Guns and Piers Morgan
CNN’s Piers Morgan writes that the pro-gun crowd’s anger toward him stems from anti-British bias: “This gun debate is an ongoing war of verbal attrition in America – and I’m just the latest target, the advantage to the gun lobbyists being that I’m British, a breed of human being who burned down the White House in 1814 and had to be forcefully deported en masse, as no American will ever be allowed to forget.”
Scads of “in-sourced” Brits appear on our telly without us Yanks calling for their deportation. Hell, we just let a Brit play Abe Lincoln. Fox’s Stuart Varney seems to escape this anti-mother country xenophobia.
Maybe, just maybe, it’s the way Morgan – as well as much of the guns-kill-people-crowd – holds “debates” on the matter.
Take the treatment of Larry Pratt. Respected in circles that Piers “I-have- fired-guns-only-once-in-my-life” Morgan chooses not to hang out with, Pratt heads a pro-Second Amendment group called the Gun Owners of America. Pratt, on Morgan’s show, attempted to explain that the “gun control” big picture requires understanding something: Hundreds of thousand of Americans, every year, use firearms for self-defense.
Morgan’s response? He called Pratt “an incredibly stupid man” and denounced “idiots like you.” Then came this: “You don’t give a damn,” Morgan said, “do you, about the gun murder rate in America? You don’t actually care.”
Morgan offered no study, expert, number – nothing whatsoever – to counter the claim. That anyone with a moderately functioning brain could find an upside in owning, let alone using, a gun simply astonishes Morgan. Defies common sense!
Is it true, as claimed by Florida criminalist Gary Kleck, that 2.5 million Americans each year use a firearm for self-defense? Is it true that, of that number, 400,000 people believe that, were it not for the gun they used, they would have been killed? These are questions and answers the anti-gun crowd ignores, chooses not to think about or considers irrelevant.
“How many Americans are alive,” I once asked a pro-gun control police chief, “because they used a firearm in self defense?”
“I don’t know the answer to that,” he said.
“You know the exact number of people murdered because of guns,” I said, “but you don’t know how many people are alive because of them?”
“No, I don’t.”
“What if I told you of a study that said 2.5 million people use guns every year for self-defense – and that of that number 400,000 believe had they not had the gun, they would have been killed?”
“I don’t believe that.”
“What’s your number?”
“Don’t have one – and it doesn’t matter. We have too many guns in this country.”
At least the police chief admitted that however many more people are alive than dead because of guns, he nevertheless wants guns even more restricted.
What’s Piers Morgan’s excuse? He simply refused to believe the data.
What about the 2.5 million number? Pro-gun-control law professor and criminologist Marvin Wolfgang, of Northwestern University, examined Kleck’s data and methodology. Just how pro-gun control is Wolfgang? He wrote: “I am as strong a gun-control advocate as can be found among the criminologists in this country. If I were Mustapha Mond of ‘Brave New World,’ I would eliminate all guns from the civilian population and maybe even from the police. I hate guns – ugly, nasty instruments designed to kill people.”
But of Kleck’s claim that 2.5 million Americans yearly use guns for self-defense? Wolfgang wrote: “What troubles me is the article by Gary Kleck and Marc Gertz. The reason I am troubled is that they have provided an almost clear-cut case of methodologically sound research in support of something I have theoretically opposed for years, namely, the use of a gun in defense against a criminal perpetrator. … I do not like their conclusions that having a gun can be useful, but I cannot fault their methodology. They have tried earnestly to meet all objections in advance and have done exceedingly well.”
The Oscar-winning Michael Moore says America possesses “too many guns” because of racism. For my pro-Second Amendment documentary, “Michael & Me,” I “ambushed” Moore. The anti-gun Moore, by the way, was surrounded by security and coming into a venue a back way to avoid the very “ambush interviews” in which he specializes. Three times I asked Moore how often Americans use guns to defend themselves. Three times Moore deflected the question, merely repeating “we have too many guns.”
Morgan is right. Per capita, we have nearly 50 times the gun murder rate compared to the gun murder rate of England. But look at all murders, whether by knife or baseball bat. Rather than 50 times the rate, it is less than five – not 50 – times higher than the murders committed by any means in England. For my documentary, I interviewed Joyce Lee Malcolm, author of “Guns and Violence.” She said the same murder rate discrepancy – five times the British rate – existed between New York City and London for two centuries, and during most of that time neither city had any gun control laws.
This must make Malcolm “an incredibly stupid woman.” Debate over.
COPYRIGHT 2013 LAURENCE A. ELDER
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