During a press conference in Paris, where Obama is joining leaders for a climate change conference, Obama lamented that the United States has too many mass shootings—and claimed that other countries don’t have them.
He said that. In Paris. Which is just reeling from a mass shooting—a terrorist attack—that left 130 dead.
“With respect to Planned Parenthood, obviously, my heart goes out to the families of those impacted,” Obama said, answering a reporter’s question about the Planned Parenthood murders that left 2 dead in a Colorado Springs abortion clinic. “I mean, I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.”
It’s a popular line from Obama, who has tried to use just about every mass shooting of his presidency to call for increased gun control.
But it’s not true.
Other nations, just like the United States, have their share of mass shootings. And it’s commonly argued by gun rights advocates that the difference between a low-casualty shooting—like the one at Planned Parenthood—and a shooting that kills dozens of people—like Paris—is a proverbial “good guy with a gun” who can respond first, before police get there.
Obama seemed to realize he stepped in it: after his answer, he immediately began talking about terrorism:
“You know, we are rightly determined to prevent terrorist attacks wherever they occur,” he quickly recovered. “Whether in the United States or with friends and allies like France.”