A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

FactChecking GOP Response to Obama Gun Plan

Republican response to President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce gun violence has been peppered with misleading claims.

Rep. Steve Stockman of Texas claimed, “Gun bans and anti-gun laws have always led to one thing — more gun violence.” But the majority of academic research on the effect of the federal assault weapons ban, as well as restrictive gun laws in several major cities, has found no such causal link.
Rep. John Fleming of Louisiana condemned what he said was Obama’s plan to “push”

Anti-NRA Group’s Shameless Editing Tricks

A Web video attacking Rep. John Barrow for taking “NRA blood money” selectively edits an old campaign ad in which Barrow touts his support for the Second Amendment and the NRA’s endorsement of him. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which produced the video, edited out all references in which Barrow explains why he supports gun rights — including his statement that his father owned a rifle “just to keep us safe.”
Barrow’s late father, James,

Gunman’s Weapons Already Illegal?

Arguing against the need for new gun laws in the wake of the Aurora shootings, Mitt Romney said many of the weapons possessed by shooter James Holmes were “illegal … already.” While it’s true that the bombs found later at Holmes’ apartment were illegal, that’s not the case for the weapons he used at the movie theater on the night of the rampage. Police confirmed that all of the weapons and ammunition used by Holmes that night were legally obtained at local sporting goods stores or over the Internet.

Sotomayor and Handguns

Q: Has Sotomayor written that states have the power to ban handguns?
A: A three-judge panel that included Sotomayor issued an unsigned decision saying that the Second Amendment does not apply to states, therefore states can regulate and ban weapons.

Gun Control in Australia

Q: Did gun control in Australia lead to more murders there last year?
A: This ‘Gun History Lesson’ is recycled bunk from a decade ago. Murders in Australia actually are down to record lows.

Gun Control

Q: Is Congress going to require a federal license to own a handgun?
A: A Chicago congressman’s bill, H.R. 45, would require that, but it has little support. The same bill died quietly in a House subcommittee last year.

Obama’s Gun Ban?

Q: Did Obama promise last year to ban all semi-automatic guns during his first year as president?
A: A widely circulated e-mail quoting Obama is baseless and almost certainly fabricated. He does support reinstatement of the expired "assault weapons ban" but isn’t calling for a wider ban on all semi-automatic weapons. He said repeatedly during the campaign, "I am not going to take your guns away."

Jon Stewart: Joe Biden “Crazy Reckless?” Oops!

 Comedian Jon Stewart had a nice riff going on “The Daily Show” Wednesday night (Sept. 24) until he scolded Joe Biden as being “crazy reckless” about his gun facts. But in this case, Biden knew what he was talking about, and Stewart didn’t. (You can view Stewart's comments on the Comedy Channel website, if you don't mind watching the commercial that precedes it.)
Stewart starts off making fun of Biden’s remark about FDR “going on television,”

Taking Liberties in Philadelphia

Summary

Clinton and Obama both strained the facts at times during their debate in Philadelphia.

Clinton said "people died" in 1970s bombings by a radical group of which an Obama acquaintance was a member. In fact, the deaths were of three members of the Weather Underground itself, who died when their own bombs accidentally exploded.
Obama said, "I have never said that I don’t wear flag pins or refuse to wear flag pins." Actually,

Liberal Group Attacks Dean on Gun Control

A new liberal group is running a TV ad in Iowa attacking Howard Dean for his record on gun control. The ad says Dean was endorsed repeatedly by the National Rifle Association for governor of Vermont — which is true. Dean’s position has shifted a bit since then, however.