Is this another sign that the Democrats are preparing to move on from Joe Biden in 2024? I don’t know, but CNN’s newfound willingness to fact-check Biden seems significant. Here, CNN finds that pretty much everything Biden says about firearms, among other things, is wrong:
He made at least five false claims related to guns, a subject on which he has repeatedly been inaccurate during his presidency. He also made a false claim about the extent of his support from environmental groups. And he used incorrect figures about the population of Africa, his own travel history and how much renewable energy Texas uses.
That’s quite a list.
In a Friday speech at the National Safer Communities Summit in Connecticut, Biden spoke of how a gun control law he signed in 2022 has provided federal funding for states to expand the use of gun control tools like “red flag” laws, which allow the courts to temporarily seize the guns of people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others. After mentioning red flag laws, Biden invoked his late son Beau Biden, who served as attorney general of Delaware, and said: “As my son was the first to enforce when he was attorney general.”
Facts First: Biden’s claim is false. Delaware did not have a red flag law when Beau Biden was state attorney general from 2007 to 2015.
“Put a pistol on a brace, and it…turns into a gun,” Biden said. “Makes them where you can have a higher-caliber weapon – a higher-caliber bullet – coming out of that gun. It’s essentially turning it into a short-barreled rifle, which has been a weapon of choice by a number of mass shooters.”
Facts First: Biden’s claims that a stabilizing brace turns a pistol into a gun and increases the caliber of a gun or bullet are false. A pistol is, obviously, already a gun, and “a pistol brace does not have any effect on the caliber of ammunition that a gun fires or anything about the basic functioning of the gun itself,” said Stephen Gutowski, a CNN contributor who is the founder of the gun policy and politics website The Reload.
Repeating a claim he made in his 2022 State of the Union address and on other occasions, Biden said at a campaign fundraiser in California on Monday: “The only industry in America you can’t sue is the – is the gun manufacturers.”
Facts First: Biden’s claim is false, as CNN and other fact-checkers have previously noted. Gun manufacturers are not entirely exempt from being sued, nor are they the only industry with some liability protections. Notably, there are significant liability protections for vaccine manufacturers and, at present, for people and entities involved in making, distributing or administering Covid-19 countermeasures such as vaccines, tests and treatments.
Under the 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, gun manufacturers cannot be held liable for the use of their products in crimes. However, gun manufacturers can still be held liable for (and thus sued for) a range of things, including negligence, breach of contract regarding the purchase of a gun or certain damages from defects in the design of a gun.
Basically, guns are like all other products. You can successfully sue the manufacturer if the gun is found to be defective. You can’t sue a manufacturer just because someone used a gun to shoot someone, just as you can’t sue the knife manufacturer if someone uses that company’s knife to stab someone.
This one is completely insane:
At a campaign fundraiser in California on Tuesday, Biden said the National Rifle Association, the prominent gun rights advocacy organization, itself cannot be sued.
“And the fact that the NRA has such overwhelming power – you know, the NRA is the only outfit in the nation that we cannot sue as an institution,” Biden said. “They got – they – before this – I became president, they passed legislation saying you can’t sue them. Imagine had that been the case with tobacco companies.”
Facts First: Biden’s claim is false. While gun manufacturers have liability protections, no law was ever passed to forbid lawsuits against the NRA. The NRA has faced a variety of lawsuits in recent years.
At the same Tuesday fundraiser in California, Biden said that he taught the Second Amendment in law school, “And guess what? It doesn’t say that you can own any weapon you want. It says there are certain weapons that you just can’t own.” One example Biden cited was this: “You can’t own a machine gun.”
Facts First: Biden’s claim is false. The Second Amendment does not explicitly say people cannot own certain weapons – and the courts have not interpreted it to forbid machine guns. In fact, with some exceptions, people in more than two-thirds of states are allowed to own and buy fully automatic machine guns as long as those guns were legally registered and possessed prior to May 19, 1986, the day President Ronald Reagan signed a major gun law. There were more than 700,000 legally registered machine guns in the US as of May 2021, according to official federal data.
I sincerely hope that Joe Biden has never taught Second Amendment law, or anything else, at any law school.
There is much more at the link. I will add just one more:
At a campaign fundraiser in Connecticut on Friday, Biden spoke about reading recent news articles about the use of renewable energy sources in Texas. He said, “I think it’s 70% of all their energy produced by solar and wind because it is significantly cheaper. Cheaper. Cheaper.”
Facts First: Biden’s “70%” figure is not close to correct. The federal Energy Information Administration projected late last year that Texas would meet 37% of its electricity demand in 2023 with wind and solar power, up from 30% in 2022.
…The organization that provides electricity to 90% of the state has a web page where you can see its current energy mix in real time; when we looked on Wednesday afternoon, during a heat wave, the mix included 15.8% solar, 10.2% wind and 6.6% nuclear, while 67.1% was natural gas or coal and lignite.
Fact-checking Joe Biden poses difficulties. For one thing, you first have to figure out what he is trying to say. Beyond that, just about everything Biden says is wrong, so fact-checking him could be a full-time job. Still, it is interesting that after years of running interference for Biden, some Democratic Party news outlets are starting to throw him under the bus.