Morgan Freeman’s “Through the Wormhole” and Gun Control

by walterm on May 27, 2017

I have watched every season of Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman, of which this is the last. As much as I admire Freeman, I sincerely disdain his politics and the manner in which he uses his celebrity to advocate for far left-wing causes under the guise of “science” to influence an unsuspecting public. In a recent episode, titled “Is Gun Crime a Virus?”, Freeman cites a gun research study in Philadelphia that correlated people who were shot with a similar person of the same age, race, and gender who was not shot to determine if carrying a gun causes a higher likelihood of being shot. As expected, a high correlation was found and victory declared. That may sound good to people who are unthinking and undiscerning, but what Freeman doesn’t do is to distinguish between legal gun owners and illegal gun owners, which makes a huge difference. A recent article in the Washington Post, no conservative bastion, cites a study done in partnership with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police which demonstrates that in 2009, 79% of gun crimes were committed with guns did not belong to the perpetrator. 18% were committed by the gun owner. So the vast majority of crimes are not committed by legal gun owners.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, in 2009, 92% of all violent crimes in the U.S. don’t even involve firearms. Only 8% of all violent crimes were committed by offenders with a firearm. Morgan concludes that gun deaths in the U.S., which actually amounted to 33,599 in 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control, are at pandemic levels yet don’t receive the attention and research they deserve. He compares this to only two deaths by the Ebola virus which received the full attention of the public health community. I think that’s a bit hyperbolic, because if you look at the statistics in 2014, a total of 2,626,418 resident deaths were registered in the U.S. and firearm deaths didn’t even crack the top 15 causes, according to the National Vital Statistics Reports, as follows:

  1. Diseases of heart (heart disease)
  2. Malignant neoplasms (cancer)
  3. Chronic lower respiratory diseases
  4. Accidents (unintentional injuries)
  5. Cerebrovascular diseases (stroke)
  6. Alzheimer’s disease
  7. Diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
  8. Influenza and pneumonia
  9. Nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis (kidney disease)
  10. Intentional self-harm (suicide)
  11. Septicemia
  12. Chronic liver disease and cirrhosis
  13. Essential hypertension and hypertensive renal disease (hypertension)
  14. Parkinson’s disease
  15. Pneumonitis due to solids and liquids

In fact, of the 33,599 firearm deaths, suicide represents 64%, with homicides representing 33% of those for a total of 11,008 total homicides in 2014. So Freeman doesn’t even get the number right on the actual number of homicides which is 1/3 of the 30,000 he cites in the program. While any number of homicides is tragic, out of a country with an estimated 310 million guns, you can hardly declare gun homicides a pandemic. So Freeman’s assertion, in my view, is a crock and a shameless canard for gun control. He and the writers of the Wormhole program do a great disservice to the people when they needlessly spread fake news to make a clearly political point. Perhaps it is the appropriate time for this program to bid goodbye.


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