On Thursday morning, discussing the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, MSNBC host Joe Scarborough quoted a misleading statistic in order to emphasize how dangerous he thought guns were, saying there are 33,000 people killed by guns in America every year. Scarborough said to co-host Mika Brzezinski, “Mika, here we are again. More than 33,000 people are killed by guns in the United States every year. That’s according to the CDC. 33,000. We’ve had 1,607 mass shootings since Sandy Hook when we said, ‘Never again.’”
There’s one key factor that Scarborough left out: the huge percentage of gun deaths by suicide.
As Jazz Shaw pointed out in 2015, according to the CDC itself, in 2011 there were indeed roughly 33,000 gun deaths in the United States — but 21,175 of them were suicides. In addition, roughly 2,500 resulted from accidents and unintentional injuries.
Shaw went further: “Of the actual 8,583 gun murders committed in 2011, 323 were committed with “rifles.” And that’s all rifles, including bolt action, deer hunting rifles and all the rest. The number committed with so called “assault rifles” were a fraction of that.“
Shaw also noted another interesting fact: “In fact, one study after another has shown that legally purchased weapons which followed all the normal firearms transfer rules accounted for somewhere between six and eight percent of all murders. And the majority of those were domestic violence incidents, violence between family members, crimes of passion and, yes … murders committed by the insane. “
Those statistics mean that roughly 10% (a high estimate) of the murders were committed with legally purchased guns — roughly 850 people. Shaw concluded, “850 is too many people, but it’s a far cry from more than 32,000 per year.”
Video below starting at 1:48: