Political Editors / December 19, 2019

Pelosi Peddles Fake Stats on Firearms

The House speaker grossly exaggerates the number of children and teenagers killed.

In her efforts to push the Democrats’ agenda on gun control, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has been repeatedly using the disingenuous “save the children” trope. “It has been over 200 days since the House passed life-saving background checks legislation,” Pelosi complained in September. “100 people die every from gun violence — 47 of them children & teenagers. How many more must perish before [Mitch McConnell] will take action?”

The trouble is that Pelosi’s regularly repeated statistic regarding the number of children and teenagers killed via firearms every day is flat wrong. Pelosi has it so wrong, in fact, that even the leftist Washington Post felt compelled to correct her egregiously inaccurate talking point. The Post noted that Pelosi’s repeated false statistical assertions began with a claim that 47% of people killed by guns were children and teenagers (up to 19 years of age). When questioned about the clearly flawed statistic, a Pelosi spokesman claim she had “misspoken” and had meant to say 47 children and teenagers.

However, the Post elected to engage in a rare instance of genuine investigative journalism and discovered that “for months, in speeches, news conferences, tweets and interviews, Pelosi has been using a version of an incorrect talking point to make the firearms death toll for teenagers and children appear significantly higher than reality.” What are the facts? “Fewer than 9 percent of those killed by guns are 19 or younger — not 47 percent. Seven children or teenagers are killed a day — not 47.” As a result, the Post awarded Pelosi “four Pinocchios” for her outright lies.

But we’ll only give one cheer to the Post. Its “fact checker” might take Pelosi to task for getting the statistics wrong, but he’s not going to tell you the real story either: Most of the seven “kids” killed every day are urban, fatherless gang-bangers. They’re often older teenagers who are shooting rival gang members over drugs or territory or whatever other grievance. It’s not a gun problem; it’s a culture problem, and it’s based in Democrat urban centers.

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