Last week as Vice President Joe Biden talked publicly about his efforts to assist President Obama with his various gun-banning schemes, he made a startling new claim. He said that while golfing in Pennsylvania in 2006, he personally heard the gunfire from a mass shooting committed at a nearby school.
But did he really? Facts seem to run contrary to Biden's late claim.
The shooting Biden referred to occurred at an Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania on October 2, 2006. During the crime, a gunman entered the schoolhouse, killed five children, and wounded five others.
Biden regaled an audience last week about his personal connection to the shooting, calling it "pure coincidence."
On January 17, the Washington Times reported that Biden made this revelation at a meeting of the U.S. Council of Mayors.
"I happened to be literally--probably, it turned out, to be a quarter of a mile [away] at an outing when I heard gunshots in the woods," Biden claimed. "We didn't know… we thought they were hunters."
Biden continued with the tall tale, saying, "As I got back to the clubhouse of this outing and saw helicopters, it was a shooting that had just taken place in a small Amish… school just outside of Lancaster, Pennsylvania. So it’s not just big cities or well-to-do suburbs. It can happen anywhere."
But is any of this true? Facts seem to cast doubt on the Vice President's claims.
First, Biden has never mentioned this incident before. If he was that close to the shooting and, as much as Joe likes to make everything about Joe, it's hard to believe he would never tout this story before now.
That aside, the physical realities of Biden's claims require suspension of disbelief.
In a followup report, the Washington Times found that there aren't any golf courses close enough to the Amish school for golfers to have heard gunshots from so far away.
But a search of maps of the area in Lancaster County, Pa., shows the nearest golf course to the site of the shooting, Moccasin Run Golf Club, is about five miles away. Rodney King, the golf pro at Moccasin Run, said Friday he was working at the course on the day of the shooting and never saw Mr. Biden, who was then a U.S. senator.
At ten miles' distance, the only other golf course is even farther away. Both courses are apparently too far away for golfers to have heard gunshots that were fired inside a school building.