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Outrage Of The Week: Rapid Fire Mis-Reporting

Friday, January 4, 2008

This week’s outrage comes from an Associated Press article (http://www.thepittsburghchannel.com/news/14941809/detail.html), specifically a quote by Miami Police spokesman Will Moreno.

 

The article reports on the fact that, for the 2007 calendar year, Chicago and New York City closed out the year with “the lowest number of homicides in more than 40 years,” while several other major cities (including Miami) have seen killings go up because of  “a surge in guns and gang violence.”

 

According to the reporter, in Miami authorities have said that “the proliferation of assault weapons” is responsible for an increase in killings over the last three years.  The article then quotes Moreno as saying, “You just pull a trigger and 20 or 30 rounds come in a second and in those 20 rounds you’re sure to hit your intended target and some innocent bystanders, totally unlike a firearm that is just one bullet every time you pull the trigger.”

 

Not only is the premise that a “proliferation of assault weapons” is responsible for an increase in the city’s homicide rate inaccurate and absurd, the message the article conveys is irresponsible and just plain wrong.  In his quote, the police spokesman can only be referring to fully automatic “machine guns,” (though that premise is also misleading, as even a fully automatic, military issue M16 cannot fire 20-30 bullets per second), which are highly regulated, unlawful to manufacture or import, and whose use in violent crimes is virtually unheard of.  Neither machine guns nor semi-automatic “assault weapons” are “proliferating”, and these inanimate objects are not responsible for the increase in homicides.  The article, as well as Moreno, is manipulatively and erroneously trying to link exaggerated attributes of “machine guns” to semi-automatic “assault weapons.” 

 

As we plod through the third decade of the threadbare “assault weapons” debate, one would reasonably expect that the media and a police mouthpiece would, by now, know the difference between a semi-automatic firearm and a machine gun, and that they would have the integrity to report objectively and honestly on all firearms issues.

 

Well, they either still do not know the difference, or worse, they know but are trying to deceive the public, and advance their anti-gun agenda.  In either case, that’s outrageous.

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