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CNN's Piers Morgan claims Virginia had highest murder rate -- stats say otherwise

When CNN host Piers Morgan didn’t have the data to back up his case on gun control being linked to crime, he seemed to get creative with the facts.

Morgan claimed in an Aug. 13 interview with military history expert A.W.R. Hawkins that Virginia had the highest murder rate in the country, according to 2009 FBI statistics.

Hawkins had cited Virginia as a state where gun sales increased and violent crime decreased in 2012.  

Morgan disagreed, asking Hawkins to explain his “warped twisted logic.”

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Morgan pressed Hawkins on which state had the highest murder rate in the country. When Hawkins said he didn’t know, Morgan shot back, “Allow me to help you. Allow me to help you. It’s Virginia.”

Morgan continued, “It’s Virginia, the very state you just quoted to me, actually has the highest murder rate in the country, according to 2009 statistics by the FBI.”

But a closer look shows Morgan’s statements were not true. 

According to the FBI’s 2009 Crime In The United States report, Virginia came in behind 23 others states, including Louisiana, Maryland and Tennessee, for the number of murder and non-negligent manslaughter. Virginia didn’t top the firearm murder rate category either.

Where Morgan came up with his information is not yet known. Morgan's blog mentions the interview but doesn't address the faulty facts. Calls made to CNN for comment were not immediately returned.

 

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