The Associated Press reported this morning that during last night’s Democratic presidential debate, Hillary Rodham Clinton made a claim about gun-related homicides “that appears to be unsupported on all counts.”
Bernie Sanders also chided Martin O’Malley a bit when he suggested that the former Maryland governor’s strict gun control measures — passed in reaction to the 2012 Sandy Hook tragedy — hadn’t worked to reduce violent crime. Baltimore’s homicide count topped 300 yesterday, the first time that’s happened since 1999, the Baltimore Sun noted.
Clinton, as quoted by the AP and confirmed by the Daily Mail, claimed during her remarks last night that “nearly 3,000 people have been killed by guns. Two hundred children have been killed.” She also asserted that during the same period there had been “21 mass shootings.” But according to the news agency, that doesn’t square with the facts. And then the AP lowered the boom.
Citing figures from the Gun Violence Archive, the AP said there have been 11,485 gun-related deaths in the U.S. this year, “an average of just under 1,000 per month, making Clinton’s figure appear to be highly exaggerated.” The story also said the data indicated that for children and teenagers, “70 from those age groups (have been) killed (with) firearms,” while Clinton claimed 200 had died.
Of course, more than 11,000 slayings — many of those in Democrat-controlled enclaves including Baltimore, Chicago, and Washington, D.C. — is tragic. But measures to reduce those figures have targeted honest citizens, not the criminals, and inflating crime data accomplishes nothing, Second Amendment advocates argue.
Neither does it accomplish anything when candidates claim, as O’Malley seemed to do, that tougher gun laws result in lower violent crime. O’Malley asserted that the gun control legislation passed in Maryland back in 2013 has made for a safer environment in that state. He and Sanders mixed it up pretty good for a few moments, as detailed by the Daily Mail’s account.
It was during that exchange that Sanders told O’Malley, “With all due respect, I think it’s fair to say Baltimore is not now one of the safest cities in America.”
If Clinton can be so wrong with figures on firearms-related crime, and O’Malley was mistaken about Maryland’s gun control measures, what else have they been wrong about? Maybe everything?
Got an opinion about this column? Share your views in the “Comments” section below.