CLAIM: During a Friday appearance on MSNBC, Al Sharpton bemoaned the inability to secure more gun control and claimed there would be no mass killings without “mass instruments.”
Breitbart News reported Sharpton suggested gun control can be pursued under the banner of “civil rights.”
He went on to say that whether gun control is pursued as a civil right or “just on guns, people cannot do mass killings unless they have mass instruments.”
Sharpton focused on AR-15s and suggested he is shocked by people who say, “No, we’re not giving up our AR-15s.”
He did not mention the work done via a partnership between Northeastern University, the Associated Press, and USA Today, which traces “mass killings” back to 2006 and shows “semiautomatic handguns are far more common in mass killings than guns that are typically characterized as assault weapons, such as the AR-15.”
Graphs used by Northeastern/AP/USA Today show handguns are used in “mass killings” almost twice as much as “long guns,” the latter being a category which includes shotguns, rifles of every kind, etc.
During the MSNBC segment, Sharpton pointed to the August 26, 2023, Jacksonville, Florida, shooting in which a man with an AR-15 killed three people at a Dollar General store. He did not mention the April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech shooting, in which an attacker with two handguns killed 32 people.
Sharpton also omitted the November 21, 2021, incident in which Darrell Brooks Jr. drove over people during a Milwaukee parade, killing six.
He left out the July 14, 2016, attack in Nice, France, in which a terrorist used a truck to kill 86 people and failed to mention the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which airplanes were weaponized to kill nearly 3,000 people.
Sharpton’s claim is false.
AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio and a Turning Point USA Ambassador. He was a Visiting Fellow at the Russell Kirk Center for Cultural Renewal in 2010, a speaker at the 2023 Western Conservative Summit, and he holds a Ph.D. in Military History, with a focus on the Vietnam War (brown water navy), U.S. Navy since Inception, the Civil War, and Early Modern Europe. Follow him on Instagram: @awr_hawkins. You can sign up to get Down Range at breitbart.com/downrange. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.