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Saturday, December 5, 2015

WaPo Rates Obama’s Statements On Mass Shootings Abroad

The Washington Post Fact Checker turned its analysis on a series of recent statements by President Obama comparing the number of mass shootings in America with those in other countries. Obama’s initial claim—that “… this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries”—is rated “Four Pinocchios,” a complete falsehood. The president has limited the scope of subsequent statements, and this article rates his overall factuality on the subject at “Two Pinocchios.”

The Fact Checker does note that even the statements deemed true are comparing the total number of mass shootings, a method that economist John Lott says is misleading: “I don’t know what sense it makes to say, ‘I have an area of 320 million people, and I’m going to compare it to 8 million, or even 40 million people.’ I would expect, just out of randomness, to have more of whatever event to happen in a country of 320 million people.”