As the gun debate has raged, both sides are taking more shots at each other, and often missing the mark on truth.
For starters, take the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence, which released an ad attacking Rep. John Barrow's support for the Second Amendment. The ad chastises the Georgia Democrat for taking "NRA blood money."
But the ad is very selective in its editing as it strives to portray Barrow as a zealous gun owner. It takes excerpts from an Oct. 2012 campaign ad Barrow released, in which he talked about his support for gun rights, and interspersed footage of the aftermath of the shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school.
And the ad selectively edits out several of Barrow's explanations for his support for gun rights. No mention is made of the civil rights issues Barrow talks about in his campaign ad.
"I’m John Barrow," both ads start. "And long before I was born, my grandfather used this little Smith & Wesson here." That's where the Coalition's ad ends. They chopped off the last part of Barrow's sentence: "to help stop a lynching."
Barrow explains that part of the reason he feels guns can be used for safety is the experiences of his grandfather and father - a former Georgia Superior Court judge - who supported desegregation. Guns, he said, might be needed for others' protection, like helping stop the lynching that Barrow's grandfather is reported to have broken up.
The Coalition's ad, however, makes no mention of the civil rights roots of Barrow's gun beliefs, making the congressman look more like a proverbial "gun nut."
The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign contributions, shows that Barrow got about $9,900 from the NRA during the last election cycle. Barrow raised a total of $2.88 million for his campaign, so the NRA donation was just a small part of his campaign assets.
NRA representatives, however, haven’t been any better. The organization's executive vice president, Wayne LaPierre, spoke at the Weatherby Foundation International Hunting and Conservation Awards ceremony in Reno, Nev. There, he decried the Obama proposal for universal background checks.
"That means forcing law-abiding people to fork over excessive fees to exercise their rights. Forcing parents to fill out forms to leave a family heirloom to a loved one, standing in line and filling out a bunch of bureaucratic paperwork, just so a grandfather can give a grandson a Christmas gift," LaPierre said.
But the Obama administration has proposed a specific exception for handing weapons down between family members.
LaPierre wasn’t done. He said the president’s goal was to take guns out of the hands of law-abiding citizens, leaving them only to criminals. Obama, in fact, has proposed no such thing, and has expressed respect for private gun ownership so long as safety measures are improved.
LaPierre repeatedly called gun rights "absolutes," and quoted U.S. Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black:
"There are 'absolutes' in our Bill of Rights, and they were put there on purpose by men who knew what words meant and meant their prohibitions to be 'absolutes,'" LaPierre quoted.
It was the Supreme Court, however, that decided that gun rights are not absolute. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the court ruled that while the Second Amendment gives the right to bear arms, those rights are still subject to rules - including regulations on gun sales and background checks.
"The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms," the court's majority opinion said.
For their factual errors -- by omission or comission -- in the passion of the gun debate, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence and Wayne LaPierre of the NRA win the Whopper of the Week, a Washington Guardian distinction given to the most misleading and false statements made about issues prominent in the nation's capital .