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Obama and guns: Eleven false or misleading claims from the president's remarks this week




With tears in his eyes, President Obama pulled out all the stops in pushing his new executive orders on gun control this week.  A Washington Post headline exclaimed, "President Obama’s amazingly emotional speech on gun control.”  But the president also tried to appeal to people’s minds with a barrage of factual claims.

Unfortunately, the president’s remarks had a large number of errors.  Here are 11 of the false or misleading claims that the president made.

1. “But we are the only advanced country on Earth that sees this kind of mass violence erupt with this kind of frequency. It doesn’t happen in other advanced countries. It’s not even close.”

Last year, both France and the US had four mass public shootings.  France suffered more casualties (murders and injuries) from mass public shootings in 2015 than the US has suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (532 to 396).  And this occurred despite the US being five times more populous than France.

But it isn’t just the horrific year that France had last year.  Far from being well below the frequency found in US, other European countries actually have a worse problem.  From 2009 through December 2015, eleven European countries experienced mass public shootings at a greater frequency than did the US, after adjusting for population.  These countries include Switzerland, Norway, Belgium, and the Czech Republic.

President Obama’s statement is clearly false.

2. Five years ago this week, a sitting member of Congress and 18 others were shot at, at a supermarket in Tucson, Arizona. It wasn’t the first time I had to talk to the nation in response to a mass shooting, nor would it be the last. Fort Hood. Binghamton. Aurora. Oak Creek. Newtown. The Navy Yard. Santa Barbara. Charleston. San Bernardino. . . . with common-sense gun safety measures we can reduce gun violence a whole lot more. . . .  Number one, anybody in the business of selling firearms must get a license and conduct background checks, or be subject to criminal prosecutions.”

Obama claims that expanding background checks to include any private transfers of guns will reduce mass public shootings.  But he offers no evidence.  Not one mass public shooting during Obama’s administration would have prevented by these checks.

Often overlooked is that the three most recent massacres occurred in states – California, Colorado, and Oregon – which already have such laws in place.

The same is true of mass public shootings that have occurred in France, Belgium, Norway, Germany and other European countries.

Examining all the mass public shootings in the US from 2000 through 2015, shows that states that adopted additional background checks on private transfers saw a statistically significant increase in rates of killings (80% higher) and injuries (101%) from mass public shootings.

3.“I believe in the Second Amendment. It’s there written on the paper. It guarantees a right to bear arms.”

Here’s another quote: “I don’t believe people should be able to own guns.” That’s what Obama said to me when we were colleagues at the University of Chicago in 1996. Obama has also publicly supported a nationwide “ban [on] the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns” as well as a “ban the sale or transfer of all forms of semi-automatic weapons.”  Even as late as the 2008 Presidential primaries, Obama supported Washington, D.C.’s handgun ban.

4. “Contrary to the claims of what some gun rights proponents have suggested, this has not been the first step in some slippery slope to mass confiscation.”

It would be nice to take President Obama’s word for this, but Americans have seen this scenario play out before and at least realize this fear isn’t completely misplaced.  California, New York, and Chicago have all used registration lists to identify who owns guns that are no longer legal.

Since 2004, the FBI has been required to destroy NICS records of gun sales and transfers within 24 hours of receipt.  However, federally licensed dealers are required to maintain records of background checks that have been done on customers.  Congress currently forbids federal collection of this information into a central database, but there’s no guarantee that this won’t change. With records on all private transfers and sales, the government could potentially figure out who legally owns a gun.  Five years down the line, a future President Hillary Clinton could push to require that federally licensed dealers make copies of their records and turn them into the federal government.  This would be the start of a national registration list.

5. “The problem is some gun sellers have been operating under a different set of rules. A violent felon can buy the exact same weapon over the Internet with no background check, no questions asked. A recent study found that about one in 30 people looking to buy guns on one website had criminal records — one out of 30 had a criminal record. We’re talking about individuals convicted of serious crimes — aggravated assault, domestic violence, robbery, illegal gun possession. People with lengthy criminal histories buying deadly weapons all too easily.”

This “internet loophole” is fictitious. If you try to buy a firearm over the Internet from a licensed firearms dealer, you have to go through a background check, period. They’ll ship the gun to your nearest licensed dealer. There’s no loophole there.  

If you buy on the Internet from a private seller in another state, they can’t just mail the gun to your doorstep.  The Gun Control Act of 1968 strictly regulates direct mailing of firearms across state lines, the only exception being for antiques.  Within state rules never provide different regulations for private gun sales on the Internet.  There is no Internet “loophole.”

Obama’s 1-in-30 claim misstates what occurred.  Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown organization set up an internet site pretending to sell guns, but no guns were sold. Criminal background checks were done on the people’s names for those who visited the site and people who might have criminal backgrounds were identified, but there were all kinds of false positives.  I might not have a criminal record, but there are other people with similar names who do have criminal records.

6.“Congress actually voted to make it harder for public health experts to conduct research into gun violence; made it harder to collect data and facts and develop strategies to reduce gun violence.”

