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Politifact Openly Aids Gun Control Group’s Narrative

Whether it is true that seven children per day die from gun violence depends on whether you define 18 and 19 year olds as children. One could argue that it’s a matter of opinion (which I’d point out would put it outside the realm of ‘facts’) but as an objective criteria, we can look at how the law defines it. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are not considered children legally. They would be tried as adults if they commit crimes.

There’s no universe where this claim should be rightly considered “Mostly True.” In one sentence gun control advocates have set the mental picture of Sandy Hook, which sadly involved elementary school children. Then they suddenly switched context without mentioning to the reader they were doing so, promoting statistics that involve legal adults. Gun control groups were hoping that readers wouldn’t follow through; that it would push the right emotional buttons by making people think they’re discussing  young children. When Politifact rates statements like this as “Mostly True” they are helping the gun control movement promote a deceptive narrative. They have made themselves part of this deception, whole hog.

If Politifact had a shred of honestly, they would have a rating of “Deceptive” or “Misleading” for situations like this where the underlying facts may be technically true, but are presented in a way that is clearly intended to mislead the reader. But they won’t do such a thing, because Politifact has no integrity. They were created to promote narratives that benefit a certain political viewpoint. In that sense, they are serving their purpose. But the real danger is that organizations like Facebook are planning to include outfits like Politifact to police what has been widely derided as “fake news.”

As much as I’ve been involved with the gun issue, these days I’m becoming more concerned about the future of free expression, especially in a world where Silicon Valley oligarchs are conspiring with the media to decide on what you and I get to see or not see.

10 Responses to “Politifact Openly Aids Gun Control Group’s Narrative”

  1. Brad says:

    The so-called “fact checker” outfits like Politifact have been truly awful when it comes to judging anything related to gun-control. This latest example is sadly no surprise.

  2. Jim W says:

    All these sites do is make it easier for people on the left to live in a bubble and not be bothered by inconvenient facts… Which is a big problem when you don’t have political power anymore and the only path back to power is to expose yourself to uncomfortable facts and learn from them.

    No one who cares about these issues enough to be politically engaged will be fooled by this article. It’s the sort of thing that would have been persuasive 20 years ago if a politician read it it in the only available newspaper and there weren’t a ton of engaged gun owners on hand to provide constant reminders of the perils of embracing gun control. They might as well fact check the dangers of freeing the slaves or legalizing alcohol. They’ve lost the fight and just don’t realize it yet.

    Obama couldn’t get gun control with sixty seats in the Senate and Nancy Pelosi leading the House and he couldn’t get any after Sandy Hook and he couldn’t get any after Orlando. This is as far as the pendulum swings in their direction. Now we see how far it swings in the other direction.

  3. Whetherman says:

    Gee, by Politifact’s standards, roughly fifty years ago, sometimes a couple hundred American children a day were killed by guns. And under U.S. Government auspices, at that.

    So, seven or eight? That’s nuthin’!

  4. Rob K says:

    This is a form of censorship; the Internet interprets censorship as damage and routes around it.

    • Sebastian says:

      Is that still true? I’m not sure it is.

      • Ian Argent says:

        Internet users interprets censorship as damage and route around it. Twitter appears to be getting a dose of that right now (if their failure to make sufficient money is any indication). If nothing else, blocking stuff on Facebook etc will simply drive it into “back channels.”

        Not to mention that blocking the “right-hand” tabloids will feed into the (existing, mild) persecution complex that was a factor in getting Trump elected. The “Right” controls Congress and they control the White House (for these purposes, Trump will act with the “Right,” though I don’t expect him to do so on other questions). Go too far, and the faces of these companies are going to get grilled on the Hill, and may end up getting into trouble with the Executive Branch.

        It’ll be a hell of a boost to a certain kind of politician to be able to “prove” that “they” are out to get him.

  5. dwb says:

    “But as an objective criteria, we can look at how the law defines it. Eighteen and nineteen year olds are not considered children legally. They would be tried as adults if they commit crimes.”

    Well, technically, 14 and 15 year olds can be tried of murder as an adult.

    In Pennsylvania, until recently, teens (as in: 15 -17 year olds) could get life without parole for murder.

    Now the minimum sentence is 25 years for those younger than 15, and 35 for 15-17 year olds.

    In a lot of states, murder charges must automatically be transferred to adult criminal court if the defendant is over a statuatory-defined age. In Illinois, it’s 16. So take that Chicago!

    Killing someone is a sure fire way to grow up, in the eyes of the law.

  6. TS says:

    Did you know that every day 2000 people in the US die from acts of Islamic terrorism and heart disease?

    Now if a Republican politician tweeted my 100% true statistically verifiable FACT, and also happened to drop the part about “heart disease”, I’m sure Politifact would apply the same standard and call that “mostly true”.

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