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Fact Checking Fact Check

Seems FactCheck is feeling the hope and change. Or rather, they’re not fans of NRA’s ads that highlight Barack Obama’s record on guns. You would think that, since fact check is part of the name, that they would actually, you know, like check facts and stuff. But you’d be wrong. Tom (who still thinks I’m on a two year vacation) alerted me to it but I was out of pocket last night. For starters:

A National Rifle Association advertising campaign distorts Obama’s position on gun control beyond recognition.

Based on his past actions, his position is not beyond recognition. Fact Check seems to think his policy papers trump his past actions.

The NRA is circulating printed material and running TV ads making unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.

Actually, the claims seem to be pretty well substantiated. However, NRA did spin a few of the claims.

Continuing with some bullet points, they state NRA’s claim that Obama would Ban use of Firearms for Home Self-Defense. FactCheck gets it wrong. Obama opposed a bill that would have made it an affirmative defense to registration requirements if an arm was used in self-defense. That is to say that if you use your gun in lawful self-defense, you generally will not be found guilty of technical violations. Sounds to me like opposition to it is pretty much opposing lawful self-defense but it is not banning firearms use for self defense.

Next supposed fact check: Ban Rifle Ammunition Commonly Used for Hunting and Sport Shooting. Fact check calls it false. Fact Check is wrong. Armor piercing handgun ammo is already banned. Any popular hunting cartridge can penetrate body armor. Fact Check says it’s false because the bill targeted ammo designed or marketed as having armor piercing capability and Kennedy says it wasn’t meant for hunting ammo. Technically, all powerful rifle rounds by design have armor piercing capability, depending on the level of armor.

Next supposed fact check: Ban the Manufacture, Sale and Possession of Handguns. Well, let’s see. I wonder where anyone could have gotten the idea he wanted to ban possession and manufacture of handguns? Oh yeah, from FactCheck. Twice, even. I knew I’d seen it before.

Next supposed fact check: Mandate a Government-Issued License to Purchase a Firearm. Even Fact Check says ok, ya got me on this one. But calls it misleading.

Next: Pass Federal Laws Eliminating Your Right-to-Carry. Ok, we got him on that one too.

Next: Expand the Clinton Semi-Auto Weapons Ban to Include Millions More Firearms. Fact Check calls it partly true. And by partly, they mean absolutely.

Next: Appoint Judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary Who Share His Views on the Second Amendment. Fact check calls it unsupported. I suppose they leave open room that he may possibly nominate some textualists or originalists to the courts?

Next: Increase Federal Taxes on Guns and Ammunition by 500 Percent. Fact Check calls it uncertain then points out that it probably happened. That doesn’t sound very fact-checky.

Next: Close Down 90 Percent of Gun Shops in America. They call it uncertain. Which, at fact check, seems to mean true. After all, he did write a bill that made operating a gun shop within five miles of a school illegal. Trouble is, there seems to be a school every five miles or so in most places.

Pro-Gun Progressive has also responded to fact checks lack of checking facts.

Now, a couple things. NRA was spinning a lot of this stuff as things Obama will do instead of things that he has done. But along came Fact Check and spun it back the other way. That’s not very fact-checky.

It’s like FactCheck is in the tank for Obama, or something.

Looks like fact check may have scored 2 on technicalities but not by much. And definitely by being misleading.

Update: Countertop provides more on the ammo ban noting that Kennedy specifically wants to ban 30-30, one of the most popular hunting rounds in the US:

Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers? armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.

A popular caliber in lever guns. So much for that one.

Update: Pattycakes fact checks FactCheck:

Once again, if you give primacy to what his recent campaign statements have been, then, by golly, he supports the Second Amendment! But if you look at his record ? his past statements ? then the NRA is right to be concerned.

Update: Still more from Sebastian:

I would encourage folks to contact FactCheck and tell them of some of their oversights here. Be factual. It very well may be, and probably is, that they don?t understand the gun issue that well, and NRA?s publications are meant more to rally gun owners than they are to educate the masses. That?s often going to be our job.

16 Responses to “Fact Checking Fact Check”

  1. countertop Says:

    On the hunting ammo thing – Kennedy very clearly stated he wanted to ban all 30 caliber rifle ammo – that 30 caliber rifle ammo was designed to pierce body armor. Give me a minute and I’ll pull the quote

  2. countertop Says:

    Here ya go

    I direct my colleagues’ attention to the Web site of Hi-Vel, Incorporated, a self-described exotic products distributor and manufacturer in Delta, UT. You can access its online catalog on the Internet right now. Hi-Vel’s catalog lists an entry for armor-piercing ammunition. On that page you will find a listing for armor-piercing bullets that can penetrate metal objects. The bullets are available in packages of 10 for $9.95 each. Hi-Vel carries armor-piercing bullets for both the .223 caliber rifles such as the Bushmaster sniper rifle used in the Washington area attacks in October 2002, and the 7.62 caliber assault weapons. Over the past 10 years, these two caliber weapons were responsible for the deaths of 14 of the 20 law enforcement officers killed by ammunition that penetrated body armor.

