CNN host Piers Morgan apologized to Breitbart News’ AWR Hawkins on Thursday via Twitter and admitted he was wrong when he claimed Virginia had the highest murder rate in 2009 on Piers Morgan Tonight.
My apologies to @AWRHawkins – I wrongly stated on Tuesday’s show that Virginia had the highest murder rate in America in 2009. It didn’t.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) August 15, 2013
Hawkins appeared on Morgan’s program on Tuesday to debate gun control. Hawkins dissected Morgan’s assertions about how guns increase crime by noting that there were fewer crimes per 100,000 people in America than in England and Wales.
“The difference is here, women can shoot back,” Hawkins said. “You chase them into an attic, they are going to shoot at you to protect their own lives and the lives of their children.”
Hawkins also pointed out that an increase in guns in Virginia coincided with a decrease in the state’s crime and murder rates. Earlier in the segment, Morgan cited “2009 statistics by the FBI” to assert that Virginia had the “highest murder rate in the country.”
Morgan’s statement was proven to be false, as the report Morgan cited actually placed “Virginia behind 23 other states plus Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico in the murder and nonnegligent manslaughter rate per 100,000 inhabitants,” as Newsbusters noted.
On his show on Thursday, Morgan merely claimed he had stated “an inaccurate fact”:
[T]he other night I was involved in a debate on Tuesday in which I said that Virginia had the highest murder rate, according to the FBI in 2009, and it didn’t. And that was an inaccurate fact and I’m happy to correct it now on air.