To the disgust of almost everyone, including many on the right, the NRA released an ad claiming that the President was an “elitist hypocrite” because his daughters go to a school with armed guards.
Here’s the ad:
The backlash was swift. It’s almost universally accepted that using children of elected officials as political fodder is off-limits. The office of the President is one which receives death threats on a daily basis; a phenomenon even more common than usual because Obama is our first African-American president. The Obamas’ children figuratively wear targets on their backs. They were not asked to be victims of Daddy’s career, but they are. A little security is the least our country could do for them.
Ironically, on the day after the ad premiered, the President signed a list of executive orders as an attempt to curb gun violence. Two of the orders did address the presence of additional security in schools. There goes the ad’s argument of hypocrisy…but what about the accusation of “elitism?” Do his daughters go to schools with armed guards?
As it turns out, the NRA received that information from a very dubious source: Breitbart.com. They make the claim that Sidwell Friends School has 11 armed guards.
Here’s the image:
Pretty effective, right? Well, it’s not true. Not even a little bit. While it is true that the Obama children have Secret Service protection–as have all other presidents’ children and families–their school has no (read that, zero) armed guards.
The fact checking came from the Washington Post and was printed in Little Green Footballs:
The National Rifle Association is airing a television ad (and has on its website this four-minute video) that says the private school that President Obama’s daughters attend, Sidwell Friends School, has 11 armed guards. It doesn’t.
In fact, it has no armed guards. My Post colleague Glenn Kessler, who writes The Fact Checker column, wrote about the issue here and quoted Ellis Turner, associate head of Sidwell Friends, as saying: “Sidwell Friends security officers do not carry guns.”
Parents and students say they have never seen one either.
The president’s children are protected by Secret Service agents, which is required by federal law, but that is not the same thing as armed school resource officers.
The Fact Checker, who hands out “Pinocchios” depending on how accurate — or inaccurate — a particular story is, gave the NRA and its ad the worst possible rating, four Pinocchios. Whereas three Pinocchios are given for “significant factual error and/or obvious contradictions,” four Pinocchios are given for “whoppers.”
With the implementation of Obama’s executive orders, there could very well become a day when his daughters are in a school which is far less armed than public schools in the area, but I’m sure the NRA and Breitbart won’t let facts get in the way of a good hate fest.
|Wendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson|