House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) repeated use of a bogus claim of gun deaths of children throughout the year has earned her four Pinocchios by the Washington Post fact-checker.
The fact-checker was alerted by a reader who found the figures Pelosi was citing — that 47 percent of gun violence deaths in the U.S. were teenagers or younger.
When the fact-checker researched the figure, they came up with a dramatically different number.
A check of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention database found that in 2017, 3,443 deaths from firearms were between the ages of zero and 19. Given that the CDC recorded 39,771 deaths from firearms, that would be just under 9 percent. That’s significantly lower than 47 percent.
The Post contacted Pelosi spokesman Henry V. Connelly who said that she “misspoke.”
“The Speaker misspoke. The statistic that she intended to reference is that an average of 47 children and teens (ages 0-19) are shot every day.”
The difference between 47 percent of young people being killed and 47 being shot per day is huge.
The fact-checker would have been willing to give Pelosi some leeway on the misstatement- a common excuse from politicians except when they reviewed the record they found multiple instances of Pelosi “misspeaking” the same figures.
- In February, during a floor speech before a vote on the House’s proposed law to enhance background checks, Pelosi said: “Nearly 40,000 lives are cut short every year from gun violence. An average of 47 children and teenagers are killed by guns every single day.”
- In a September news release, she said: “Every day that Senator McConnell blocks our House-passed, lifesaving bills, an average of 100 people — including 47 children and teenagers — die from senseless gun violence.”
- On Sept. 26, she tweeted: “100 people die every day from gun violence — 47 of them children & teenagers.”
- In October, she told reporters: “We said 200 days, 100 people on an average day, around 20,000 people have died, 47 percent of them children or teenagers, as old as teenagers.”
- In November, she told one of our Washington Post colleagues: “Every single day, about 100 people die from gun violence, 47 percent of them children or teenagers.”
There were three additional instances in November where Pelosi stated a variant of the figure as well according to the Post.
That led the fact-checker to award Pelosi the maximum of Four Pinocchios.
The Pinocchio Test
Pelosi’s repeated misstating the facts relating to gun violence deaths of young people continues a trend by liberal politicians to twist the facts in order to build support for increased gun control laws, rather than deal with the root cause of gun violence.