Speaking in South Carolina last week, President Barack Obama made a number of claims on gun control that not even his cheerleaders in the press could bear to let pass without comment. The Washington Post even ran the president’s comments through their fact-checking process, ultimately giving Obama three out of four “pinnochios,” the standard by which they judge a politician’s accuracy. When even the liberal media is against you, Mr. President, your time is up.
Gun control activists, of course, are frustrated because they know outrageous claims do nothing to help the cause. We live in the age of immediate fact-checking. Websites like Snopes and Politifact have their own agendas, but they at least back up their contentions with research. When the president’s disciples decide to weigh his claims against the facts and find them wanting, they come away wondering why he would lie to the American people. What is he trying to do? What agenda is he trying to pursue? Why aren’t the facts on gun violence enough?
Before we delve into those questions, let’s take a look at some of the whoppers the president told.
Obama: “What we have to recognize is that our homicide rates are so much higher than other industrial countries. I mean, by like a mile.”
First, can we take a moment to appreciate the level of dignity Obama brings to his speech? Gosh, I know George W. Bush couldn’t speak for five minutes without being mocked mercilessly for his stumbles, but this guy is supposed to be so much more eloquent. Like, by a mile.
Diction aside, the Washington Post determined that this claim was not true. The U.S. is actually fourth among industrialized nations when it comes to their respective homicide rates. Nothing to brag about, but a lie is a lie.
Obama: “It’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable in some neighborhoods.”
Did this one really need a professional fact checker? The Washington Post could only characterize it as “very strange.” But it’s the kind of hyperbole that plays well to an audience of liberals, so he probably thought he could get away with it. Perhaps it will become one of the left’s rallying cries. The Fresh Vegetable Argument. Perfect for those occasions when you’re speaking to the converted. And hey, it accomplishes two things at once. It makes an argument for gun control and it plays into the need for mandatory school lunch regulations. Why stop at one liberal policy when you can promote two?
Obama: “Lawmakers are backing plans that would allow firearms in kindergarten and machine guns in bars.”
The Washington Post fact-checkers determined that there was currently no legislation being proposed that would meet either criteria. There are proponents of giving teachers the right to bear arms in their classrooms and there are laws in certain states that allow guns in bars, but this is a rather extreme and misleading way to put it. He makes it sound as if lawmakers want to arm 6-year-olds. He makes it sound as if machine guns aren’t banned altogether. He makes it sound, in other words, like anyone who favors looser gun regulations is a total lunatic.
Why tell these lies? Because Obama has yet to see his goals on gun control come to fruition. There’s too much information out there to refute the left’s fibs, and he’s getting increasingly frustrated. You know what happens when Obama doesn’t get what he wants the usual way – the dreaded EXECUTIVE ORDER! It’s coming…it’s just a matter of time. Until then, if there’s a gun you’ve been wanting, now might be a good time to go ahead and buy it.
After all, it’s easier than buying a fresh vegetable. What are you waiting for?