During a speech at the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas last week, former President Bill Clinton made a statement regarding gun control that has many scratching their heads in disbelief.
“I grew up in this hunting culture, but this is nuts,” Clinton said. “Why does anybody need a 30 round clip for a gun? Why does anybody need one of those things that carries 100 bullets?”
He continued, “Half of all mass killings in the United States have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005, half of all of them in the history of the country.”
Fact checker Glenn Kessler of the Washington Post decided to do the research to see if the statement was factual.
He found that different definitions of a “mass public shooting,” could result in different answers and that there is little historical data about mass murder in the United States, especially all the way back to the nation’s founding.
Kessler concluded that while 2012 was a horrific year, it is too early to tell if it “signals an ominous trend.” He presented his data to a Clinton spokesperson, who declined comment or offer to tell where Clinton got his facts.
“In the highly charged debate over guns, it is important for politicians on both sides to get their facts straight. In this case, the available data show that Clinton was way off base in his assertion, making an exaggerated claim — which his office would not even defend,” Kessler writes. See Kessler’s entire report here.