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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Obama Continues to Collect Pinocchios From Washington Post Fact Checker on Gun Comments

Anyone still questioning the impact that social media has had on the information available to the public need only look at today's Washington Post Fact Check on one comment that President Obama made during his executive actions announcement yesterday:
“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.”

—President Obama, remarks on gun proposals, Jan. 5, 2016

The Fact Checker’s inbox just about exploded after the president made this comment in introducing new guidance for background checks and gun-safety proposals.  Here’s just a sampling:
While watching the speech, I had the VSSA Twitter feed open and folks like Katie Pavlich, Dana Loesch and Bob Owens also called out the President.  So, Kessler wasted no time in looking at what the President said and whether it was true.  After parsing Obama's use of the word "Internet" and what people may understand him to mean (recall Clinton's famous "depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is) the final verdict was Two Pinocchios:
We agree that Obama’s language is slippery and could be confusing to the average person who doesn’t know anything about FFLs and interstate requirements. There is nothing unique about the Internet; the laws governing private transactions and interstate sales are exactly the same. It’s the same as offering to sell a gun on a bulletin board, except the bulletin board is significantly larger. The Internet, and eletronic payment systems such as PayPal and Bitcoin, have certainly facilitated transactions that in the past would have been more difficult to arrange.

Obama erred in saying the rules are different for Internet sellers. They face the same rules as other sellers — rules that the administration now says it will enforce better.
Yesterday's speech was full of out right lies.  Even with Kessler's parsing what Obama may have actually meant by the word "Internet" it was nice to see the mainstream media point out the fact in this case.

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