While slipping a push for gun control into public remarks made after the horrific #CharlestonShooting that killed 9Â members of the Emanuel AME Church, President Obama made what seemed like an unbelievable claim: âThis type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries.â
It didnât take Twitter long to dismantle that obvious untruth â two sequential terrorist attacks in Norway in 2011, for example, claimed 80 lives. Still, the presidentâs claim received a âMostly Falseâ rating from PolitiFact.
PolitiFact managed to reach that conclusion by taking into account the presidentâs disclaimer, âIt doesnât happen in other places with this kind of frequency.â For its analysis, the site relied on data provided byÂ Jaclyn Schildkraut of the State University of New York and H. Jaymi Elsass of Texas State University. A few disclaimers which bear highlighting:
Elsass warned PolitiFact of a few caveats about the data. While they believe their database âto be among the most exhaustive compilations available,â Elsass noted that it may not include every instance of mass shootings. It also doesnât include every example of mass killings â just those committed by firearms, even though mass stabbings are not uncommon in such places as China. Finally, their database doesnât include acts generally considered to be terrorism, such as the attack in Paris on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.
Thatâs right: the shooting deaths of 12 in FranceÂ by two brothers,Â self-proclaimedÂ members of Al Qaeda, donât count as a âmass shooting,â nor shouldÂ the Charleston shooting, the inspiration for Obamaâs comment in the first place.
The best part of PolitiFactâs analysis, though, has to do with aÂ tiny little country called China.
Going by the name âPolitiFactâ and all, the editors decided they had no choice but to clarify their analysis, hilariously by âagreeingâ with their readers that China indeed has more people than the United States. Maybe a topic for the next expert analysis by PolitiFact?
To change your comments display name, click here.