This claim stems from another study funded by Michael Bloomberg.  In 1996, Congress passed a budget amendment that banned the CDC from using Federal funds to lobby for gun control.  Bloomberg claimed that firearms research in medical journals fell by 60 percent between 1996 and 2010.  But what Bloomberg measured was firearms research relative to all other research.  In fact, total research on firearms increased over that time.  Firearm studies soared from 69 in 1996 to 121 in 2013. Other medical journal research simply increased even much faster.

7. "After Connecticut passed a law requiring background checks and gun safety courses, gun deaths decreased by 40 percent. Forty percent.”

There are 18 states with background checks on the private transfers of guns. The Bloomberg funded study picked the state that most serves their agenda here. But a great deal of manipulation was still required.  To get the 40% figure, 1995 to 2005 is conveniently selected as the time period.Adding one more year to the data completely undermines Obama’s claims.  Connecticut’s firearm homicide rate only fell by 16% between 1995 and 2006.  It fell by 12.5% between 1995 and 2010. Meanwhile, the US and the rest of the Northeast experienced much greater drops.  From 1995 to 2006, the firearm homicide rates for the US and the rest of the Northeast fell by 27% and 22%, respectively.  From 1995 to 2010, these drops were even more pronounced – 39% and 31%.  Therefore, when one looks at these longer time periods, one actually observes a relative increase in Connecticut’s firearm homicide rate.

8. "since Missouri repealed a law requiring comprehensive background checks and purchase permits, gun deaths have increased to almost 50 percent higher than the national average.”

This is yet another Bloomberg funded study.  Again, another it picked out one state out of many that have these laws. After the law was changed, Missouri’s murder rates did in fact rise by 17 percent relative to the rest of the US. However, murder rates were already on a sharp, upward trend, having increased by 32 percent in the five years prior to the change.  The murder rate increase thus actually slowed down after the background checks on private transfers were ended.

Also, there was no relative fall in Missouri’s murder rate after the state adopted comprehensive background checks in 1981.

9. "there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives.”

Despite Obama’s claims, the law is actually quite clear on those who have to get a federal firearms license and it poses real problems for his plans: “a person who devotes time, attention, and labor to dealing in firearms as a regular course of trade or business with the principal objective of livelihood and profit through the repetitive purchase and resale of firearms, but such term shall not include a person who makes occasional sales, exchanges, or purchases of firearms for the enhancement of a personal collection or for a hobby, or who sells all or part of his personal collection of firearms.”  Yet, Obama’s rules will cover people who sell as few as one gun.  How one reconciles that with the language of the statute is a mystery.  For many individuals, even a couple of dozen gun sales are unlikely to be an individual’s primary occupation.


10.                         -- “We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence. Some of you may recall at the same time that Sandy Hook happened, a disturbed person in China took a knife and tried to kill — with a knife — a bunch of children in China, but most of them survived because he didn’t have access to a powerful weapon.”

Guns are more effective weapons, but that also means that they are more effective tools for self-defense.  In any case, it is fortunately as President Obama says that “most of [the victims] survived” in the attack that he chose to mention, but, over the years, there have been lots of very deadly knife attacks in China.

11.“Just as with more research, we’ve reduced traffic fatalities enormously over the last 30 years. . . . Today, many gun injuries and deaths are the result of legal guns that were stolen or misused or discharged accidentally. . . . We need to develop new technologies that make guns safer. . . . we’re going to work with the private sector to update firearms technology. . . . a product that now kills almost as many Americans as car accidents. . . .”

The claim that government safety regulations has made cars safer – either in reducing accidents or suicides -- and could similarly be used to make guns safer is wrong.   Between 2000 and 2013, without any of the regulations that Obama claims are necessary, the drop in accidental firearm deaths fell almost twice as much as the drop in accidental motor vehicle deaths.  While firearm suicides rose by 28 percent over that period, suicides using motor vehicles rose by 47 percent.

The real problem with Mr. Obama’s policies is that they will actually cost lives.  Possibly President Obama has seen too many James Bond movies, but requiring the technology that limit who can use a gun is extremely expensive and is hardly fool proof.

The one gun on the market right now works with a watch like wrist ban that sends out a short-range radio signal that needs to be near the gun for it to fire costs $1,800.  Police won’t use the guns because radio-jamming devices can effectively disarm the police.  The high cost will prevent poor people from having the option to defend themselves.


