Even before police had time to get a full grasp of what had happened in Charleston, South Carolina last week, President Obama was already in front of a podium. To speak out as mourner-in-chief is his responsibility when tragedies occur, but he couldn’t resist the opportunity to bang the gun control drum. It has been one his greatest personal failures – his inability to do as much damage to the Second Amendment as he has to the White House. And his frustration was evident as he spoke.
“At some point,” he said, “we as a country will have to reckon with the fact that this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”
Obama, of course, wasn’t suggesting that we improve mental health screenings or tighten security at public gatherings. No, as usual, he believes that the tool used to carry out these murders is the real problem. America’s gun culture is to blame for society’s ills, and we can solve everything if we just quietly take those guns away from everyone.
And in fairness, he’s not wrong. We wouldn’t have these kinds of events if there were no guns. Unfortunately, nothing short of magic would accomplish the kind of gun-free America the left dreams of. You can’t put the genie back in the bottle. Criminals and those who wish to do harm will always be able to get a gun with which to carry out their evil deeds. The only ones who will be harmed by further gun control legislation will be those who wish to remain on the right side of the law.
But he doesn’t believe that. Or, at least, he doesn’t want us to believe that he believes it. That’s why he points to this statistic. This little idea that these shootings only take place in the United States. Unfortunately for him, this “fact” is so absurdly incorrect that even the liberal website PolitiFact had to call him out on it.
Citing a recent study, PolitiFact handed the president a “Mostly False” rating for his suggestion that America is the only home for mass shootings. “Over the decade and a half studied, the researchers found 23 incidents of mass shootings in the other 10 countries, resulting in 200 dead and 231 wounded. In the United States over the same period, there were 133 incidents that left 487 dead and 505 wounded.”
No, those numbers don’t mean that America is not suffering from a mass murder problem. It doesn’t mean that we can rest easy, thinking, well at least there are other countries that do this as well. It is incumbent upon us to look for answers. To look for ways that we can change the culture. To address the hate and ignorance that leads to these tragedies. We must do it here, and countries such as Norway, Finland, and Switzerland (all of which have higher incidences of mass shooting fatalities than the U.S.) must do it there.
The answers will not come in the form of gun control, unfortunately. Obama wants to use this as a moment where he can patch up the failures he suffered after Sandy Hook. And alas, he is willing to tell blatant lies to get that done.