting or other well-publicized school shootings, like those at Sandy Hook Elementary or Columbine High School,” he wrote.
Most of the reported shootings did not involve an injury, including one that was someone with a BB gun who shot at a school bus. Others involved property damage, including shots fired at an exterior wall of a Cal State-San Bernardino building.
Among the other incidents included in the group’s statistics were a murder at a nightclub on the campus of Wake Forest University and the shooting of a 15-year-old at a high school in Texas.
Without clear parameters defining what constitutes a school shooting, advocacy groups often create their own statistics. Many pro-gun conservatives believe Everytown’s methods are skewed in the other direction.
The group’s organizers support the methodology, however, and have compiled a list of hundreds of incidents it deems school shootings since it started collecting data in 2013.
Its statistics are commonplace in news broadcasts and other media coverage of gun violence in America.
As Axios reported last week, Everytown for Gun Safety has committed more than $11 million in advertising on digital platforms in districts where a vulnerable Democrat is running for Congress.
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