Fact checkers swung into action after gun rights advocate and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones went beyond just toe-to-toe with CNN's Piers Morgan on the British journalist's TV show.
Jones had been itching to get on "Piers Morgan Tonight"
to challenge the host's outspoken push for stricter control in the U.S. in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn. Jones, who has a talk radio program in Texas, had already started a national petition to have Morgan deported back to the UK.
During the Monday night appearance, Jones nearly lost control in a tirade that referenced the revolutionary spirits of 1776. Meanwhile, Morgan touted a statistic that there were only 35 gun murders in Great Britain in 2011, a country where guns have been banned for nearly 15 years. Morgan put that number up against the 11,000 he said occurred in the U.S. during the same time period.
"Do you understand the difference between 35 and 11,000?" Morgan asked Jones.
"You're not going to pull on America’s heart strings. They know your script," Jones said.
Those numbers aren’t accurate, reported Ben Swann of Fox 19 in Cincinnati. According to FBI crime statistics that Swann pulled, there were 12,664 U.S. homicides during that period and only 8,583 were caused by firearms. And 660 of those incidents were reported by the FBI as justifiable homicides.
The number Morgan cited for Britain was also inaccurate, off by about the same margin of error. In 2011, that nation of 62.6 million saw 59 gun-related homicides in 2011.
Swann, noting that Morgan claimed there was less crime in Britain because there were fewer guns, pointed out that the U.S. has the highest gun-ownership rate in the world, but sits at number 28 in the world for gun homicides.
However, Britain ranked as the most violent nation in the European Union, Swann reported, though gun deaths were statistically lower. There were 2,034 violent crimes per 100,000 people in Britain compared with the U.S. rate of 466 violent crimes per 100,000 people.
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