Shocker: After Aurora, media misleads on gun control

posted at 1:21 pm on August 2, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

In the last three years, it has seemed like every mass shooting in America gets tied to conservatism and/or the Tea Party. The most recent example, of course, was ABC’s Brian Ross termination-worthy speculation that an Aurora, Colorado-area Tea Party member with the same name as the alleged shooter was the shooter. ABC later offered a written retraction of Ross’ statement, but once again the media jumped to slanderous accusations.

Fortunately, many on the left called out Ross and ABC for the speculation, and Jon Stewart basically called for Ross to be fired. But now other biases and fallacies have reared their ugly head. Fortunately, Just Facts Daily put up a post yesterday refuting five of the most egregious and important fallacies making their way through many media outlets. While I encourage reading the post in full — he hammers Ezra Klein, David Frum, and a New York Times editorial, among other sources, for misleading and inaccurate assertions — I think the most important part of the post is how the argument against so-called “assault weapons” is intentionally based upon inaccurate information. From the post, with emphasis added:

Commentaries and articles published by the New York Times, NPR, Newsmax, USA Today, and countless other media outlets asserted that the Colorado gunman used an “assault rifle.” This is patently untrue. An assault rifle, as explained by the Associated Press Stylebook and Briefing on Media Law, is a “rifle that is capable of being fired in fully automatic and semi-automatic modes, at the user’s option.”

Again, the gunman did not use a firearm that can be fired in fully automatic mode. Instead, he used an “assault weapon,” which per the AP Stylebook, is strictly “semi-automatic” and is “not synonymous with assault rifle.” This confusing distinction in terms is not by accident. The term “assault weapon,” which sounds like a synonym for “assault rifle,” was introduced into the gun control debate in the 1980′s and popularized with the expressed intent of confusing the public into thinking that certain semi-automatic guns are machine guns.

How was this done? The post notes a booklet co-published by Educational Fund to End Handgun Violence and New Right Watch in 1988 decided to use public ignorance on semi-automatic and automatic weapons to manipulate public opinion:

To wit, a search for “assault weapon” through Google Book produces no results that use this term in its modern context before 1988. In 1988, however, a…booklet [was published] describing how the “new topic” of “assault weapons” will “strengthen the handgun restriction lobby for the following reasons:”

… The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. …

The rest is history. Numerous politicians, journalists, activists, and commentators began using the term “assault weapon,” and in 1994, it was enshrined in a federal law. As Josh Sugermann, the author of the gun control pamphlet and the founder of the Violence Policy Center had hoped, the resultant confusion has been pervasive. Even the Associated Press—despite the instructions in its own stylebook—sometimes uses terms that are either technically inaccurate (like semiautomatic assault rifle) or that can easily feed the false impression that certain semi-automatic guns are machine guns (like military-style assault weapons).

The Aurora attack was, of course, horrific. Yet despite the (sometimes purposeful) errors in language and information provided by many in national media sources after the shooting, a new poll shows support for gun control is almost identical to what it was before the shooting. More importantly, about two-thirds of Americans rightly view the shooting as the act of one troubled individual, not emblematic of our larger society. As insensitive as it might be to say, if this is the case when emotions are running high and the media is still regularly reporting on the aftermath of the shooting, Obama and congressional liberals don’t have a chance of implementing any substantial gun control policies. And this is a good thing, both constitutionally and for public safety.

Note: Yesterday this post accidentally went up only partially completed. In my rush to get the post up after attending the Ted Cruz victory party, and before my travel throughout much of yesterday morning and afternoon, I did not pay close attention to which draft was saved prior to scheduling it for publication. My apologies to Hot Air’s readers for the error, and thanks to Ed for taking it down quickly enough that I only got laughed at by a couple of dozen people in the comments instead of several hundred.


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BAN KNIVES TOO!!!

http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=006_1272533257

46 Chinese School Children Stabbed In 2 Separate Attacks In Last 24 Hrs. In China

2 separate attacks within the last 24 hours have left 49 injured as 2 knife wielding madmen slashed up 2 schools. The first video is of the apprehension of the first suspect and the second is of the most recent attack’s aftermath. Sorry about the Youku bouncing thing in the second vid…WTF is up with that? lol

STORY – (Beijing): “A knife-wielding man injured 28 children, two teachers and a security guard in a kindergarten in eastern China, state media reported on Thursday, the fourth such stabbing case in recent weeks.

