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March 8, 2013
Piers Morgan Misfires
It appears King George III might have been the last Brit as disturbed by Americans with guns as is Piers Morgan.
The CNN talk show host is teaming with most of his mainstream fourth-estate colleagues in a whirlwind campaign to parlay a madman's grizzly slaughter of school children in Newtown, Ct., into a full-throated assault on this country's Second Amendment. The only thing that seems to slow him down, however, is the folly of his own logic.
In a recent dust-up with Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, Piers again asserted that the easy access to firearms in the United States has resulted in a higher gun crime rate than in countries such as England and Japan, where gun control laws are much stricter. For his part, Pratt said evil exists in the heart of man, not in an inanimate object such as a gun, and that more government-imposed controls simply put law-abiding citizens as greater risk.
"When you go to the areas of our country where guns are freely available, readily able to be carried legally, there you find our lowest murder rates, lower than the murder rates in Europe," Pratt said. "When you go to our cities where we have cracked down on guns and people can't defend themselves, that's where the criminals have a field day."
As Pratt continued to skewer the overmatched host, Morgan became increasingly bellicose, left with nothing but an embarrassing series of shrill, petulant taunts. "You are talking complete and utter nonsense... what you said is an utter lie...you are an unbelievably stupid man, aren't you?... you don't give a damn about the gun murder rate in America... I know why sales of these weapons are soaring, it's down to idiots like you... you are a dangerous man espousing dangerous nonsense and you shame your country." There's nothing quite like that legendary British wit, is there?
More than just a bullying, badgering host so common on our airways today, Morgan's stock-in-trade is the convoluted questions designed only to maneuver his victim over a the trap door to generate one of his self-important Aha! moments. "Can you tell me how any homicides were committed with guns in Japan in the last three years? Can you tell me how many mass shootings have occurred in America in the last 30 years? Can you tell me what country has the second highest private gun ownership rate in the world behind the United States? No? Aha! It's Yemen! Do you consider Yemen a safe country?"
Notwithstanding the fact that Switzerland ranks third, Finland fourth and yes, they all are safe places; Piers just loves to have his staff mine the data banks for these golden nuggets with which to pummeled his unreconstructed guests. Invariably, he still misses his mark.
When a drug pusher is shot down on a Chicago street corner or a woman defends her children by shooting a home invader, they are duly tallied as great tragedies by Mr. Morgan. Get hacked to death with a machete in a Rwandan village and it does not register in the least.
The fact is that many countries that prohibit private gun ownership have very high homicide rates. They just kill with different weapons. If there is some kind of straight-line correlation between gun ownership and criminal violence, perhaps Piers will explain that most places in the U.S. with the fewest gun restrictions are also the safest.
How could it be that the United States has a private gun ownership rate 148 times greater but a homicide rate less than one third that of North Korea (even excluding the millions slaughtered by their own government)? And below the DMZ, the freedom loving people of South Korea are twice as likely as their former countrymen to own guns and six times less likely to kill. How can Haiti have a private gun possession rate one-tenth that of the very restrictive United Kingdom, but still have a murder rate almost six times greater? There are dozens of such examples.
Specific cases such as these can be used to draw whatever conclusion is desired -- and Morgan is a master at it. However, statistics compiled by the United Nations show no correlation between gun availability and national violence. Looking at the bigger picture, the 25 nations with the highest gun ownership are safe compared to others -- with only one (Uruguay at 94th) ranking in the top 100 for homicides. Yes, that even included the notorious U.S. and Yemen.
Tunisia has the fewest gun owners and, admittedly, it has a low homicide rate; but not as low as half of those two dozen countries with the most guns. Of course, there are some countries that have few guns and low murder rates -- such as Singapore and Japan, both of which a among the top 25 countries for gun restrictions and public safety. But even more (Switzerland, Norway, Austria, Germany, Iceland, Oman, Bahrain, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates) that allow many citizens to possess arms are among the 25 lowest in homicide rates.
Switzerland actually requires men of military age to have a fully automatic weapon in their homes and yet the murder rate in England is 58 percent higher. Conversely, Honduras and El Salvador limit gun ownership more fervently that even England, but suffer murder rates higher by far than any other nations.
For all of Morgan's boasting about the relatively few firearm murders in England, his country is the most violent among the European Union nations. Its crime rate has exploded since 1970, shortly after passing even tougher restrictions on gun ownership, and is now much higher than that of the U.S., which has seen crime decline dramatically in the last quarter century.
Piers Morgan may not like the fact many Americans are armed. However, we are terribly fortunate so many Minutemen had access to a sufficient number of muskets to chase his abusive countrymen back across the pond a couple centuries ago.
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