Last month, we caught ABC dubiously reporting the use of an “automatic rifle” in a Philadelphia crime. In that case, the police may have made that original claim. (I have a Pennsylvania Right To Know Law request pending on that.)
This time, I think they really stepped in it.
Indiana teen driver fatally shot by backseat passenger holding AR-15 style assault rifle: Police
A 19-year-old Indiana woman — described by her pastor as a “bubbly young lady who had a bright future” — was fatally shot when a 22-year-old friend riding in the backseat of her car accidentally discharged an AR-15 style assault rifle, according to police.
Mainstream news reporting of “assault rifles” and the like irks me. You might think it a minor point, but it has definitely caused more people to support gun control proposals, because they were — as intended — confused about the firearms being targeted.
My own mother got tricked by the assault weapon/assault rifle line. She was shocked when I didn’t support a ban on “machine guns,” and even more shocked when I explained the proposals had nothing to to do with those.
“Then why would they say that?” she wondered.
“So you’d be fooled, just like you were,” I told her.
And they’re still at it. I found it doubtful that the firearm in this shooting was an assault rifle as ABC’s Bill Hutchinson claimed, attributing it to the Marion Police Department. I asked Hutchinson where he got that information. He replied:
Hi @BearBussjaeger the story I wrote reads ‘an AR-15 style assault rifle,’ which is what the first paragraph of the Marion PD statement says. Later in the release, police specified it was a .223 caliber rifle, which was noted in the story. https://t.co/7KG6ZQgo4X
— Bill Hutchinson (@bill_hutchinson) December 2, 2019
Really? Let’s take a look.
Not there; even the word “assault” doesn’t appear. How about this one?
Not there either. There is “assault style rifle,” which a far cry from “assault rifle.” I asked Hutchinson for a copy of the statement he read, which allegedly says “assault rifle.” Surely he saw a statement I didn’t find.