Xu Yuyuan, 47, an unemployed local man, broke into a classroom in Taixing city of eastern Jiangsu province on Thursday morning, attacking the children with a 20 cm long knife, the official Xinhua news agency said.

The injured children were all about four years old, and five are in critical condition, it added.

Xu has been jobless since he was fired from a local insurance company in 2001, and then took part in pyramid selling schemes, Xinhua added.

The attack is the fourth reported school stabbing in China in recent weeks, and the rash of violence has prompted public calls for more measures to protect students in a country where many couples only have one child.

STOP THE MADNESS, no more knives!!!

PappyD61 on August 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

BAN FORKS TOO!!!

http://sfist.com/2012/04/25/woman_stabbed_with_fork_on_22-fillm.php

The incident happened yesterday, Monday, just before 5 p.m., while the woman was seated on the bus heading toward the Fillmore. A 51-year-old man named John Stanley boarded the bus and sat down next to her, spreading his legs and getting uncomfortably close. She got out of her seat and moved toward the back door, hoping to get off, but Stanley allegedly followed her and started an argument with her. He apparently pushed past her to get off the bus, and after she pushed back, he stabbed her in the hand with the concealed fork he had on his person.

The victim was taken to the hospital and Stanley, who had tried boarding another bus as he fled, was apprehended shortly thereafter.


STOP THESE FORK ATTACKS!!! Ban them!!!

PappyD61 on August 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Ranges are as successful as Chick-Fil-A is.

Kimberlina on August 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Remind me again what happened to Brian Ross?

Yeah I thought so.

Happy Nomad on August 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

Yep; obama and his state-run media ‘TRIED THEIR PLAN’, but, it didn’t work.

Pork-Chop on August 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM

…well…FORK them!!!

KOOLAID2 on August 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM

BAN CROCHET NEEDLES!!

http://www.forumgarden.com/forums/current-events/38593-cops-kill-woman-stabbing-herself-crochet-hook.html

By DAWN WITHERS
The Salinas Californian

A Salinas woman was killed by Salinas police early Sunday morning after two officers believed she was lunging at one with of them with a knife or a ice pick.
Maria Irma De La Torre, 45, was shot twice in the torso around 3:45 a.m. by a police officer outside her home at 1143 East Laurel Drive. The officers have been placed on four days administrative leave pending an investigation.

The agony. How many must die before Mayor Bloomberg can stop this?

BAN CROCHET and the deadly needles!!

PappyD61 on August 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Nice re-boot Dustin.

Note: Yesterday this post accidentally went up only partially completed. In my rush to get the post up after attending the Ted Cruz victory party, and before my travel throughout much of yesterday morning and afternoon, I did not pay close attention to which draft was saved prior to scheduling it for publication. My apologies to Hot Air’s readers for the error, and thanks to Ed for taking it down quickly enough that I only got laughed at by a couple of dozen people in the comments instead of several hundred.

For those that missed the fun yesterday, the reason Dustin’s original post got so much attention was the way it was cut-off mid sentence.:

Shocker: After Aurora, media misleads on gun control
posted at 10:01 am on August 1, 2012 by Dustin Siggins

As everyone knows, the day after the Aurora, Colorado shooting ABC’s Brian Ross named an area Tea Party member with the same name as the alleged shooter of possibly being said shooter. ABC later offered a written retraction of Ross’ statement, but it was too late — the fear by conservatives that they would be smeared as being associated with the shooter had already been justified.

To be fair, many on the left called out Ross and ABC for their “error,” and Jon Stewart basically called for Ross to be fired. But now other biases and fallacies have reared their ugly head. Fortunately, Just Facts Daily put up a post yesterday refuting five of the most egregious and important fallacies making their way through many media outlets. While I encourage reading the post in full — he hammers Ezra Klein, David Frum, and a New York Times editorial, among other sources, for misleading and inaccurate assertions — I think the most important part of the post is how one gun control advocate organization actually admitted in the 1980s their strategy partially hinged

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on August 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

The elusive gun thread?

