The shootings in San Bernardino put GOP presidential hopefuls in the spotlight. How they handled it was all over the map. John Kasich, as to be expected for someone running for the Jeb Bush electorate, pandered to the gun grabbers and proclaimed that if an anonymous bureaucrat puts you on a “watch list” for unnamed reasons that you should be barred from owning a firearm. From my point of view, [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] was a Second Amendment superstar. On Friday, he was on CBS facing a panel of three hostile questioners:
“None of these crimes that have been committed — or what I believe is a terror attack in California — would have been prevented by the expanded background checks,” the GOP presidential candidate and Florida senator said Friday. “The fact of the matter is these individuals would have passed.”
“None of the major shootings that have occurred in this country over the last few months or years that have outraged us would gun laws have prevented them,” Rubio added. “In fact, many of them existed despite the fact that local jurisdictions had gun laws even stricter than what you find in other jurisdictions.”
Predictably, this was like waving a red cloth in front of a bull to the progressive fact checking industry. The PolitiFact scam, run out of the Tampa Bay Times, is nothing more than a thinly disguised Super PAC working on behalf of the Democrat party in general and the Clintons in particular (here | here). The Washington Post’s Fact Checker is a bit less partisan, but just as stupid, and it did proclaim one of Romney’s claims True but False.
A colleague pointed out this statement by [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ] as a possible fact check, suggesting that it was almost certainly incorrect. It posed an interesting challenge, given the reams of data to examine.
The Fact Checker obviously takes no position on proposed gun-control laws. But given the attention of recent mass public shootings, is Rubio correct that none of the major shootings in recent years would have been prevented by new gun laws?
Rubio was not specific in his time frame — and a spokesman declined to elaborate — but for the purposes of this fact check we will go back as far as the Newtown shooting in 2012, which touched off the current gun debate.
This is certainly a depressing chronicle of death and tragedy. But Rubio’s statement stands up to scrutiny — at least for the recent past, as he framed it. Notably, three of the mass shootings took place in California, which already has strong gun laws including a ban on certain weapons and high-capacity magazines.
But Rubio was speaking in the past, about specific incidents. He earns a rare Geppetto Checkmark.
The Geppetto Checkmark is for a statement that is “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.”
I have to admit I was stunned to see this rating. Any Republican, much less a conservative one running for president, having a statement rated as “True” by a Washington Post fact checker is so rare that I looked out of my window and, no sh**, there they were, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse saddling up their steeds and preparing to ride.