Since former Vice President Joe Biden announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, America has become accustomed to hearing some rather outlandish and, dare I say, purely fantastical things. Some appear to be nothing more than a simple blunder, such as when he stated in the incorrect name of the British Prime Minister.
However, others, such as the recent claim he made about firearm deaths in America, prove that he is making this stuff up just to get more votes.
During Tuesday night’s CBS News debate in South Carolina, Biden was given a question about gun control and why he thinks America should trust him to handle the situation correctly. But his response was anything but practical.
Along with stating that he had already done it in the past, he also said that nearly half of the nation’s entire population had been wiped out due to gun violence in just about a dozen years.
He said, “But my friend to the right and others have, in fact, also gave into the gun manufacturers, absolute immunity. Imagine if I stood here and said we’d give immunity to drug companies. We would give immunity to tobacco companies. That has caused carnage on our streets, 150 million people have been killed since 2007 when Bernie voted to exempt the gun manufacturers from liability. More than all the wars, including Vietnam, from that point on.”
It was clear from his response that he was trying to instill confidence in himself while taking a jab at the current frontrunner and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. But that point was pretty well mute after making such a ridiculous statement.
By the way, 150 million is about half the population size of our entire nation. Does he really think that half of us have died off in the last 12 or 13 years and due to gun violence no less? Not that many people have died in such a short period in American history, ever…
The US has a death rate of about 8 in every 1000 people per year. Added up, this means that around 2.8 million Americans die every year. So since 2007, we have lost about 33.6 million. And while that might seem like a large number, this is from a multitude of things, including cancer, car accidents, and yes, gun violence. If you can die from it, it’s included in this number.
And when we talk about gun violence, the death toll is even smaller. The most recent year we have statistics for from the FBI proves that 14,123 Americans were murdered in 2018. Of those, 10,265 were committed using a firearm.
So yes, this means that something definitely needs to be done to make those numbers smaller. But what Biden and many others, such as an assault-weapons ban, isn’t the answer. And those same FBI statistics prove that.
When we look closer at these numbers, we can see that of all those killed in 2018 by a firearm, nearly two-thirds of them (64.3%, 6,603) were by a handgun. Long-barrel firearms, such as the assault rifles Biden wants to ban, were only used in 5% or 532 murders.
And Biden might be shocked to learn that these numbers have gone down since 2007. According to the FBI, in 2007, there were 14,831 total murders. Handguns were used in 7,361 and 905 used long-barreled firearms.
While that isn’t much of a drop, it is one nonetheless. Furthermore, it’s nothing like the “carnage on our streets” that Biden implies it is. More people die each year from stabbings than they do gun violence, but you won’t see anyone trying to ban kitchen knives.
Now, Biden’s campaign did try to come back later and claim this as a simple mistake. According to Mike Brest of the Washington Examiner, the campaign said, “He meant 150K. He’s used that line multiple times before.”
And indeed, he has mentioned similar numbers, and it could have been a simple slip up. But that doesn’t explain why he said added this last little line about it being more people than who have died in all the wars combined, “More than all the wars, including Vietnam, from that point on.” It is estimated that nearly 4 million lives were lost during the Vietnam War alone, including both sides, which is still far more than 150,000.
No, this is Biden is making up stuff, plain and simple, just like when he claimed he was arrested in South Africa.