Mayors Against Illegal Guns handed their opponents an easy line of attack on Tuesday when it included Boston bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev on a list of 6,000 victims of gun violence since the Newtown massacre. The names were read aloud by gun control advocates in Concord, New Hampshire as part of a “No More Names” event, and when protesters heard Tsarnaev’s name they yelled, “He’s a terrorist!”
State Republican Chair Jennifer Horn claimed the incident shows that Bloomberg’s gun group is “radical and out of touch with New Hampshire values,” but on Wednesday Mayors Against Illegal Guns apologized, saying Tsarnaev was “absolutely not a victim, his name should have been deleted before the list was provided to a family member for reading and his name should never have been read.”
The statement explained that the list of names was compiled from the Slate.com feature “How Many People Have Been Killed by Guns Since Newtown?” Slate then felt compelled to explain why Tsarnaev was on their list, saying:
The interactive is not a list of “victims” of gun violence—in fact, the interactive never uses that word, for this very reason. It is a pure accounting of deaths, provided, as our original partner in the project @GunDeaths notes, “regardless of cause and without comment.” … The list also includes other wrongdoers killed by law enforcement, people who committed suicide, people who died in accidents, and people killed by criminals.
Incredibly, Tsarnaev’s name was probably read at all three similar rallies, but the name didn’t ring a bell for anyone reading from the list or attending the events until this week.