Bmore on August 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Almost no one in the media understands firearms or their regulation by the government. They all refer to “assault rifles” used in various mass shootings and often suggest that the assault weapons ban that expired a few years ago be renewed. No one seems capable of explaining why such weapons should be banned. The closest explanation that may be accurate is that the weapons look “scary”. Wow, that really makes them dangerous, doesn’t it?

They can’t seem to fathom that these weapons, the ones that are reasonably available to civilians, are simply semi-automatic rifles, just like scores of other weapons commonly used for hunting and other legitimate purposes. I’m not a gun expert, but I would think that a high-quality .30-06 semi-automatic hunting rifle would much more lethal than the rifles used in most of the mass shootings.

Fully automatic weapons, which are much more lethal, are very difficult for civilians to obtain and come with a host of government approvals, conditions, and monitoring.

JayDick on August 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

… thanks to Ed for taking it down quickly enough that I only got laughed at by a couple of dozen people in the comments instead of several hundred.

That’s me … Captain Buzzkill.

Ed Morrissey on August 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

The Second Amendment uses the term necessary to the security of a free state.

It makes no mention of hunting, or protecting one’s home from burglars, etc. It’s purpose is to allow the People to rise up, should the darkness of tyranny spread over our land.

Had the Founding Fathers access to “assault weapons,” they would not only have used them; but they would have protected the right of the People to keep and bear them – to ensure the security of a free state.

When the media and the more equal Pigs talk about hunting and protecting our homes from burglars, always remember that they are lying … and playing the People for fools.

The Second Amendment is about tyranny … period.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

My apologies to Hot Air’s readers for the error, and thanks to Ed for taking it down quickly enough that I only got laughed at by a couple of dozen people in the comments instead of several hundred.

Heh!! gotsta have sum laughs, eh Dustin!!! We thought you got blogjacked or something.

ted c on August 2, 2012 at 1:49 PM

Sorry for the OT, but has anyone noticed HA acting slow and wonky today?

MadisonConservative on August 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM

The Second Amendment uses the term necessary to the security of a free state.

It makes no mention of hunting, or protecting one’s home from burglars, etc. It’s purpose is to allow the People to rise up, should the darkness of tyranny spread over our land.

Had the Founding Fathers access to “assault weapons,” they would not only have used them; but they would have protected the right of the People to keep and bear them – to ensure the security of a free state.

When the media and the more equal Pigs talk about hunting and protecting our homes from burglars, always remember that they are lying … and playing the People for fools.

The Second Amendment is about tyranny … period.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 2, 2012 at 1:53 PM

The Second Amendment is about tyranny … period.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 2, 2012 at 1:44 PM

Most people, with the help, or lack of it, from the media (may they combust) don’t understand the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

Schadenfreude on August 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Sorry for the OT, but has anyone noticed HA acting slow and wonky today?

MadisonConservative on August 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Affirmative

Schadenfreude on August 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

Note: Yesterday this post accidentally went up only partially completed. In my rush to get the post up after attending the Ted Cruz victory party, and before my travel throughout much of yesterday morning and afternoon, I did not pay close attention to which draft was saved prior to scheduling it for publication. My apologies to Hot Air’s readers for the error, and thanks to Ed for taking it down quickly enough that I only got laughed at by a couple of dozen people in the comments instead of several hundred.

Don’t feel too bad, the comments were great entertainment in what was otherwise a boring morning. :-)

Doomberg on August 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM

Sorry for the OT, but has anyone noticed HA acting slow and wonky today?

MadisonConservative on August 2, 2012 at 1:52 PM

Triple’s having a bad trip over on the Chick-Fil-A blog

Jabberwock on August 2, 2012 at 2:01 PM

ED
Seriously, can we have a picture of an AR, AK or a HK? ???? I can send pictures, but I’m not gonna unless I get the ok…………:-)

angrymike on August 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM

To the HotAir readers:

Sorry about the double-tap of my post.

It didn’t look like my first post was going to be posted, so I cancelled it and re-posted.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 2, 2012 at 2:03 PM

Most people, with the help, or lack of it, from the media (may they combust) don’t understand the 1st and 2nd Amendments.

Schadenfreude on August 2, 2012 at 1:56 PM

They are the willfully ignorant, and they are just as guilty as the willfully Communist, when our Nation descends into tyranny.

It’s getting depressing.

