During his January 5 speech explaining “the fierce urgency of now” and the need for executive gun control to save the day, President Obama also admitted that two thirds of his scary gun death statistics are suicides.
Early in his speech–published by The Washington Post–Obama said, “Every single year, more than 30,000 Americans have their lives cut short by guns — 30,000.” He said this was a combination of “suicides, domestic violence, gang shootouts, [and] accidents,” but he did not elaborate on which of these reasons for death made up the lion’s share. Rather, he built on the number “30,000,” saying:
Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost brothers and sisters or buried their own children. Many have had to learn to live with a disability or learn to live without the love of their life. A number of those people are here today. They can tell you some stories. In this room right here, there are a lot of stories. There’s a lot of heartache. There’s a lot of resilience, there’s a lot of strength, but there’s also a lot of pain. And this is just a small sample.
Well over halfway through his speech, Obama admitted that “high-profile mass shootings” draw attention to the “few mentally unstable people who inflict harm on others, but the truth is that nearly two in three gun deaths are from suicides.”
Hillary Clinton’s campaign ran an ad that swelled gun death numbers in this same way. The ad opened with Clinton saying, “This epidemic of gun violence knows no boundaries. Between 88 and 92 people a day are killed by guns. We’re better than this.” Breitbart News pointed out that two thirds of those gun deaths were suicides, not deaths from “gun violence.”
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