    In a recent report, the ATF identified three, .223 and the 7.62 caliber rifles, as the ones most frequently encountered by police officers. These high-capacity rifles, the ATF wrote, pose an enhanced threat to law enforcement, in part because of their ability to expel particles at velocities that are capable of penetrating the type of soft body armor typically worn by law enforcement officers.

    Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers’ armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating.

    It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America. Armor-piercing ammunition for rifles and assault weapons is virtually unregulated in the United States. A Federal license is not required to sell such ammunition unless firearms are sold as well. Anyone over the age of 18 may purchase this ammunition without a background check. There is no Federal minimum age of possession. Purchases may be made over the counter, by mail order, by fax, by Internet, and there is

    Folks, we can debate about .223 and 7.62×39 (well, we can’t – but in the court of public opinion we can) but THERE IS NO DEBATE ABOUT THE VENERABLE Thurty Thurty.

    Kennedy’s amendment DIRECTLY targeted hunting Ammo. AND Barack “You Can Call Me What You Want, Just Don’t Call me Gun Ban Hussein” Obama supported it.

  3. countertop Says:

    In case that link doesn’t work. The debate took place on Februyary 26, 2004. It is located on page S 1634 of the Congressional Record.

    Someone – the NRA perhaps – ought to run the video of Kennedy speaking about the need to ban the 30-30, run Obama’s statement that he doesn’t want to ban hunting rifles – and then run his quote (and take down Factcheck.com for the fraud it is).

  4. gattsuru Says:

    Link is here (pdf warning), countertop. It’s about half-way down the third column.

    Kennedy

    Another rifle caliber, the 30.30 caliber, was responsible for penetrating three officers? armor and killing them in 1993, 1996, and 2002. This ammunition is also capable of puncturing light-armored vehicles, ballistic or armored glass, armored limousines, even a 600-pound safe with 600 pounds of safe armor plating. It is outrageous and unconscionable that such ammunition continues to be sold in the United States of America.

    He also singles out .223 and 7.62 ammo, although not quite so bombastically. I was hoping tgirsch would say I was taking the text of the law out of reasonable reading before I needed to bring that quote up.

  5. Gregory Morris Says:

    I wonder why http://www.politifact.com hasn’t spent more time on the topic? At least they are a _little_ more honest than factcheck…

  6. ka Says:

    Funny thing is, even if FactCheck is 100% right in characterizing Obama’s positions, no self-respecting gun owner should even consider voting for him.

  7. Manish Says:

    Funny thing is, even if FactCheck is 100% right in characterizing Obama?s positions, no self-respecting gun owner should even consider voting for him.

    unless of course said gun owner cared about other rights. From a states right to allow dispensation of medical marijuana, abortion, the 4th Amendment, etc.

  8. Heckler Says:

    I’ve found Fact Check to be a little iffy, particularly in regard to some chick named Sarah Palin.

  9. Weisenheimer Brainstorm Says:

    FactCheck is an arm of Annenberg. The same Annenberg that Gave Obama his job in 1995 with the Chicago Annenberg Challenge with admitted terrorist Bill Ayers. Maybe FactCheck is playing it neutral, but I wouldn’t bet on it.

  10. ka Says:

    “unless of course said gun owner cared about other rights. From a states right to allow dispensation of medical marijuana, abortion, the 4th Amendment, etc.”

    You are right. I looked at it from a single-issue stand point. To me if candidate doesn’t have real support for the plainly stated 2nd amendment then I have a hard time believing he will support other parts of the Constitution he may or may not like. And really no reason to believe a word he says on things that aren’t in the Constitution at all, such as medical marijuana or abortion.

    But agreed, just because you own guns doesn’t mean you vote only that issue.

  11. DJK Says:

    When will that buffoon finally stroke out?

  12. Manish Says:

    Ka…I hardly think that respect for the 2nd amendment is a panacea for respecting other liberties. Palin herself seems to respect RKBA, but seems to think that banning books, denying 4th amendment rights to terrorists is ok.

  13. gattsuru Says:

    Manish, last I checked, she never banned a book. The town she was a mayor of never banned a book. So it’s a bit difficult to she’d be ‘okay’ or ‘not okay’ with the matter.

  14. Manish Says:

    gattsuru..last I checked she inquired about banning books and tried to fire the town librarian when she gave her the wrong answer. Don’t you think that maybe just maybe if the librarian had given a different answer that quite possibly Palin wouldn’t have tried to fire her.

  15. Xrlq Says:

    Manish, who gives a crap about that librarian? You accused Palin of banning books, which she neither did nor attempted to do. I’ll grant that Palin is OK with “denying 4th amendment rights to terrorists,” though (your words, not mine) as is everyone else who isn’t completely insane.

  16. milquetoast Says:

    he did write a bill that made operating a gun shop within five miles…

    he proposed a federal ban within 5 miles of schools and parks but I’m prety sure he didn’t write a bill. As a Illinois State Senator in 1999 he wouldn’t be writing a federal law.