Public Radio Analyst: Permitless Carry Part of Loving Guns More Than Kids

The Associated Press
The Associated Press

Michigan Radio analyst Jack Lessenberry suggested permitless carry is part of loving guns more than kids.

During commentary on July 17, Lessenberry said, “If you live in Michigan, the odds are now greater that you’ll be killed by a gun than that you’ll die in a car accident. Notice I didn’t say murdered; we’ll have hundreds of those, but there will be even more suicides.” He provides no links to substantiate his comparison of gun deaths and car deaths nor of murders and suicides. Rather, he quickly moves to the next talking point–child deaths–saying, “And every year, some children will find their parents’ loaded weapons and manage to kill themselves.”

He later adds, “Many of us seem to love our guns more than our children.”

He attempts to bolster his claims regarding child deaths by pointing to an AP/USA Today study on gun deaths for people ages one to 17. He does not mention that ages 15-17 are prime for gang activity and are also one of ages wherein AP/USA Today noted a spike in shootings.

Lessenberry references the Sandy Hook Elementary attack–which was carried out by a 20-year-old who stole his guns, not a child who found them–and expresses disbelief that Congress would not expand background checks after such an attack. Ironically, the Sandy Hook gunman stole his guns from someone who did pass a background check for them.  So what is Lessenberry’s point?

He then writes:

I understand that we all need our guns so we can be ready when the secret black helicopters come to impose tyranny on us. But now that we are armed to the teeth, do we really need to be even less safe in our everyday lives. The Michigan House of Representatives thinks so. They’ve passed a bill to allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon without a permit or any training whatsoever.

Note all the leftist catchwords and catchphrases–“black helicopters,” “tyranny,” “armed to the teeth,” “without…training whatsoever.”

In similar fashion, Lessenberry began his comments by saying, “No other so-called advanced, or civilized, or industrial nation has anything like the deaths from firearms we do.”  The use of phrases like “so-called advanced” and words like “civilized” are among the left’s favorite dog whistles, used to demonstrate that the author shares the esoteric understanding of leftist-group think; an understanding that sees the U.S. as shamefully leading the world in gun deaths and gun violence. Yet anyone who looks at the facts quickly sees the errors behind the claims.

On April 28, 2013, Breitbart News reported a study published by Harvard in which researchers showed the U.S. lagged far behind many European nations in firearm-related homicides and firearm-related suicides. Looking at Russia in particular, researchers noted:

In the 1960s and early 1970s, the gun‐less Soviet Union’s murder rates paralleled or generally exceeded those of gun‐ridden America. While American rates stabilized and then steeply declined, however, Russian murder increased so drastically that by the early 1990s the Russian rate was three times higher than that of the United States. Between 1998‐2004 (the latest figure available for Russia), Russian murder rates were nearly four times higher than American rates.

It is interesting to note that the American murder rate’s steep decline correlated with a surge in private gun ownership, wherein the 192 million firearms owned in 1994 grew to 310 million guns by 2009. The sharp drop in murder during such an increase in ownership completely undercuts much of what Lessenberry wrote.

AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and host of Bullets with AWR Hawkins, a Breitbart News podcast. He is also the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.