What use is FactCheck.org?

I can sum up factcheck.org’s “check” of the NRA material in 5 words: “Obama says that’s not true!”

Your purpose, as proclaimed in your very title, is to check the facts, and that should include matching candidate’s rhetoric to their record. While you might claim that some of the things listed are past tense, and the flyer, etc. make them present tense, the facts that the the NRA bases it’s assertions on are accurate and verifiable.

While it might be hard to prove one way or the other whether Obama supports a handgun ban right now, the fact that he answered a survey saying that he would is certainly evidence that he has supported banning handguns. And as to this, a later questionnaire purportedly proving Obama does not support a handgun ban:

Obama, 2003: While a complete ban on handguns is not politically practicable, I believe reasonable restrictions on the sale and possession of handguns are necessary to protect the public safety.

While a complete deregulation of machine guns, short barreled rifles and shotguns, suppressors, and AOWs may not be politicly practicable at the moment, I still support it. The “politically practicable” line indicates to me that he does support it, but does not feel like he is able to get it done (now).

Ditto for the item about registration/licensing.

Maybe you can argue that voting against SB 2165 is not a vote to eliminate all self defense with firearms, it is a vote against self defense, as well as a defense of an unconstitutional ban on the right to keep and bear arms.

On to the armor piercing ammunition.

They say it doesn’t affect hunting ammo, quoting:

Sen. Kennedy (March 2, 2004): My amendment will not apply to ammunition that is now routinely used in hunting rifles or other centerfire rifles. To the contrary, it only covers ammunition that is designed or marketed as having armor-piercing capability.

How ammo (or anything) is marketed has NOTHING to do with it’s function. The fact is that almost any rifle ammo will pierce armor. And as The PGP says, no ammo I have ever seen commercially available advertises as armor piercing, and if some was, what’s to stop the manufacturer from simply changing the marketing? Furthermore, as to “designed … having armor-piercing capability,” anything over a certain energy level is going to pierce armor, so a cartridge designed to deliver a bullet with that amount of energy or more is “designed … having armor-piercing capability.” And the fact is, that’s most hunting ammo.

To say that “NRA Claim: “Appoint Judges to the U.S. Supreme Court and Federal Judiciary Who Share His Views on the Second Amendment”” is unsupported is simply asinine. Obama has named, as the types of judges he would appoint, the judges on the losing end of Heller. While he has since said he agrees with the winning side, his record matches the other justices views.

You might be able to say that the NRA information is misleading: Obama is not running with most of these items directly in his platform. But judging from the fact that he “supports reasonable regulations,” and has seen these regulations as reasonable and even desirable, it is hardly the lie that factcheck.org claims.

In short, even in the items that it says the NRA got right, the article appears to be a regurgitation of Obama press releases, not a serious check of the facts.


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