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Factcheck.org Not So Factual On Obama’s Gun Views

NRA threatened by Obama Campaign with Legal Action

First off, apologies for this cross-post from We Rush Daily But I felt it was important to get this out.

It came to my attention today in an email I received from the NRA-ILA regarding the latest goings on at the NRA. Scanning through the email, I noted a point where the NRA took issue with past statements on the part of Mr. Obama on his views on the issues and concerns of firearms ownership, usage, etc. As any organization might do, the NRA has instituted a campaign of its own making known what these views and positions of Mr. Obama are to its members. Factcheck.org, is a group that is financed by the Annenberg Foundation, which also happens to be a contributing supporter of the Brady Center for the Prevention of Handgun Violence.The mandate of Factcheck.org is “Holding Politicians Accountable” but apparently has a problem with its own facts when it comes to the Obama Campaign. The NRA bulletin on the issue lists specifically the votes, items, statements, of Mr. Obama over the years on various topics. Factcheck.org seems to state the same things yet dismisses these actions by either mischaracterizing the action, or using the Obama Campaign’s rhetoric to explain away the action.

For example, in a 1996 questionnaire for the group Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization, during Mr. Obama’s then State Senate campaign, the question on the form “”Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?” the question was answered “Yes” (handwritten answer).

Quote from the Factcheck.org statement: “The NRA bases its claim on a disputed 1996 questionnaire that Obama’s Illinois state Senate campaign filled out for the nonprofit voting group, Independent Voters of Illinois-Independent Precinct Organization. On it, somebody filled in the word “yes” in response to the question, “Do you support legislation to ban the manufacture, sale and possession of handguns?” But the Obama campaign said that the survey was actually filled out by his then-campaign manager who “unintentionally mischaracterized his position,” adding that Obama never saw the survey.”

Frankly, I find Factcheck.org’s reliance on the statement dubious, with Obama in the middle of a presidential campaign, its in his best interest to obfuscate the truth or outright lie about the point.

This is not the only example stated. Another example would be Obama’s vote along with Ted Kennedy on the reclassification of ammunition as “armor piercing,” The NRA understands that the way the legislation was written, the unintentional effect (which would be intentional given Ted Kennedy’s proclivities) of rendering many hunting ammos as “armor piercing” and thus “banning” them. Factcheck.org does not acknowledge this, but splits hairs over the wording.

There are other examples, but I will leave them to you the reader, both post links are below.

NRA’s ViewFactcheck’s View

The problem here with Factcheck.org is something I see in the I.T. Industry all the time. When certain companies fund “independent studies” of their security products, or “independent” testing groups, take funds from companies whose products they’re testing, always leads to conflicts of interest, and the results are always held in a jaded light, thus many engineers in the field feel the results are tainted and untrustworthy. In this case, where Annenberg is funding Factcheck.org who is supposed to be non-partisan and unbiased, the results of which are now called into question since Annenberg is clearly funding a partisan group that has an opposing, very partisan view, and who has a vested interest in an Obama victory. This certainly smacks of a conflict of interest in this case.

Additionally, the NRA has been threatened with “Cease and Desist” letters from the Obama campaign. Apparently Chicago-Style Politics are alive and well… if you can’t beat the arguement, sue them off the playing field.

The Cease and Desist Letter to the NRA

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