On November 15, the Associated Press (AP) fact-checked Democrat presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton’s gun control claims, among which was her contention that “nearly 3,000 [were] killed by guns” between the October 13 Democrat debate and the one that took place on November 14.
After fact-checking, the AP reported that Clinton’s claim was “unsupported on all counts.”
The AP reported that during the November 14 debate, Clinton said, “Since we last debated in Las Vegas, nearly 3,000 people have been killed by guns. Two hundred children have been killed. This is an emergency.” Clinton then claimed there had been “21 mass shootings” between the October 13 debate and the one held on Saturday night. She said the mass shootings “[included] one last weekend in Des Moines where three were murdered.”
The AP then looked at the number of deaths so far this year and said Clinton’s “[figures] appear to be highly exaggerated.” They said “the facts” are that Clinton’s claim of “two hundred children” killed is nearly three times the real number—which is 70. But even to reach 70, you have couple “children and teenagers” together, and any time teenagers are added in, you unavoidably find yourself tallying deaths from gang violence and street crime.
But even with those types of deaths added in, the number is 70, not 200.
On top of this, Clinton’s claim of “3,000” overall guns deaths in the last month appears “exaggerated” by about 200 percent. The real number is closer to 1,000.
And Clinton claimed 21 mass shootings in the last month alone, which is not only unsupportable by facts but runs contrary to facts. Breitbart News previously reported that a University of Alabama study examining 1966 to 2012 found an average of 1.95 mass shootings each year for those 46 years. And that is using the long-held FBI standard of four fatalities before labeling a crime a mass shooting.
A study conducted by the Congressional Research Service, which focused especially on 1999-2013, found a higher average of less than four and a half “mass public shootings” a year—which is still a long, long way from helping Clinton substantiate a claim of 21 in the last month.
Lastly, Clinton claimed three people were killed in a mass shooting in Des Moines on November 8. As we have already seen, if the death toll does not reach four, it is a not a mass shooting but a triple homicide. However, that discrepancy does not even matter in this situation because the AP reports the actual number killed on November 8 was one, not three.
The bottom line—Clinton’s gun control claims run counter to the facts.
Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.