Journal of the American Medical Association duped by fake shooting data

by Lee Williams

The first edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association was published July 14, 1883. It contained a transcript of the annual address then-AMA president, Dr. W. Brodie, made during the group’s annual meetings in Cleveland, Ohio. Brodie told the delegates that “in the very near future, if not now, cremation will become a sanitary necessity in the large cities and populous districts of the country.”

Today, JAMA is published 48 times a year and has become one of the world’s most prominent peer-reviewed medical journals, known for its research, news and editorials. For a medical professional, publishing a story in JAMA is a career enhancer and a very big deal.

JAMA published a story this week by Dr. Deepika Nehra, MD, a surgeon at Harborview Medical Center’s Trauma, Burn and Critical Care Surgery at the University of Washington in Seattle, and other researchers. The JAMA story states that Nehra alone “had full access to all of the data in the study and takes responsibility for the integrity of the data and the accuracy of the data analysis.” She also participated in the story’s concept and design, the “acquisition, analysis and interpretation of the data,” the drafting and review of the manuscript and had overall supervision responsibilities.

The story, titled: “Association of Community Vulnerability and State Gun Laws with Firearm Deaths in Children and Adolescents Aged 10 to 19 Years,” raised a simple question: “Are community-level factors and state-level gun laws associated with rates of firearm-related deaths in children and adolescents?”

The authors purported to study 5,813 youths ages 10-19, who died from “assault-related firearms injury,” but when they disclosed the source of their data – despite Dr. Nehra’s impressive credentials and those of the other researchers – it becomes clear that the entire story is nothing but a scam.

“This national cross-sectional study used the Gun Violence Archive to identify all assault-related firearm deaths among youths aged 10 to 19 years occurring in the US between January 1, 2020, and June 30, 2022,” the story admits.

The Gun Violence Archive, or GVA, is an anti-gun nonprofit we debunked years ago. While the GVA collects and publishes several different types of shooting data – mass murders, number of children and teens killed or injured, officer-involved shootings, defensive gun usages and more – it is their inflated mass-shooting numbers that are cited most often by the legacy media, because of its penchant for sensational headlines.

For the GVA, anytime four or more people are killed or even slightly wounded with a firearm, it’s labeled a mass shooting, and politicians, gun control advocates and the mainstream media treat their reports as if they’re gospel. Earlier this month, Joe Biden’s speechwriters were caught citing GVA data because of its higher body counts. According to GVA’s all-inclusive definition, there were 417 mass shootings in 2019. The FBI says there were 30, because it uses a much narrower definition.

In a 2021 interview with the Second Amendment Foundation’s Investigative Journalism Project, GVA’s co-founder and executive director Mark Bryant defended his broader definition, and the higher body counts it yields. “It doesn’t parse,” he said. “It gives an accurate picture of the number of times more than four people were shot, whether in a drive-by or a shooting at a rap concert or a country music concert.”

If his higher numbers are misleading the public or being misinterpreted by journalists, it’s not his fault, Bryant claimed. He believes his numbers are fair. “I do, but I think it’s also up to the journalist and the reader to have a better understanding of what the data says. When a journalist uses the mass-shooting numbers as their lead, they’re not looking at the whole situation.”

In the past, Bryant has claimed that he is “anti-violence” and not anti-gun but has publicly lobbied for stricter gun control.

In 2018, he coauthored a guest column for the Los Angeles Times, titled: “Op-Ed: We have all the data we need: Stronger gun laws would save lives.” The column was coauthored with Devin Hughes, founder of GVPedia, which according to its website is a “project created to provide ready access to academic research and high-quality data on gun violence.”

In their column, Bryant and Hughes called for more anti-gun legislation, stating: “More guns mean more crime and more death. Gun possession significantly increases your risk of being killed by someone you know. A gun in the home doubles your risk of homicide and triples your risk of suicide. The presence of a gun increases the lethality of domestic violence. Areas with higher gun ownership see a significant increase in burglary. And states with higher levels of gun ownership experience higher rates of firearm fatalities.”

Bryant also supports banning standard-capacity magazines.

“I think magazine capacity is an issue that should be addressed. You don’t need 30-round mags or a 60-round drum,” he said two years ago. “While they are great ‘get off’ tools, they’re part of a hobby, not part of the Second Amendment.”

The GVA was not the only anti-gun source Dr. Nehra and her team used for their report. They also accessed the annual Gun Law Scorecard, 2014-2020, from the Giffords Law Center.

Multiple attempts to contact Dr. Nehra were unsuccessful. JAMA’s Executive Editor, Dr. Gregory Curfman, MD, did not return emails seeking his comments for this story.


It’s no surprise that JAMA or any other publication by the American Medical Association would publish a story so obviously biased against gun owners. The AMA has long been decidedly anti-gun.

“Gun violence is a public health issue that calls for physician leadership,” the organization states on its website, alongside a collection of anti-gun research, stories and reports.  

It’s difficult to accept any scholarly research based upon GVA’s data, given its history of inflating and exaggerating statistics to match their political narrative. It’s similarly impossible to accept Dr. Nehra’s findings, conclusions and recommendations, because she violated the GIGO concept – garbage in, garbage out. That makes it hard to define what her report even is, since you can’t call it research, because it’s not based on actual facts. In my humble opinion, Dr. Nehra’s report is “information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.”

And that, friends, is the very definition of propaganda.