Emily Miller, chief investigative reporter for Washington D.C.'s Fox affiliate, fabricated quotations to claim Hillary Clinton recently said, “Nobody should have guns” and “There's too many guns.” In fact, Clinton expressed the opposite sentiment, referencing “the right of people to own guns.”
During a May 19 appearance on FOX 5, Miller twisted Clinton's recent remarks at the National Council for Behavioral Health conference in order to suggest that the former secretary of state has held inconsistent positions on gun regulation. Miller claimed that Clinton had “talked about hunting and fishing and all that stuff, now she is like, 'We need to pull back guns, nobody should have guns'”:
MILLER: One of the things, I wrote about this week, it's on our website, about gun control, about Hillary Clinton especially, because last week she came out and talked about how -- that we need to have stricter gun control, we shouldn't have people with guns, not everyone should have a gun. She really, really pushed far left.
And I think that shows more than anything that she is running for president, because why else now? Back in 2000 when she was running on a national level she said, “I was duck hunting as a kid, I was -- ” you know she used her southern accent, she talked about hunting and fishing and all that stuff. Now she is like, “We need to pull back guns, nobody should have guns.” And you see the sudden - that's a political move.
Miller made similar claims on May 19 on the National Rifle Association's radio show, telling listeners that Clinton said, “Nobody should have guns, there's too many guns.”
But Clinton made no such claim during a May 6 Q&A discussion that included a question about guns, according to video from the event. Clinton actually said:
We've got to rein in what has become an almost article of faith than anybody can have a gun anywhere, anytime, and I don't believe that is in the best interest of the vast majority of people. I think you can say that and still support the right of people to own guns.
Miller's companion article for FOX 5, “Hillary Clinton can't shoot straight on gun control,” is also rife with false information.
Seeking to critique Clinton's call to action on gun violence, Miller wrote that “gun crime falls every year,” citing her claim that the FBI reports “non-fatal shootings are down 70 percent” over the last 20 years. But as journalism watchdog ProPublica recently noted, “Not even the FBI tracks the total number of nonfatal gunshot wounds.”
Due to successful attempts at blocking research on gun violence by the National Rifle Association's congressional allies, it is impossible to determine exactly how many people are shot and the United States each year.
It is possible that Miller meant to cite data from the National Crime Victimization Survey, which relies on self-reports of crime. The latest data shows a large drop in the number of reported “nonfatal firearm victimizations” (a category that encompasses more than “non-fatal shootings”) over the past 20 years, with approximately half of the drop occurring between 1993 and 1997.
But the medical field is reporting more people are being shot. The Centers for Disease Control estimates nonfatal shootings caused by violent assault have increased from 37,321 in 2002 to 55,544 in 2011. Similarly, the Howard-Hopkins Surgical Outcomes Research Center found that gunshot wounds serious enough to require hospitalization grew by “nearly half” between 2001 and 2011, but that more people were surviving, possibly due to better medical care.
Furthermore, people are shot in the United States at a staggering rate compared to other high-income nations.
Real FBI data disproves Miller's notion that “gun crime falls every year.” According to the most recent FBI Uniform Crime Report, aggravated assaults with firearms -- which includes assaults where no one is shot -- increased 4.3 percent between 2011 and 2012.
Based on what she has published so far as FOX 5's chief investigative reporter, guns seem to be the primary focus of Miller's work. But as she has proven time and time again, she is not a reliable source for information on that topic.