As a congressional investigation into gun manufacturers continues, Smith & Wesson CEO Mark Smith released a fiery statement criticizing politicians and the media for instigating violent crime with their rhetoric.

According to The Washington Post:

In the statement posted Monday on Twitter, he accused “a number of politicians and their lobbying partners in the media” of trying to “disparage” his company and shift blame to gunmakers. Smith, who refused to testify before the House Oversight Committee, said politicians had “vilified, undermined and defunded law enforcement” and “generally promoted a culture of lawlessness,” causing a wave of crime.

“They are the ones to blame for the surge in violence and lawlessness,” Smith wrote.

Homicide rates dropped slightly in the first half of this year compared with 2021, yet they remain nearly 40 percent higher than where they stood before the pandemic, according to a report the Council on Criminal Justice released last month. The think tank also found a sharp decline in the percentage of reported robberies and property crimes.

Gun deaths, however, have spiked. In 2020 and 2021, there were 45,000 such fatalities — the highest number recorded since 1995, The Washington Post reported last month. The increase came as gun purchases also hit record levels.

Mass shootings in which four or more people are killed represent a small fraction of gun violence. They account for fewer than 1 percent of people killed by firearms, The Post reported. Yet such incidents are increasing, and they capture widespread attention because they take a toll on Americans’ psyches, creating fear of being in public places.

Read more at The Washington Post.

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