OhEssYouCowboys on August 2, 2012 at 2:05 PM

ED
Seriously, can we have a picture of an AR, AK or a HK? ???? I can send pictures, but I’m not gonna unless I get the ok…………:-)

angrymike on August 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM

Don’t get him mad…you would like him when he’s mad…

LOL…Wassup, Mike?

BlaxPac on August 2, 2012 at 2:07 PM

That’s me … Captain Buzzkill.

Ed Morrissey on August 2, 2012 at 1:43 PM

Debbie Downer without the fright wig?

NotCoach on August 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

I had first-hand experience at how effective the “assault weapon” deception was. During the debate in the ’80s, many newscasts had background video of machine guns being fired while the voice-over described the political discussions going on over the issue. My mother was absolutely convinced that the federal bill dealt with machine guns, even though I explained how that wasn’t true. At the time I had been through police firearms training and she had absolutely no experience with guns, but she still believed the implied lies on the evening news over my facts.

It was truly one of the most effective propaganda programs in American history, as the press, gun control groups, and liberal politicians colluded on the deception, and it only stopped when the Democrats experienced political disaster at the polls due to the backlash by gun owners and conservatives. Al Gore’s lost presidential bid has often been attributed to this one issue.

Democrats never have any real solutions to the nation’s problems, just tactics for staying in power.

Socratease on August 2, 2012 at 2:09 PM

It is beginning to look like both this guy and the VT shooter were recognized by psychiatrists as being problematic. But that information was not shared with the firearm background check system. Current firearms laws may have helped prevent both of those shootings (assuming they didn’t just acquire their guns illegally), if they the data was more complete.

besser tot als rot on August 2, 2012 at 2:10 PM

Salem’s filters seem to be out of whack.

There is a website called gun f*cts dot comm

It is the one stop shop to answer these claims.

CorporatePiggy on August 2, 2012 at 2:14 PM

Almost no one in the media understands firearms or their regulation by the government.

Funny thing is if you can ever get them to the range to try shooting most of them take to it like ducks to water. Maybe we ought to organize take a reporter to the range days. Nah, they’d probably think it was a trap. :-)

Lammo on August 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM

STOP THE MADNESS, no more knives!!!

PappyD61 on August 2, 2012 at 1:27 PM

STOP THESE FORK ATTACKS!!! Ban them!!!

PappyD61 on August 2, 2012 at 1:29 PM

BAN CROCHET and the deadly needles!!

PappyD61 on August 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM

Well, those could be defined as “Weapons” that could be used for “Assault”, so an ‘Assault Weapons ban’ could cover those also.

Something to think about people.

Chip on August 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Same thing with “hundred round clips”. It’s a magazine not a clip. A clip is set number of rounds held at the base of the cartridges in a stripper type retainer suitable for loading into magazines. Many a recruit was slapped up side of the head by a drill sergeant during my 1969 basic training for referring to M-14 and M-16 magazines as clips.

bluesdoc70 on August 2, 2012 at 2:16 PM

Thank you Dustin for explaining to me, a non gun owner, the difference!

I never knew, and unlike the wise gun owners here, believed what I was told…

I am now much the wiser… :-)

I do however fully understand the 2nd Amendment…and it’s purpose.

Thanks!

Scrumpy on August 2, 2012 at 2:22 PM

Sorry, but the entire meme is face-fallingly flat since Holmes’ assault weapon/rifle JAMMED and he used a FREAKIN SHOTGUN

PJ Emeritus on August 2, 2012 at 2:25 PM

I would think that a high-quality .30-06 semi-automatic hunting rifle would much more lethal than the rifles used in most of the mass shootings.

JayDick on August 2, 2012 at 1:33 PM

That’s why actual snipers use bolt-action rifles – accuracy, range, knockdown power.

Washington Nearsider on August 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

That’s why actual snipers use bolt-action rifles – accuracy, range, knockdown power.

Washington Nearsider on August 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Not true.

Barret and AI are favored by many units…

CorporatePiggy on August 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

My apologies to Hot Air’s readers for the error, and thanks to Ed for taking it down quickly enough that I only got laughed at by a couple of dozen people in the comments instead of several hundred.

I was only sad because my comment was so funny and hardly anyone got to see it! (Whether that’s true or not, no one will ever know!)

Night Owl on August 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

You might also include the implication that he was dressed in body armor.

