WASHINGTON – President Obama is under fire from The Washington Post’s fact-checker over a series of recent far-fetched gun claims, including suggesting the country’s homicide rate is higher than that of other industrialized nations “by like a mile.”
The comments, made during a stop in South Carolina last week, earned the president three out of four "Pinocchios" -- the fact-checker's scale for measuring inaccuracy.
The first fact-check involved a comment Obama made -- at a town hall at South Carolina's Benedict College -- where he said, “What we have to recognize is, is that our homicide rates are so much higher than other industrial countries. I mean by like a mile.”
The president seemed to be telling students the U.S. had the highest homicide rate in the industrialized world, which isn’t true, according to the newspaper. According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the average homicide rate among the 36 countries is 4.1 per 100,000 people. Brazil tops the list with a homicide rate of 25.5. The U.S. and Chile tie for fourth. Both have a homicide rate of 5.2.
The president also told those attending the South Carolina event that “it’s easier for you to buy a handgun and clips than it is for you to buy a fresh vegetable.”
“This is just a very strange comment that appears to have no statistical basis,” the Washington Post wrote. The paper added that some of its readers suggested Obama was talking about the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “food desert” locator, which identifies areas in the country where fresh vegetables are hard to buy.
The columnist acknowledged that some of the analysis in the fact-check "turns on what the listener believes the president was trying to say."
Finally, the fact-check took the president to task after he told students he was “not exaggerating “when he claimed lawmakers are backing plans that would allow firearms in kindergarten and machine guns in bars.
While some states like Georgia allow firearms to be carried into bars and restaurants, they do not allow machine guns in bars. And while there have been proposals floated to allow guns in schools – mainly college campuses – none of the proposals specifically address kindergarten.