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CNN Anchor Gets Into Tense On-Air Exchange With Navy SEAL on Gun Control: ‘Tell That to Australia’
Image source: YouTube

CNN Anchor Gets Into Tense On-Air Exchange With Navy SEAL on Gun Control: ‘Tell That to Australia’

“Hold on one second.”

In anticipation of the votes scheduled to take place on several gun control measures in the Senate Monday, the public debate over tightening gun laws continues in the media.

CNN’s “New Day” Monday featured in interview Donald Trump supporter and former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie, who reiterated some of the talking points his candidate voiced in the wake of the June 12 shooting in Orlando, Florida.

Carl Higbie (Image source: YouTube)

But CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota was pointed in her questioning of Higbie after her guest insisted that if more individuals had been armed the evening of the Pulse nightclub attack, the damage would not have been nearly as devastating.

Camerota noted that there was an armed security guard and that police arrived minutes after they received word of the shooting.

Higbie then cited a "Harvard study" that, he said, shows there is “absolutely no evidence to the fact that gun laws will prevent gun violence.”

“Hold on one second,” Camerota immediately shot back. “Tell that to Australia. Australia passed a massive gun control law in 1996 after a mass shooting. They bought back hundreds of thousands of semi-automatic weapons and haven’t had a mass shooting since.”

“And their violent crime rate has since risen,” Higbie replied.

Following the show, Mediaite dug up some little-known information on the elusive “Harvard study” Higbie invoked.

The 2007 “study” Higbie referred to certainly exists, but it wasn’t actually a study, and it wasn’t the work of Harvard researchers.

“It was a non-peer-reviewed paper written by NRA-backed gun rights activists that was published in the conservative student-edited Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, and which was refuted by an actual Harvard researcher,” Mediaite reported.

Snopes reported last October that “the purported 2007 Harvard ‘study’ with ‘astonishing’ findings was in fact a polemic paper penned by two well-known gun rights activists,” noting that “its findings were neither peer-reviewed nor subject to academic scrutiny of any sort prior to its appearance, and the publication that carried it was a self-identified ideology-based editorial outlet edited by Harvard students.”

As for Higbie’s claim that violent crime in Australia has increased since the 1996 gun control law, data released by the Australian government suggests otherwise:

-In the last six years, the rate of robbery victimisation has steadily declined from 86 per 100,000 in 2007 to 58 per 100,000 in 2012. Generally, the rate of robbery victimisation has been declining since 2001.

-The rate of sexual assault victimisation increased to 80 per 100,000 in 2012. The last increase in the rate of victimisation was seen in 2006. The rate of victimisation in 2012 is at a similar rate to what it was in 1996, when the rate was 79 per 100,000.

-The rate of homicide victimisation has never exceeded two per 100,000 in the 17 years for which data are available. Victimisation has stayed at one per 100,000 since 2007.

-In 2012, like 2011, the rate of kidnapping/abduction was three per 100,000 population; much lower than the peak of four per 100,000 in 1999.

Image source: Australian Institute of Criminology

Watch the heated back-and-forth between Camerota and Higbie, which begins at the 1:27 mark:

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