TexasDan on August 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

That’s why actual snipers use bolt-action rifles – accuracy, range, knockdown power.

Washington Nearsider on August 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

Not true.

Barret and AI are favored by many units…

CorporatePiggy on August 2, 2012 at 2:33 PM

My fault. I didn’t mean ‘exclusively used.’

Washington Nearsider on August 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

That’s why actual snipers use bolt-action rifles – accuracy, range, knockdown power.

Washington Nearsider on August 2, 2012 at 2:30 PM

My fault. I didn’t mean ‘exclusively used.’

Washington Nearsider on August 2, 2012 at 2:35 PM

This iron is becoming very popular. Barrett.

Bmore on August 2, 2012 at 2:54 PM

Part of the problem is that Colt used the model designation AR-15 for the full automatic rifles it sold to government agencies world wide from 1959 to 1964. This was prior to the adoption of the AR-15 as the M-16.

meci on August 2, 2012 at 2:55 PM

I was only sad because my comment was so funny and hardly anyone got to see it! (Whether that’s true or not, no one will ever know!)

Night Owl on August 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

I saw it, but I don’t remember it. I think I am speaking volumes about your comment.

NotCoach on August 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM

ED
Seriously, can we have a picture of an AR, AK or a HK? ???? I can send pictures, but I’m not gonna unless I get the ok…………:-)

angrymike on August 2, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I would be curious to know how many folks here can even identify make, model and caliber on the one in the photo. Might not want to overwhelm. LOL!

Bmore on August 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM

I saw it, but I don’t remember it. I think I am speaking volumes about your comment.

NotCoach on August 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM

Hey

Night Owl on August 2, 2012 at 3:39 PM

I would be curious to know how many folks here can even identify make, model and caliber on the one in the photo. Might not want to overwhelm. LOL!

Bmore on August 2, 2012 at 3:36 PM

It kinda looks like a Rossi or Taurus…I’m gonna say .38 at least…the pic isn’t detailed enough to tell if the cylinder wall is beefy enough to be a .357

Okay, i zoomed in, so i wanna throw S&W into the mix…if the resolution was just a wee bit higher…

BlaxPac on August 2, 2012 at 5:11 PM

It kinda looks like a Rossi or Taurus…I’m gonna say .38 at least…the pic isn’t detailed enough to tell if the cylinder wall is beefy enough to be a .357

Okay, i zoomed in, so i wanna throw S&W into the mix…if the resolution was just a wee bit higher…

BlaxPac on August 2, 2012 at 5:11 PM

I have a Taurus .38 special, and it doesn’t look like this. Mine has a shorter barrel and the grip doesn’t look the same, for what that’s worth.

Night Owl on August 2, 2012 at 5:22 PM

You might also include the implication that he was dressed in body armor.

TexasDan on August 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM

The supposed armor was a hunting vest make of Kevlar fabric. It was not bullet proof or even bullet resistant, just black and scary like his AR-15 .223 semi-automatic rifle.

For pictures and technical details of AR-15, M-16 and newer variants, try this site:

http://world.guns.ru/assault/usa/m16-m16a1-m16a2-m16a3-e.html

RobBert on August 2, 2012 at 9:30 PM

Lammo on August 2, 2012 at 2:15 PM

Back in the late ’80s, (during the first big push to restrict”assault weapons”) I was browsing a small gun shop in New Orleans when one of the local TV anchors brought his H&K91 in for a “tune up”.

Never being one to pass a chance to tweak a member of the media, I jokingly asked him why he needed a “weapon of war”. He laughed and talked about how much he liked his rifle.( I owned the same rifle at the time, before the boating accident)

Later that night I caught his newscast. And he actually used the phrase “weapons of war” in an intro to a gun control story.

I was a bit piqued at the hypocrisy.

Tho I wasn’t real surprised when he got busted for coke a few months later. I’m curious as to where the 91 ended up.

soundingboard on August 2, 2012 at 10:30 PM

@ soundingboard: What really amazes me is the huge number of gun owners who experience tragic boating accidents. :-)

Lammo on August 3, 2012 at 4:28 AM

I do believe more people DROWN than get shot criminally. Lets keep this in perspective. Theres no calls to ban pools.

TX-96 on August 3, 2012 at 6:28 AM