The National Rifle Association recently ran an ad calling President Obama an "elitist hypocrite" for having armed protection for his children at school. BuzzFeed and some other outlets reported the NRA meant Secret Service, but an extended version of the ad made clear that the NRA was talking about the school's staff security team.
"[The] school Obama's daughters attend has 11 armed guards," the longer ad's narrator says, citing an article from Breitbart.com.
But a fact-check by the Washington Post found that not to be the case. The Post called the school, Sidwell Friends, where Obama's daughters attend and asked if the school had armed guards. The school responded that none of their 11 security members carry any firearms.
But where did the myth of armed guards at Obama's school come from?
A quick search found that the first post about it came from the Weekly Standard's blog. A post by Daniel Halper said that the school — attended by both Obama's and David Gregory's children — had 11 armed guards on staff, citing the 11 members of the security team. The error by the site presuming the security at the Quaker school was armed led to the NRA's two incorrect ads.
"But when it comes to Gregory's own kids, however, they are secured every school day by armed guards.
The Gregory children go to school with the children of President Barack Obama, according to the Washington Post. That school is the co-ed Quaker school Sidwell Friends.
According to a scan of the school's online faculty-staff directory, Sidwell has a security department made up of at least 11 people. Many of those are police officers, who are presumably armed.
The NRA cites a Breitbart article from the same day which aggregated the Weekly Standard's post.
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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