by Mikael Thalen
June 11th, 2014
During a live discussion on student loan debt Tuesday President Barack Obama claimed that American gun violence was “off the charts.”
Answering questions with Tumblr founder David Karp, Obama pointed to several recent high profile shootings as proof of epidemic gun crime.
“Levels of gun violence are off the charts,” Obama said. ” There is no advanced developed country on Earth that would put up with this.”
Obama argued that Americans should be “ashamed,” using the opportunity to bemoan his inability to pass gun control legislation.
“We’re the only country in the world where this happens and it happens once a week,” Obama said.
Obama went on to refute any link between mass shootings and mental health as well, instead blaming the ability of Americans to collect ammunition.
“It’s not the only country that has psychosis, and yet we kill each other in these mass shootings at rates that are exponentially higher than anyplace else,” Obama said. ” What’s the difference? The difference is these guys can stack up a bunch of ammunition in their houses.”
Invoking his role as parent, Obama also pushed the notion that American gun owners are collectively responsible for mass shootings.
“This country has to do a lot of soul searching,” Obama said. “This is becoming the norm. And we take it for granted in ways that, as a parent, are terrifying to me.”
The President even went as far as praising Australia’s gun confiscation program, claiming that “very severe” gun laws have helped the country.
“Couple of decades ago, Australia had a mass shooting, similar to Columbine or Newtown,” Obama said. “And Australia just said, well, that’s it, we’re not doing, we’re not seeing that again, and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws, and they haven’t had a mass shooting since.”
Earlier that day, White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters that the President is “always” looking for ways to “unilaterally” act on gun control.
“The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer,” Earnest said.
In reality, the President’s comments and actions once again conflict with actual statistics regarding gun crimes.
Obama’s claim of “off the chart” gun violence is in complete opposition to countless studies that have found a 49 percent drop in gun homicide since 1993.
A similar study by the Bureau of Justice Statistics found that non-fatal gun crimes have dropped nearly 70 percent over the same time period.
Ironically, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study on gun violence ordered by the President last year reached similar conclusions.