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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Fact Checking Politifact on Clinton's Statement Supporting Australian Gun Confiscation as Model for US

On Monday, Politifact published this dismissive "fact check" of the NRA's anti-Clinton mailer that charges “Clinton said gun confiscation is ‘worth considering.” 
In the final rating of "Mostly False" the author, Warren Fiske, said Clinton was simply talking about "voluntary buyback programs" and not confiscation: 
Clinton made that statement last year at a New Hampshire campaign stop, when she was asked a vague question about an Australian program that gave gun owners one year to sell certain firearms to the government before those weapons became illegal. She left the NRA some room.

But the NRA stretches her words to an almost unrecognizable form. Clinton focused her comments on voluntary buyback programs similar to those some U.S. communities have instituted for guns and the federal "cash-for-clunkers" program.
Fiske however misses some key facts, like, the Australian "buyback" wasn't voluntary, it was mandatory, as the NRA was quick to point out:
The Washington Examiner's Ashe Schow did the work that Fiske apparently did not have time to do:
And that "Australian example" was an example of gun confiscation. It was not a voluntary program. Historian Varad Mehta wrote about the Australian program last year for the Federalist, breaking down exactly what it entailed.

"Australia outlawed semi-automatic rifles, certain categories of shotgun, and implemented strict licensing and registration requirements," Mehta wrote. "The cornerstone of its new gun-control scheme, however, was a massive gun buyback program. The Australian government purchased 650,000 to one million guns with funds raised via a special tax."
Not withstanding the long list of sources Fiske lists that he used to reach his conclusion, it is very clear to anyone interested in knowing the facts that the NRA in no way "stretched" Clinton's words in an "unrecognizable form" and if given the chance, she would do everything she can to make it much harder for Americans to own firearms.

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