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When Gross Exaggeration Turns into Blatant Lies: NY Attorney General Letitia James

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Who is the most out-of-touch gun-hating politician in the United States? Let’s combine that question with another: What anti-gun politician tends to make the most absurd statements that aren’t remotely true, much less provable?

Of course, in today’s political climate the answer to those questions isn’t easy. After all, gun-ban-loving politicians are a dime a dozen, and it seems we hear more lies from them every day.

However, since I asked the question, I’ll answer it. Based on some of her recent statements in the Rockland/Westchester Journal News, my money right now is on New York Attorney General Letitia James.

Before getting to her blatant lies about so-called gun “buyback” programs, let’s take a look at her “big whopper” of the interview, ironically buried in the very last paragraph of the story and apparently left unquestioned by the reporter.

"What's so tragic,” James said last Friday, “is that in some parts of New York state, you can find a gun more easily than you can find an apple."

An apple? Whoa, there, Laticia!

Admittedly, as a resident of a “flyover state” I don’t know much about the status of apple orchards in New York, so I did a little research. (AG James could, too, if she cared about the truth.) According to a New York State Senate news release, apple growers harvest a whopping 29.5 million bushels of apples annually in New York, making it the second-largest apple-producing state in the country.

In fact, according to the New York Apple Association, “Apple-lovers choose New York apples, not just for their extraordinary flavor, but also because they crave the ‘experience’ of New York apples. Why? Because there’s nothing like picking your own apple in a pick-your-own orchard, finding that special heirloom variety at your local farmer’s market or selecting a delicious New York variety at the grocery store.”

Unless there are 29.4 million bushels of guns growing on trees in the Empire State, it is not actually easier to find a gun than to find an apple, and James darned well knows it. But gun-ban proponents in high places have become so accustomed to making outrageous claims and not having anyone in the so-called “mainstream” media question them, they just go right on telling whopper after whopper. They don’t care if it’s true, as long as it might turn one more person undecided on the gun issue into an anti-gun advocate.

The statement was actually made in the context of a recent gun “buyback” in New Rochelle, New York. Concerning the event, James said, “When a gun is turned in at our event, we know that it will be safely disposed of by law enforcement, and we know that it will never fall into the wrong hands or potentially be used for harm. Therefore, any gun that we collect is one less gun that is in a home or in our community that could potentially endanger someone.”

Aside from the fact that a gun can’t endanger anyone without a dangerous person operating it, such a statement by James also ignores research on the topic. In fact, a recent study proved that so-called “buybacks” are basically worthless. A paper titled “Have U.S. Gun Buybacks Misfired,” authored by Toshio Ferrazares, Joseph J. Sabia and D. Mark Anderson, and published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, concluded that such “buybacks” have no measurable impact on reducing violent crime.

“Given our estimated null findings, with 95 percent confidence, we can rule out decreases in firearm-related crime of greater than 1.3 percent during the year following a buyback,” the study’s abstract concluded. “Using data from the National Vital Statistics System, we also find no evidence that GBPs reduce suicides or homicides where a firearm was involved.”

About the Author

Freelance writer and editor Mark Chesnut is the owner/editorial director at Red Setter Communications LLC. An avid hunter, shooter and political observer, he has been covering Second Amendment issues and politics on a near-daily basis for more than 20 years.

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