Source: http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2016/01/07/obama-and-guns-eleven-false-or-misleading-claims-from-presidents-remarks-this-week.html


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Naples Gun School - 5 stars  I've been a repeat customer for FFL transfers with Naples Gun School for quite some time. Dave's customer service and knowledge are second to none. After speaking with Dave for a few moments, you start to feel as if you have known him for quite a while. I look forward to continuing my business when the new location opens. - Robert Boyette

I really enjoyed the class yesterday, and it was very nice to meet David and Ginny. David is very knowledgeable, helpful, and best of all: has a sense of humor. I was more nervous than I thought I would be because this was the first time in my life that I've ever shot a semi-automatic weapon. David lives and breathes this stuff and his presence and ease with weapons was very calming for me when I was at the range. Ginny was also very supportive throughout the whole class. Thank you guys so much! It's a pleasure and I will be back to purchase supplies from you! - Shenandoah Webb

Naples Gun School - 5 starsTook the 3/31/18 class and loved it! Dave was very informative and his laid back teaching style made the 4 hour class fly by. Would recommend this class to anyone interested in a CWP. Thanks Dave and Ginny! - Kelly Gardner

Naples Gun School - 5 stars I’d like to thank The Naples Gun School for the time and effort they took in order to help me become a more responsible hand gun owner. By taking your CCWP class on 3.31.2018, I’m honestly a better person today than I was yesterday. Your course is not only interesting, but informative as well. The time we had together flew by. Throughout the whole process, they were calm and patient with every student. Especially after everyone seemed to drop their cartridges on the floor during the revolver training portion of the program. I highly recommend Naples Gun School to anyone that’s interested in becoming a CCWP holder. And I definitely will use their services by purchasing all my gun needs through their establishment. David & Ginny, thank you so much. I had a wonderful time!Chris Shaffer


Naples Gun School - 5 stars This class kept me very interested, informed and didn’t even realize 4 hours went by! Would recommend everyone to take this class! - Douglas Shaffer


Naples Gun School - 5 stars - Lurybella Lora Trejo


Naples Gun School - 5 stars Used Naples Gun School for a FFL transfer and after talking with David decided to take his CCW class and am glad I did. David is very knowledgeable and his class is small so you receive one on one training in the classroom and the range. I Highly recommend Naples Gun School. You won’t find a better class in Naples. Thank you David for a great experience. - Michael Ferrarelli


Naples Gun School - 5 stars Thorough, energetic, knowledgeable, PATIENT, and even entertaining at times! As an Educator, I know it can be daunting sometimes to teach the same material over and over, but David certainly didn't show it. You can tell how passionate he is about what he does.
I researched multiple options around town in choosing the provider for my CCW class. David & Ginny as a husband & wife team, provided the BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE in answering all of my questions thoroughly and promptly before even signing up. And somehow, Naples Gun School was also able to provide the LOWEST COST in town!
As a female and brand new to guns, David & Ginny made me feel safe, secure, and comfortable. THANK YOU! A+++ -
Jessica Payne


I took the class on 3/10/18 and I was blown away. David and his wife are excellent people and David is an excellent instructor. The class is excellent and exceeded my expectations with information on the laws of Florida, and as well to carry properly, load the weapons as well as placement of holding weapons. If your looking to buy a weapon he is the man to go to. I personally bought my firearm from and he equipped me with great knowledge during my time there. I give this class 100 out of 100 and highly recommended. David is a great guy and instructor with many years of experience!! - Cory Duffy


Naples Gun School - 5 stars - Larry Papola


Naples Gun School - 5 stars Awesome class. Great preparation for firearm handling and concealed carry details. - Jeffrey Alty


Naples Gun School - 5 stars Very informative. Was made to feel very comfortable. Had some prior gun knowledge, left with a lot more. I highly recommend anyone thinking about getting their permit go there. - Sara Bunker


Naples Gun School - 5 stars I attended the conceal carry and gun safety training class on Feb 17th, 2018. David was very knowlegable and provided a lot of information that I think should be part of any gun safety or conceal carry training. He was very professional and took the time after the class and before we met at the gun range to answer several questions I had as well as show me a few different gun options they sell. I highly recommend David and Naples gun shop & school for anyone wanting to seriously learn what they need to before purchasing or using a firearm. Thank you, David! - Amanda Daves


Thanks again! Not only was is very informative, but fun as well. So glad we came to y'all for the class. - Sara Bunker


I had a great experience and your class was very informative. Thank you - Robby Bunker


Naples Gun School - 5 stars Great experience, willing to give one on one instruction and very patient for beginners! - Tiffany Baker


Had a great experience at the CCW class. Dave explained the information throughly and made it very easy to understand. I would definitely recommend the class to anyone interested.. -Scott Sioma


Naples Gun School - 5 starsGreat class!!! David really takes his time to show you how to feel Comfortable with the fire arm. - Alonzo Gonzalez


Enjoyed the class very much! It was well taught and all the information was presented professionally and was easy to understand. I was nervous at first but our instructor put our minds at ease. Would definitely recommend! - Tony Aceto


Naples Gun School - 5 starsEnjoyed the class, everything well explained. The David(instructor )explain in a way everybody understand and in a dynamic way. I will recommend it without a doubt. Thanks guys! - Joel Davila


I had an amazing experience in the CCW class that David teaches! This class was so informative and interesting. The way David presented everything made it extremely fun and easy to retain. The size of the class was 12 people, so we all got one on one training and I feel it was the perfect size of class. I learned so many important things that I never would have even thought about without this class. Ginny was also so wonderful, and so supportive when I was nervous. I had so many questions that were answered, and the amount of knowledge Ginny and Davis shared with the class was astounding. I feel very confident now about gun safety and self defense and I would highly recommend this class!! David and Ginny know their stuff!! -Senae Hughes

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