Some day, in a far off, idealistic future, we may yet live to see a time when the media reports on a story involving guns and gets the details right. But that day has apparently not yet arrived. After the news of the Orlando shooting broke, the focus of the anti-gun press immediately settled on the long rifle legally purchased by the ISIS aficionado for the terror attack. (He wasn’t on the terrorist watch list at the time, Hillary, just in case you were wondering.) It was immediately announced that an AR-15 was once again at the center of the action. This led to lengthy dissertations from sources such as Rolling Stone, supplying us with Everything You Need to Know About the AR-15.
Politico jumped into the analysis with detailed technical specifications regarding The Most Political Gun in America.
If there’s one weapon that reflects the intractability of the gun debate in the United States, the AR-15 is it. The gun is endlessly customizable and available from many different manufacturers, but all AR-15s share a common lineage, dating back to a prototype built by ArmaLite for the U.S. military in the late 1950s, and they all accept the same interchangeable magazines. For gun advocates, the AR-15 has become an emblem of patriotism and even virility.
That’s some really helpful information. Or at least it would be except for one small, inconvenient detail. As our colleagues at Bearing Arms point out, once we finally got a look at the weapon it turned out to not be an AR-15 at all.
The rifle used by the Islamist terrorist in Orlando was instead a Sig Sauer MCX carbine, a modular, multi-caliber (able to swap to different calibers, including 5.56 NATO, 300 BLK, and 7.62×39) rifle system that sometimes utilizes STANAG magazines common to more than 60 different firearms, but otherwise has no major parts that interface with AR-15s in any way, shape or form.
This of course, will make no difference at all to the anti-gun politimedia, who don’t particularly care about factual accuracy and who likely wouldn’t be able to tell an AR-15 from a toaster oven if their lives depended on it.
Now, this isn’t a knock on Sig Sauer, a company which produces a fine line of equipment. (Though having done some comparative shopping myself in the past, they’re a bit on the high end of the price range. But hey… you get what you pay for.) The point here is that the media is falling all over themselves to demonize one of the most popular weapons in America. If the terrorist in Orlando had walked into that club wearing a vest packed with C-4 and blown up the building those victims would be just as dead but we’d be having a very different conversation today.
But since it was a shooting, the media is having a field day going after the manufacturer of the AR-15 rather than asking what we can do to detect and stop radical Islamic terrorists on our own shores.