Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) likes guns.
The South Carolina senator is proud of his state’s “stand your ground” law that allows people who feel threatened to shoot and kill anyone who inspires fear in their hearts, all without serious legal consequences.
Graham expressed his admiration for his home state’s “castle doctrine” while pontificating in an interview on his home way from home, Fox News, about the rising level of street crime in urban centers like San Francisco.
Unlike California, South Carolina at least partially relies on its armed citizens to provide deterence of criminal behavior that most other states rely solely on their police forces to deliver, and Senator Graham touted its gun culture as a superior solution to the problems of urban lawlessness.
“I’ll tell you this, if you do this crap in South Carolina, you’ll be lucky if you go to jail. You’ll be lucky if somebody doesn’t shoot you,” Graham declared.
“So I say that because we’ve lost deterrence. These big Democratic cities and states have lost deterrence,” Graham insisted. “People feel no longer feel afraid to assault somebody in the streets.”
Lindsey Graham on street crime in San Francisco: "If you do this crap in South Carolina, you'll be lucky if you go to jail. You'll be lucky if someone doesn't shoot you … we've lost deterrence." pic.twitter.com/iPgW0YWBmo
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) July 27, 2021
While Graham may truly believe his analysis of the roots of the rising level of criminal violence and the value of vigilantism, fomer Republican National Committee Chairman Michale Steele heard the South Carolina senator’s boasts about his home state and realized that something didn’t add up.
Graham’s analysis of the effectiveness of South Carolina’s “stand your ground” laws didn’t actually match the recent crime statistics in the state, and Steele provided the evidence in a tweeted response to the senator’s televised proclamation.
Umm Senator perhaps you should speak with your State Law Enforcement Division before jawboning about South Carolina shooting people as a deterrence to violent crime: The murder rate went up around 25% in 2020; aggravated assault went up around 9% in 2020. https://t.co/n8pxi2VsSo https://t.co/y1DMG0zHB8
— Michael Steele (@MichaelSteele) July 27, 2021
Well, so much for that bit of amateur criminology from Senator Graham.
Perhaps Graham should leave his distorted sociological anaylsis for private conversation, rather than embarrassing himself on national television with theories that simply aren’t supported by the facts.
Still, tough talk sells with the constituency that Senator Graham is pursuing, so don’t expect the insurrection-inciting politician to change his stripes anytime soon.
Original reporting by Bob Brigham at RawStory.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.