On Monday, Research Director of the Independence Institute David Kopel appeared on CNN’s Piers Morgan Tonight to debate the issue of gun-related violence with Piers and Josh Horwitz from the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence.
In the video below, you can see the debate unfold. What’s most telling in this exchange is Morgan’s admission that he, personally, would like to “Remove every gun in America.”
Of course, what preceded this statement only seconds earlier was the perfunctory disclaimer, which is often made by those who secretly wish to pass onerous gun laws, “I do have a respect for the Second Amendment.”
So, obviously, there’s a clear contradiction here, on one hand, Morgan (if he had his wish) would confiscate every gun in America, but on the other he claims to have respect for a law-abiding citizen’s Constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
Piers, you can’t have it both ways. You clearly do not respect the Second Amendment if you’re true stance is pro-confiscation.
So, given that Morgan’s mind is already made up, it would be very difficult for one to try to convince him that much of what he believes with respect to gun control and gun-related violence is wrong. Credit to Prof. Kopel for trying to talk some sense into him anyhow.
There are two points other points to be made about this debate. The first is that the proliferation of gun ownership in America has not led to an increase in gun-related violence. Kopel pointed this out. And it’s true.
The most recent study to elucidate this fact, as Kopel alluded to, was the study done in Virginia that examined crime data and gun sales from 2006 to 2011 and found a negative relationship between gun sales, which increased 73 percent over those five years and gun-related violent crimes, which fell by 24 percent over the same period.
In discussing his findings, Virginia Commonwealth University Professor Thomas R. Baker said, “It’s mathematically not possible [that more guns are causing more crime], because the relationship is a negative relationship – they’re moving in the opposite direction.”
“So the only thing it could be is that more guns are causing less crime,” he added.
Again, this isn’t wishful thinking. This is fact.
Though, because the study doesn’t compute with Morgan’s preconceptions about guns and crime, he called it “a load of absolute claptrap.”
Morgan then pivoted the discussion away from the U.S. and pointed to Europe as an example of a gun-free haven where gun crime is relatively low (this is a common tactic pro-gun control activists use when confronted with the facts about the decline in crime and the rise of gun ownership in the U.S. over the past decade).
As Guns.com has pointed out in the past, the notions that countries with more guns are more dangerous and that they have a higher homicide rate is easily refuted by looking at a country like Switzerland.
Switzerland has approximately 45.7 guns per 100 people (that’s the fourth highest in the world) and an overall intentional homicide rate of .66 per 100,000 people.
That figure is lower than Italy (.7 per 100,000), Macedonia (1.2 per 100,000), and Albania’s (1.8 per 100,000) gun-related homicide rate. And all of those countries have fewer guns per 100 people: Italy (11.9), Macedonia (7.63), and Albania (16.21).
Therefore, the only rational conclusion one can make is that the prevalence of guns in a society has no statistically significant impact on that country’s overall homicide rate. Instead, societal factors (culture, socio-economic standing, gangs, drugs, etc.) not gun control or limits on gun ownership, are chiefly responsible for a country’s homicide rate.