Anti-gun politicians and celebrities are famous for a lot more than being on the big screen or schmoozing into a microphone. They are also legendary for pulling random statistics out of their fannies, reciting them like lines from a script or a speech, caring more for public accolades than for being honest.
The most recent case in point is big-time fact-fibber Michael Bloomberg, who told the LA Times that “There have been more people killed with illegal handguns than soldiers that have died since the Revolutionary War through today in defense of our country.”
Does he seriously believe that?
Former U.S. Senator Tom Daschle’s liberal Center for American Progress Action Fund (CAP) made the same outrageous statement in 2015 but Breitbart news called them on it, stating “…CAP’s claim that the number of ‘gun-related deaths in the United States from 1989 to 2014 [was] 836,290.’ They juxtaposed this with their claim that the “total U.S. military killed in war from 1776 to 2015 [was] 656,397.”
The problem with the Bloomberg/CAP claim is that over 600,000 Americans were killed in the Civil War alone [emphasis ours].
Breitbart further set the record straight, pulling in casualty data (deaths) from World War I (115,000), World War II (418,000) Korea (35,000), and Vietnam (58,000), which brings the total to lives lost defending freedom to 1,226,000. What’s more, this vast and sorrowful number doesn’t even include deaths from the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, the Spanish American War, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, and Iraq.
This profound exaggeration is right on par with California Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom’s claim that it’s easier to buy a gun than a happy meal or his December 2015 email blast where the presumptive Democrat candidate for Governor said “So far in 2015, there have been more mass shootings than days.”
Fellow California Democrat Assemblyman (now Senator) Richard Pan added to the ridiculous, stating in a January 19, 2016 press release that “there were more mass shootings in America where four or more people were killed, than there were days in the year in 2015.” By both these calculations, that would mean over 300 mass shootings. In 2015 alone! Even the left-of-center PolitiFact acknowledged the absurdity of both comments. Newsom and Pan should check out what’s happening across the Pond because in 2015 alone, notoriously anti-gun France suffered more casualties – killings and injuries – from mass public shootings than the U.S. has suffered during Obama’s entire presidency (508 to 424).
You simply can’t make this stuff up!
Let’s be frank – neither Bloomberg, Newsom or Pan are interested in the facts because it won’t get them to where they each want to go – which is an anti-gun nirvana, devoid of anything that goes “bang.”. They would be far smarter to seek a heavenly realm that is anti-evil.
The left’s penchant for stretching the truth is better than Gumby, but the issue is further complicated because gun control proponents have a very broad definition of who is a victim of “gun violence.” Firearm-related deaths are approximated at 32,000 per year in the U.S. and this figure is routinely used to generate fear and strong anti-gun sympathies.
This “statistic” however, is both biased and incomplete, because there is no mention whether an individual was killed during the commission of a crime (by law enforcement or others), shot in self-defense, a victim of suicide or an accident. These are very important stipulations. Maybe it’s just an awful ploy to boost numbers but lists of “gun violence victims” distributed by anti-gun groups have gone so far to include cop killers and terrorists such as the Boston Marathon bomber.
Also left out of the “antis” statistical mix is any reference to the fact that a full 60% of gun deaths are from suicide. This very sad data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also reports this is the second-most common cause of death for Americans between 15 and 34.
Like we said – you can’t make this stuff up, which is why being factually informed and knowledgeable is critical. Whether it’s Matt Damon bellyaching that he hates guns, or a silly politician crying that guns have pretty much wiped out the American population, remember that they aren’t any smarter – or more informed than you.
Just because someone’s face may look larger than life on TV or the movie screen, it doesn’t mean their brains are. We must take every opportunity available to speak the truth, but the only way we can do that is by being informed ourselves.
Laurie Paredes writes for Gun Owners of California and serves as director of GOC’s political action committee. A 30-year veteran staffer for the California Legislature, she worked for members of both the Assembly and Senate, most recently serving as Chief of Staff to an Assemblyman. She is thriving outside the Capitol and lives with her husband in the Sierra foothills. Follow her on GOC’s Armed and Informed blog at GunOwnersCA.com and on Twitter @laurieparedes.