Chris Hayes links crime growth to 'truly shocking proliferation of guns'

Media top headlines July 8

CNN scolding critics of critical race theory, Parler cheering on Trump’s lawsuit against Big Tech, and the Washington Post giving the White House ‘Three Pinnochios’ for claim Republicans want to defund the police round out today’s top media headlines

MSNBC anchor Chris Hayes attempted to connect the rise in violent crimes in the United States to the recent increase in gun sales.

On Wednesday, the “All In” host discussed how more and more Americans are becoming concerned about crime as a growing problem in the nation. Within his story, he proceeded to link the growing rates of violent crimes in cities to the growing number of gun sales from 2020.

“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.” Hayes claimed.

Hayes also emphasized the number of guns purchased in 2020 based on a Washington Post analysis on gun background checks and concluded that there is a “relationship” between increased crime and increased gun ownership.

“Last year, Americans bought 23 million guns. Sixty-four percent increase over 2019 sales, according to 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.” Hayes said “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?”

However, a closer look at the study proved to weaken the relationship between these two facts. Firearms expert and founder of firearm news site The Reload, Stephen Gutowski took to Twitter to deconstruct Hayes’ argument.

“There are several reasons to believe the gun sales spike is not driving the murder increase. In fact, it seems more likely the exact opposite is true,” Gutowski tweeted.

Gutowski also pointed out that the chart Hayes uses as an example actually displays “a gun background check spike.”

“That should give you insight into the people buying all those guns: namely that they can pass a background check. It’s rather unlikely that a significant number of people who can pass an FBI background check to buy a gun then immediately turned around and murder someone,” Gutowski explained.

Gutowski also posted his full analysis on his site The Reload.

Despite Hayes’ comments on guns, the MSNBC host also implied that many fears about crime are likely overblown as “not all the crime that is up.”

“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,” Hayes said.

According to a Fox News poll conducted in May, approximately 73 percent of Americans believe there is more crime in 2021 than in 2020.

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