Reporter Emily Miller has claimed during recent appearances on Fox News that the United States has not been subject to terrorist shootings like the one at the office of French satire newspaper Charlie Hebdo because private gun ownership in the United States dissuades terrorists from launching attacks.
Miller, the chief investigative reporter for Washington, D.C.'s Fox affiliate WTTG, also pushed false information about gun violence, including the claim that “gun-free zones” attract mass killers and that civilians with concealed weapons have stopped mass shootings.
During the January 11 edition of Fox & Friends Sunday, Miller (the former senior opinion editor of the conservative Washington Times who also contributes columns to FoxNews.com) claimed the reason “terrorists don't come here is because of civilian's ownership” of firearms. Miller continued with the confounding argument that terrorists use bombs but not guns in the United States because of civilian gun ownership:
MILLER: They come here and they bomb us, unfortunately, which is horrible, but they're not coming here with guns because Americans can shoot back.
During a January 12 appearance on Fox & Friends, Miller added, “The Second Amendment is what keeps us safer from terrorist attacks because foreigners know we have guns.” (Al Qaeda has actually encouraged its followers to exploit loose gun laws in the United States to get weapons without a background check.)
Miller offered a number of untrue claims about gun violence built upon her false premise that there is no civilian gun ownership in France during her Fox appearances.
Miller Denies The Well Established Link Between Gun Ownership And Gun Death
On January 11, Miller said, “It's factually incorrect to say civilian ownership of guns is going to lead to more deaths, in fact it probably would have stopped that crime or at least slowed down the number of journalists that were slaughtered in Paris.”
According to research from the Harvard Injury Control Research Center, “Case-control studies, ecological time-series and cross-sectional studies indicate that in homes, cities, states and regions in the U.S., where there are more guns, both men and women are at higher risk for homicide, particularly firearm homicide.” Recent research conducted at Stanford University found an association between permissive laws allowing the carrying of concealed guns in public and violent crime.
Miller Falsely Claims Multiple Mass Shootings In The United States Have Been Stopped By Civilians With Concealed Carry Permits
Miller also suggested that in addition to stopping everyday crime there have been “multiple” instances where civilians with concealed guns have stopped public mass shootings in the United States. In fact, according to a 2012 investigation by Mother Jones, no public mass shootings have been stopped by civilian concealed carry holders, although pro-gun activists have often distorted the facts of several cases to try to create the opposite impression.
Miller Baselessly Claims The Terrorists Picked The Charlie Hebdo Offices Because It Was A “Gun-Free Zone”
During her January 12 appearance, Miller theorized that the terrorists responsible for the Charlie Hebdo attack choose France because the country is “basically a gun-free zone” and that such areas “lure evil, crazy people like terrorists.”
This claim is baseless, as all evidence points to the terrorists targeting the Charlie Hebdo offices because of the terrorists' extremist ideology, not because of the rules about where guns can be carried. It is also unclear whether there was a gun in the newspaper offices, as one of the victims was being guarded by “an officer from the Interior Ministry's special unit for threatened personalities.” In any case, there is no evidence to support the claim “gun-free zones” attract mass shooters. An investigation by Mother Jones magazine of 62 mass shootings in the United States found “not a single case includes evidence that the killer chose to target a place because it banned guns.”
While pushing falsehoods about “gun-free zones,” Miller argued that a policeman killed in the Charlie Hebdo attack, whose death was captured by a horrific bystander video, could have been saved by someone like her who owns a gun:
MILLER: A terrorist knows that if he goes in places that are not gun-free zones people can shoot back. Like the guy, the camera phone, at this horrible crime when this policeman in Paris was shot in the head begging for mercy, the person who was taking that video, if they had been a concealed carry holder or like me, a gun owner, they could have the shot man, maybe put him on defense. But instead they just watched and took a video.
Miller is a frequent source of misinformation on the topic of gun violence. In May 2014, Miller falsely claimed that at an event Hillary Clinton said, “Nobody should have guns,” and, “There's too many guns.” During her remarks Clinton had actually said of support for gun regulation, “I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.”