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April 19, 2013

The Facts Behind Spewed Lies

Joe Charlebois

“Nearly 40% of all gun sales don’t require a background check under current law…”– President Barack Obama via Twitter March 28, 2013.


The President of the United States continues to spread the lie that only 60 percent of gun purchases are done using background checks. The statistics that he continues to use are from a 251 person study conducted decades ago and prior to a time when background checks weren’t even a requirement.


Why does the president continue to spread falsehoods? He does so because he can. He knows that no one will challenge him as the parents and children from Newtown, Connecticut stand at his side.


He knows this information is misleading. Even The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler in “The Fact Checker” column gives the president a Three-Pinocchio rating. 


The president also concedes that passage of any sweeping gun control measure would not have prevented the tragedies of the past and won’t be able to prevent future tragedies.


So, it is regrettable that some of the victims of the recent gun violence tragedies would be paraded in front of the cameras as nothing more than a stage prop to use raw emotion to win over reason when passing this legislation would do nothing to have protected their loved ones.


Wednesday after failure of the Senate to approve the Toomey-Manchin amendment the president – with the Sandy Hook families at his side – finally lashed out.


In a scathing speech to the Senate’s Toomey-Manchin skeptics, the president held nothing back. He blamed the “gun lobby” for spreading lies about the legislation, which, in itself, is untrue. He also used flimsy polling data as rationale for legislation.


Not too long ago we lived in what used to be considered a representative republic; and, even if the United States isn’t quite the representative republic it once was, it certainly isn’t a direct democracy.  Somehow the president has forgotten. He consistently implores the members of Congress to vote for legislation based on the result of a handful of dubious polls.


Why the measure failed can be found in a detailed piece of research from David B. Kopel.


Mr. Kopel, of the Independence Institute in Denver, reviewed the bi-partisan amendment proposed by Sens. Patrick Toomey (R., PA) and Joe Manchin (D., WV). In his thorough review of the Toomey-Manchin Amendment, he was able to pick apart the flaws and documented his findings in the National Review on April 17th.


Mr. Kopel cited five serious issues including: the definition of a registry is weak; a federal database registry could still be instituted by other government agencies outside the Department of Justice; only the Justice Department employees could be held responsible for the 15-year prison term for creating a registry; a registry could still be compiled by the Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agency from retired dealers; and Interstate travel with a gun not registered in the state of travel could land an otherwise law-abiding citizen in prison.


Continuing in his emotionally charged and animated speech, the president questioned the use of the word “victory” for those successful in blocking the passage of this amendment.  He claims the only victory is for criminals, who will be able to sidestep any background check. As it stands now criminals already bypass any background check through black market purchases.


Ironically this is a victory for President Obama as much as it is for proponents of the Second Amendment.


Even as the president continues to use extremely flimsy data and outright misleading statements to confuse the public, he wins as a result of the Senate’s actions. He will be able to use his failure to secure passage as a blunt instrument against his political foes during the mid-term elections next year.


As Mr. Kopel points out in his National Review article, the true winners are those who seek to protect the Second Amendment and our Constitution.


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