Saturday, 12 January 2013

Ten Piers Morgan Gun Lies, Untruths, and Deceptions

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It’s probably not quite true that gun-control advocate Piers Morgan has been “standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook,” as Breitbart editor Ben Shapiro put it. It’s more correct to say that the cheeky Brit has been standing on the graves of the children of Sandy Hook, jumping up and down, and stamping his foot. I can say nothing else about a man who repeatedly combines the Newtown tragedy with lies, misconceptions, and deceptions to push a political agenda. What am I talking about? Well, here’s a top 10 list.

Walmart and the 100-round magazine

Morgan wrote in the Daily Mail, “I can saunter into Walmart — America’s version of Tesco — and help myself to an armful of … magazines that can carry up to 100 bullets at a time.” Perhaps he could.

But he can’t.

Walmart doesn’t carry a 100-round magazine. I’ve never seen such an item at the store, and a search for it at their website came up empty. But, hey, Morgan probably wouldn’t be caught dead in a Walmart, and I’m sure his Harrods-set friends told him the mag was there.

Aurora and the AR-15

One of Morgan’s patent arguments is that the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was used to inflict the carnage in all our recent massacres, including Aurora, Colorado.

False.

Aurora maniac James Holmes first used a shotgun in his attack, and it appears that most of the wounds he inflicted were made with it.

Banning AR-15s can stop crazies from committing massacres

As the aforementioned indicates, this is untrue. Will a mentally unhinged person say, “I was going to shoot up a school, but this shotgun here just ain’t my style. I’m gonna’ play golf instead”? Not only is a shotgun far more effective in close-quarters attacks on soft targets, but an unbalanced person will grab whatever he can find that serves his ends.

The same appears true of unbalanced journalists.

Morgan only wants AR-15s banned and respects the Second Amendment

Morgan made this claim while debating Breitbart’s Shapiro. Yet he said in another recent interview that the Constitution is “basically, inherently flawed. Hence the need to amend it,” the implication being that the Second Amendment was the flawed element.

As for only AR-15s being in Morgan’s crosshairs, consider what fellow Englishman Adam Shaw tells us:

After the Dunblane massacre in Scotland in 1996, in which 16 schoolchildren and a teacher were killed (and 15 injured) by a man wielding only handguns, Britain's already strict gun laws were enlarged to include them. The newspaper leading the call for this ban was the Daily Mirror — the editor? A certain Piers Morgan.

Britain has a lower murder rate because of gun control

This is another of Morgan’s patent arguments. Yet Britain has had a lower murder rate than the United States for all of the last 200 years, during most of which neither nation had strict gun control. Moreover, as Shaw also tells us, “Since the [British] gun ban in 1998, the total number of firearm offences in England and Wales has risen by 89%, and in some areas of the country has leapt by as much as 500%.”

Gun control/murder rate link

Morgan claims there is an inverse relationship between number of gun-control laws and murder rate. Not only does his own country’s history not bear this out, but as Thomas Sowell recently wrote:

[Gun-control zealots ignore] other countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, such as Russia, Brazil and Mexico. All of these countries have higher murder rates than the United States.

You could compare other sets of countries and get similar results. Gun ownership has been three times as high in Switzerland as in Germany, but the Swiss have had lower murder rates. Other countries with high rates of gun ownership and low murder rates include Israel, New Zealand, and Finland.

…The rate of gun ownership … is higher in rural areas than in urban areas, but the murder rate is higher in urban areas. The rate of gun ownership is higher among whites than among blacks, but the murder rate is higher among blacks. For the country as a whole, hand gun ownership doubled in the late 20th century, while the murder rate went down.  

…Guns are not the problem. People are the problem — including people who are determined to push gun control laws, either in ignorance of the facts or in defiance of the facts.

Only America has a problem with gun massacres

Morgan often avers so, but as I recently wrote:

Untrue. As John Fund writes:

Incidents of mass murder in the U.S. declined from 42 in the 1990s [during the “assault weapons” ban] to 26 in the first decade of this century.

The chances of being killed in a mass shooting are about what they are for being struck by lightning.

Until the Newtown horror, the three worst K–12 school shootings ever had taken place in either Britain or Germany.

Then there is Norway, where in 2011 Anders Breivik murdered 77 people. In contrast, while I don’t have precise figures, let’s very generously estimate the number of people killed in American mass murders during the last 30 years to be 500. Given that our population is 310 million and Norway’s is only 5 million, this means that Norway’s mass-murder rate is almost 10 times as high as ours.

Beware of Norway, the mass-murder capital of the world.

The AR-15 is an assault weapon

In repeating this untruth, Morgan has a lot of company. An “assault weapon” is a gun with a “selective fire” feature, meaning it can be fired fully automatic, semi-automatic, in three-shot bursts, or possesses some combination of two of those features. Yet such weapons have generally been unavailable to the public since the National Firearms Act of 1934. The AR-15s one can readily acquire are simply semi-automatic firearms — meaning, every trigger pull releases one shot — like most guns owned in America today.

Morgan’s footage of the AR-15’s function

Despite the above, Morgan once illustrated the alleged function of the AR-15 by showing a gun with its appearance (M-16 perhaps?) being fired fully automatic. But this is par for the course: Morgan was fired from the UK’s Daily Mirror for publishing fake photographs of British soldiers abusing Iraqi prisoners.

Hey, why be truthful when you can be effective?

Piers knows firearms

Responding in his Daily Mail piece to accusations of ignorance, Morgan wrote:

Well, I do know a bit about guns, actually [as much as he knows about authenticating photographs, anyway]. My brother’s a lieutenant colonel in the British Army and has served tours of duty in Northern Ireland, the Balkans, Iraq and Afghanistan. My sister married a colonel who trained Princes William and Harry at Sandhurst. My uncle was a major in the Green Howards.

And Oprah Winfrey grew up in a poor family so she must be … oh, wait. Either Morgan doesn’t know guns or he does and is simply lying to push an agenda. Which is it? My bet is on large-caliber arrogant ignorance fed with fully automatic superciliousness and high-capacity intellectual dishonesty.