American Elephants

Fact-Checking Obama’s Spurious Claims Once Again by The Elephant's Child

151202145724-01-san-bernardino-shooting-1202-super-169When the news first broke about the dreadful shooting in San Bernardino, California, President Obama rushed for the microphones to talk about gun control. It was unclear whether there was one shooter or multiple shooters — there was just no information beyond 14 dead and 17 injured.

The one thing we do know is that we have a pattern now of mass shootings in this country that has no parallel anywhere else in the world,” he said, during an interview with CBS anchor Norah O’Donnell. Obama argued in favor of gun control laws that he says could prevent mass shootings, including a law that would ban people on the national “no-fly list” from purchasing firearms.

“Some may be aware of the fact that we have a no fly list where people can’t get on planes, but those same people who we don’t allow to fly could go into a store right now in the United States and buy a firearm and there’s nothing we can do to stop them,” he said. “That’s a law that needs to be changed.

Oh, the president already knows that these unidentified shooters ware on a no-fly list that failed? In Paris, he said at a news conference “I mean, I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.” Is that true?

The Washington Post fact checked: As a reference only to a historic self-description, yes, Obama does indeed repeat himself. He has repeatedly claimed that such crimes do not happen in other countries.

  • 2013, Oslo, Sweden: Anders Behring Breivik murdered 8 people with a van bomb, then went on a shooting spree that killed 69 children and adults at a summer camp. Obama paid a visit to the Norwegian ambassador’ residence to offer sympathy.
  • 2013, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, a man diagnosed as mentally ill killed 12 children and seriously wounded 11 others.
  • 2013, In Germany a student retaliated for being expelled by killing 13 teachers, 2 pupils and a police officer.
  • 2014, In China, where gun laws are draconian, one man stabbed 22 children while two attackers killed 29 people and wounded 143 at a train station.
  • 2015, a killer in a Serbian village shot 14 people to death, many of them his own relatives, and in Russia, a gunman opened fire with a semi-automatic rifle killing six people. In Britain where gun control is so serious not even police officer carry firearms, a lne gunman killed 12 people and wounded 11 others.
  • 2015, February, in the Czech Republic a killer went on a killing spree leaving 10 people dead.
  • November 20, 2015, mass shooters attacked a hotel in Mali, killing at least 19 people.
  • April 2, 2015, criminals murdered 142 students at the University College Campus of Garissa, in northeastern Kenya. July 5-6 shooting in Lamu: 29 murdered, June 15-17 Mpeketoni 53 murdered. 2 days later in Majembeni and Poromoko 15 were murdered. September 21, 2013 67 were murdered at the Westgate Mall. Kenya has very strict gun laws.
  • On Saturday, Boko Haram attackers murdered 4 people in Nigeria, and 4 more in Niger. Last weekend 4 Egyptian policemen were murdered in a drive-by shooting.the day before Thanksgiving two massacres that killed 15 people in less than 12 hours rocked Honduras and left the country’s top cop in tears.
  • There seem to be constant mass murders in Mexico’s Drug wars. Brazil, South Africa and Nigeria have far higher homicide rates that the U.S.

When Obama made the same claim last June, Politifact rated the claim “Mostly False.” But Obama’s relation with absolute veracity had never been very dependable.

What Would FDR Have Said When Confronted With a Rising Danger? by The Elephant's Child


Sometimes a little historical reference can help clarify events in the present. History doesn’t exactly repeat itself, but the same problems arise over and over.

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