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Ignoring Facts: MSNBC’s Hayes Conflates Gun Sales With Murder Spike

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Any gun enthusiast can attest to the fact that since the start of the pandemic, it’s been difficult to find guns and ammunition as sales of both have gone through the roof. Well, MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes continued his anti-gun campaign by trying to conflate “the truly shocking proliferation of guns in the last year” with the spike in the nation’s murder rate. But the facts don’t support his case and even suggest that his argument tapped into the racist roots of gun control.

“But here’s the thing about crime, it is not all the crime that is up,” Hayes proclaimed after mocking Fox News for reporting on the crime wave and suggesting conservatives just wanted to lock people up. “What is indisputable though, is that murder and shootings are up.”

And after citing “preliminary FBI data” that found “the U.S.’s murder rate increased by 25 percent or more in 2020,” Hayes pushed his conflation of the “truly shocking proliferation of guns in the last year, which coincided with this rise in shootings and murder.”

Hayes admitted that his argument was flimsy at best, noting that “the causal relationship is not settled by any means.” But he continued anyway:

Last year, Americans bought 23 million guns. 64 percent increase over 2019 sales, accord Washington Post analysis of federal data on gun background checks. That’s part of a larger trend which is an acceleration of gun sales in the U.S. in the last ten years. Look at that chart.

America is a violent place. America has a lot of guns. And last year, American’s got a lot more guns and got more violent. Is it crazy to see a relationship between these two simple stark facts,” he sneered.

But the preponderance of the evidence didn’t support his assertion at all.

According to n analysis by Stephen Gutowski, founder of The Reload in late June, “there’s little evidence the gun sales spike is what’s driving the increased violence. In fact, there’s evidence the exact opposite may be happening.”

As he pointed out in his analysis (and on Twitter) we’re able to estimate gun sales based on background check data, which Hayes cited. “That means the surge in gun sales has been to people who can pass a background check. Those are people who don’t have a serious criminal record or people who have been involuntarily committed. They are, by nature, less likely to carry out crimes than the general public,” Gutowski wrote.

On top of that, the data doesn’t support the idea that there’s a quick turnaround between the sale of a gun and committing a crime. “And ATF trace data indicates it often takes years or decades for a gun to be used in a crime after it’s sold. In 2019, the agency reported it took an average of 8.29 years passed between when a traced gun was sold at a store and when it was used in a crime,” Gutowski added.

The ATF tracks how long it takes for a crime gun to go from its last point of sale to it being recovered at a crime scene. It usually hovers near a decade. In 2019, the average was 8.29 years. So, it’s very unusual for guns to go from purchase to crime scene in under a year.

— Stephen Gutowski (@StephenGutowski) July 8, 2021

The point in which Hayes’s argument treaded into the racist roots of gun control was when we looked at which demographics drove a large portion of those gun sales. As Forbes contributor Aaron Smith reported back in April, “Black Americans accelerated their gun buying during the coronavirus pandemic, outpacing other demographic groups…”

“There was a 58.2% increase in gun purchases by Black men and women during the first half of 2020 … according to the most recent survey of gun retailers by the National Shooting Sports Foundation,” he added.

We’ve also seen a rush to buy firearms from Asian Americans as they sought to protect themselves from the rash of hate crimes targeting them. And other factors for people seeking to buy firearms could be the left’s defund the police movement and their “bail reform” that sees violent criminals released from jail.

But the roots of gun control were found in the fears of Democrats who didn’t want blacks and other minorities to be able to protect themselves from racist aggression with firearms. A fact Hayes and my gun control advocates conveniently avoided.

Chris Hayes’s deceptive conflation of gun sales and the murder spike was made possible because of lucrative sponsorships from Kayak and Allstate. Their contact information is linked so you can tell them about the biased news they fund.

The transcript is below, click “expand” to read:

MSNBC’s All In

July 7, 2021

8:46:43 p.m. Eastern

CHRIS HAYES: You’ve probably heard, even if you don’t watch Fox, that crime is up over the last year. There’s been a lot of coverage of it. And whether this is the result or part of the cause of all the coverage, who is to say, Americans are more concerned about crime than they have been in a while – at least, according to a new Washington Post poll that found 2that 8 percent of Americans believe crime is an extremely serious problem in the U.S., the highest number in 20 years.

And of course, conservatives are licking their chops as are police and other forces looking to rehab the old policies of mass incarceration. Policies that, I should note, we never actually abandoned. We remain the most incarcerated nation basically on Earth.

But here’s the thing about crime, it is not all the crime that is up. In fact, lots of crime, so-called “index crimes,” those are murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, the ones used in national statistics. Many of those index crimes are down.

For example, property crime was down 7.9 percent in 2020 relative to 2019. Property crime like shoplifting makes up about 85 percent of all major crimes reported by the FBI.

What is indisputable though, is that murder and shootings are up. Over 19,000 people were killed in shootings and firearm-related incidents in 2020, the highest death toll in over 20 years. Based on preliminary FBI data, the U.S.’s murder rate increased by 25 percent or more in 2020. That amounts to more than 20,000 murders in a year for the first time since 1995.

One piece of this puzzle that seems to not get much attention is the truly shocking proliferation of guns in the last year, which coincided with this rise in shootings and murder. Now, the causal relationship is not settled by any means. But 2020 was the biggest year for gun sales in American history ever, ever.

Last year, Americans bought 23 million guns. 64 percent increase over 2019 sales, accord Washington Post analysis of federal data on gun background checks. That’s part of a larger trend which is an acceleration of gun sales in the U.S. in the last ten years. Look at that chart.

America is a violent place. America has a lot of guns. And last year, American’s got a lot more guns and got more violent. Is it crazy to see a relationship between these two simple stark facts?

What do you think?

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Written by Newsman

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