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Larry Pratt: British Gun Crime Stats are a "Sham"

Piers Morgan calls the GOA Executive Director’s claim an “absolute lie.” Is it?

January 10, 2013

Last night, Larry Pratt of Gun Owners of America appeared on Piers Morgan Tonight for a debate with the host. Morgan is a British "citizen" ("subject"?) who has recently been using his platform on CNN to promote the idea that the U.S. Constitution is "inherently flawed" and to advocate stricter, more British-style gun control policies in the U.S. This was Pratt's second appearance on the show in the past month, having previously appeared in the wake of the Sandy Hook event.

At one point in the exchange (around 11:18 in this video), Morgan says that he "actually dug out the official figures... the homicide figures from guns in England and Wales by comparison to the United States of America going back to 2003," and proceeds to read off numbers showing that the U.S. has a much higher gun murder rate. Morgan then claims that the lower numbers in England and Wales are "the result" of the "responsible action" taken in "respon[se]" to the 1996 school shooting in Dunblane, Scottland -- namely a "handgun and assault weapon ban."

To begin with, More Guns, Less Crime author John Lott has recently explained that this is a misleading representation of the statistics: Yes, the gun murder rate is relatively low in England and Wales, but it was already low before the ban, and the stats do not show a decrease in murders committed with guns (nor overall murders) since the ban was instituted, as Morgan implies. "There is a difference between levels and changes," he notes. Meanwhile, even The Telegraph reported in 2009 that gun crime had "almost doubled in the last decade."

But let's look at the discussion that ensued after Morgan's remarks. (Despite the fact that Morgan had just spoken for 1 minute and 39 seconds straight, he interrupts Pratt after only 18 seconds.)

PRATT: Well first of all, according to your investigator of your constabulary, the data that you’re using for the murder rate in England is a sham. There’s a monumental misreporting of what constitutes murder. If three people are murdered, it’s likely to be counted as one event. And...

MORGAN: What an absolute, absolute LIE! That is an ABSOLUTE–

PRATT: Well, that’s what you say when you don’t know what you’re talking about.

MORGAN: No, you see, Mr. Pratt. No, Mr Pratt. Let me tell you, it doesn’t take very long...

PRATT: But I was just looking at a 2000 report. And these are your own government’s data.

MORGAN: Mr. Pratt, it doesn’t take very long to count 50 gun murders

As it turns out, what Pratt said does not appear to have been a "lie" at all, let alone an "absolute, absolute LIE!" Quite the opposite.

(Click here to continue reading at TheEndRun.com)

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Government statistics are manipulated???

We're so screwed- govt does this constantly. How can we concvince our peers of the truth when the govts own facts and figures are blatantly false.

If you go on CNN and tell them that the stats are bogus, they'll just call you a conspiracy theorist

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SteveMT's picture

Piers Morgan is a blatant liar.

Not only is Piers Morgan a liar, the way his country reports crime statistics is a lie. This must be some kind of genetic disorder that they have been conditioned to not question their Big Brother. Our stats seem more accurate at the moment.

1. The Brits "report burglary as “vandalism.”

2. When a series of homes were burgled, they were regularly recorded as one crime. If a burglar hit 15 or 20 flats, only one crime was added to the statistics.

3. “American homicide rates are based on initial data, but British homicide rates are based on the final disposition.” Suppose that three men kill a woman during an argument outside a bar. They are arrested for murder, but because of problems with identification (the main witness is dead), charges are eventually dropped. In American crime statistics, the event counts as a three-person homicide, but in British statistics it counts as nothing at all."

4. Last year 5,600 firearms offenses were excluded from the official figures. It means that, whereas the Home Office said there were only 9,800 offenses in 2007/8, the real total was around 15,400.

5. Thousands of offenses including gun-smuggling and illegal possession of a firearm – which normally carries a minimum five-year jail sentence – are omitted from the Home Office’s headline count, raising questions about the reliability of Government crime data.

Dominic Grieve, the shadow home secretary, said: “These alarming new figures not only highlight the appalling state of gun crime in this country, but also remind us just how poor the Government’s statistics actually are.

Worth the Read

I'll sum it up: Piers Morgan's facts are bunk. Just as our government changes the basket of goods in the CPI to claim inflation is lower than it really is, so does England's government with their crime statistics. This is likely done because they don't want everyone to know their gun bun was a disastrous failure and they don't want expatriation or to diminish tourism.

I'd recommend reading the article still. It's one of the better ones out there.


Handgun crime 'up' despite ban

A new study suggests the use of handguns in crime rose by 40% in the two years after the weapons were banned.


what about the 39 vs. 970 stat...

...or thereabouts, the stat Larry said he had gotten from The Telegraph I believe....

I mean if lying statistics were being exchanged and spun to bolster each side's arguments, and the charge of one side lying is leveled, it is IMPERATIVE we expose the truth here on the DP...

Talk about a SLAM DUNK bastion of truth for ALL interested internet surfers!!!!

Truth also runs trolls off.....

(I am mobile, just commenting from vague recall of what I remember hearing last night)
Please correct me.....and expand if you know what I am referencing....

Check out the UPDATE at the bottom of the article

It addresses the 970 vs 39 thing.