NRA lied: No armed guards at Obama girls’ school

There’s a reason they’re call gun “NUTS.”  The NRA just lies.  These guys should consider teaming up with the religious right, considering the audacity of lies they tell.

You might recall that we reported earlier this week that the NRA had launched an ad/Web site targeting President Obama’s children.  The ad claimed – falsely, we now know – that the school the Obama girls attend, Sidwell friends, has “11 armed guards.”

NRA ad site targeting obama girls

In fact, the school has no armed guards of any kind.

Now, you’d think that when the NRA saw that the source for lie was “Breitbart,” a far right blog known for its sensationalism rather than it’s love of veracity, they’d have double checked.  Well, if they did, they double checked with Fox News, because it’s a lie.

From the Washington Post’s fact checker:

But what about the claim that Sidwell Friends has 11 armed guards, which some Web sites have depicted with images of armed police with binoculars?

This is based on the fact that the online directory for Sidwell Friends lists 11 people as working in the Security Department. Five are listed as “special police officer,” while two are listed as “on call special police officer,” which presumably means they do not work full-time. The directory also lists two weekend shift supervisors, one security officer and the chief of security….

But we spoke to parents who said they had never seen a guard on campus with a weapon. And Ellis Turner, associate head of Sidwell Friends, told us emphatically: “Sidwell Friends security officers do not carry guns.” (Note: this includes those listed as special police officers.)

And just to clarify, the NRA wasn’t talking about Secret Service protection – they were talking about actual armed security forces – more from the Washington Post:

While some news organizations reported that the ad was referencing the Secret Service protection provided to the Obama family — as required by federal law — the longer ad makes it clear that the NRA is specifically referring to the security force at Sidwell Friends.

The Post’s conclusion?


A slashing attack like this has an especially high threshold to get its facts straight. The ad gives the impression that a phalanx of armed police are guarding students, such as the Obama and Gregory children, at Sidwell Friends.

But that is completely false. Far from being elitist, the relatively small force of unarmed security guards at Sidwell is not unusual for a school of its size.

Moreover, the ad also suggests that Obama rejects out of hand boosting security at schools, when in fact his proposals include provisions that would provide funding for more school security.

If the NRA is also trying to count Secret Service protection for Obama’s children as part of that force of armed guards, that’s even more ridiculous. As we noted, such protection is mandated under federal law — and only exists for the president’s children.

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Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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