CNN Newsroom host Carol Costello was easily quieted by her guest, Erich Pratt of Gun Owners of America, who came prepared with actual gun facts that shut down her anti-gun narrative.
As Newsbusters reports, Costello started off with the Center for Disease Control's numbers on gun violence, saying they "are just absolutely stunning." She read, "Every year, more than 100,000 people are victims of gunshot wounds. And we should point out that that number does include suicides, as well. According to the CDC, in 2013, more than 33,000 people die from firearms, every single year. Um, isn't that too many?"
Pratt countered with information from the same CDC report that Costello either willingly left out, or didn't care to research, that shows many more instances where guns are used to prevent deaths. Here's their conversation:
PRATT: Well, what you failed to point out, Carol, is that the CDC also pursuant to President Obama issuing a decree to have them study this issue, they found that any where from 500,000 to 3 million times a year, guns are being used in self-defense. So, that means for every negative tragic use of a firearm, you have guns being used 16 to 100 times more...
COSTELLO: Wait, wait a minute. Wait, wait... I just want to point out facts. I don't know what study you're citing, but the CDC has been barred from doing any research on guns.
PRATT: It’s the CDC. The very same statistics.
COSTELLO: Congress won't fund the CDC from funding any gun research on gun violence. So I don't know...
PRATT: He commissioned an executive order in January of 2013, ordering the CDC -- in fact, Slate wrote an article after the CDC published those statistics, and Slate is certainly no pro-gun magazine. And they pointed out -- the article was entitled "The surprising findings by the CDC." And certainly they were surprising to people on the left. The fact that 16 to 100 times more often, guns are being used to save lives than to take lives. Now, the president since then seems to have ignored that CDC study. How ironic he wants more research, et cetera.
But when the research was done, it actually found guns are saving more lives than are being taken by them. And as you look all around the country, Carol, actually you see time and time again that people have stopped mass shootings in their tracks. People, good people with their firearms, like a year ago this month, in a bar like the Orlando bar, in a Youngstown bar, a bar employee, who was a concealed carrier, used his gun to stop a mass shooter, no innocent lives were taken as a result. If that guy was in Orlando, we wouldn't be having this conversation.
A bit frazzled but not wanting to appear clueless, Costello tried to ensure her guest she was "positive" guns have been used to stop gun violence in the past, but without a CNN-approved list of stats, she wasn't able to respond.
"But let me run this by you," Costello side-stepped, "because most Americans are armed, and I'm going to put this starkly: civilians own about 270 million guns. One-in-three Americans own a gun. Yet 30,000 -- more than 30,000 -- people are still dying every year. How many more guns can there be out there?"
"You know what you're overlooking, is that, as you pointed out, we do have more guns than we ever had, more than 170 million new guns have been bought since 1991. And yet, you know what has happened to the murder rate during that time? It's dropped 50%. We're actually safer today with more guns. So, you know, you're trying to scare people by saying, 'Oh, look, there's more guns.' But we're actually safer today, just look at the FBI statistics."
"You think we're safer today when 30,000 people are dying every year?" Costello retorted incredulously.
Pratt had to remind her that even she knows that number includes a lot of suicides and went on to inform her that Americans are more safe from mass shootings than people in other countries that have the kind of gun control liberals could only dream of:
“Actually, our murder rate is not even in the top 100 of countries around the world. And the top 100 countries, guess what, they have much stricter gun control than we do."
Costello emphatically promised that she would be checking into Pratt's stats and getting back to him soon.
Stay tuned to CNN for that update. (Yeah, right.)