Bill Clinton Exaggerated Number of Mass Killings Since Assault Weapon Ban


The Washington Post fact checker gives former President Bill Clinton three “Pinocchios” for saying this week that “half of all mass killings in the U.S. have occurred since the assault weapons ban expired in 2005, half of all of them in the history of this country.” The newspaper quotes Grant Duwe of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, who has assembled a database on the issue.

He has identified 156 mass public shootings in the past 100 years. Since 2005, when the assault ban expired, there have been 32 such mass public shootings, including seven in 2012. That's just over 20 percent of all mass public shootings, which is much less than Clinton's 50 percent. Duwe says that 2012 was certainly a horrific year, but it is too early to tell if it signals an ominous trend. Given some fuzziness in the definition of a mass killing, the Post “cut Clinton a bit of slack in the final ruling” and spared him 4 Pinocchios.

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