Published On: Thu, Jan 15th, 2015

Bloomberg-Backed Group’s Funding of Gun Violence Workshop Raises Hackles

Bloomberg with Gun

A gun-control group backed by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will be teaching journalists about firearms, a report said, continuing the heated debate over the right to bear arms in the United States.

The Phoenix-based Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma plans to hold a two-day workshop April 17-18 on how to correctly report on guns and gun violence. The news was posted Thursday on the center’s website, the Washington Times said.

“The workshop will cover such topics as state and federal gun laws; patterns of gun sales and gun trafficking; national trends and polling; education and prevention initiatives; social, economic and public health impacts; and special populations (e.g. children and youth, women and returning veterans.)”, the center said.

Scheduled speakers for the April workshop include policy experts, researchers, clinicians, journalists, prevention advocates and gun-violence survivors, the Times said.

The workshop at the Dart Center, an affiliate of the Columbia Journalism School, will be open to graduate students and journalists, with travel stipends of up to $350 available to selected participants.

The event is being funded by Everytown for Gun Safety, which is headed by John Feinblatt, a former top aide to Mr. Bloomberg. The group claims to have 2.5 million supporters and over 40, 000 donors, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Everytown gave the center $48, 000 for the event. In an e-mail to the Herald-Tribune, Dart Center Executive Director Bruce Shapiro said, “The Arizona workshop is funded by Everytown, but the Dart Center alone will determine the content. If Michael Bloomberg, or any funder, tried to determine the content of our programs we’d give the money back.”

The Bloomberg-backed group calls itself “a movement of Americans working together to end gun violence and build safer communities.” On its website, the group says “For too long, change has been thwarted by the Washington gun lobby and by leaders who refuse to take common-sense steps that will save lives.”

 

Everytown advocates strict gun control throughout the country and endorses political candidates who support gun bans, campusreform.org said.

According to an editorial in the New York Daily News by CNN reporter S.E. Cupp, the group is also known for repeatedly inflating statistics on gun crime, the website said.

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