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A Va. politician is giving away an AR-15 rifle as a Second Amendment statement. That’s the headline — an announcement so bland you wouldn’t be surprised to find it at Nor would you, a member of TTAG’s Armed Intelligentsia, find it odd that WaPo writers Ian Shapira and Laura Vozzella couldn’t resist demonizing the firearm featuring in Virginia gubernatorial candidate Corey Stewart’s gun giveaway.  Your first clue?

The caption underneath the featured photo above: “In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, Barbara J. Mattson, with the Connecticut State Police’s firearms training unit, holds up a Bushmaster rifle, the same make and model of gun used by Adam Lanza in the Sandy Hook School shooting, for a demonstration during a gun-law hearing.”

What does a gun similar to the one used for the Sandy Hook slaughter have to do with a pol’s political pandering to pro-gun voters? I’m glad you asked!

On Saturday, [Stewart] announced that he’s giving away an AR-15 rifle, the style of weapon used in several of the nation’s mass shootings and most notorious crimes, including the 2002 Washington-area sniper attacks, one of which was a homicide at a gas station in Stewart’s county.

In a news release Saturday, Stewart announced the AR-15 giveaway knowing full well that it would probably attract controversy — and news coverage.

“If elected to be your next Governor, you can be 100% CERTAIN I will never compromise on your God-given right to keep and bear arms,” Stewart wrote. “In fact, even though I’m sure it’s certain to send the liberal media into a frenzy, to show my dedication to the Second Amendment my campaign is GIVING AWAY an AR-15 to one lucky supporter.”

Well he wasn’t wrong, was he? The WaPo rose to the bait like Bruce the shark saying hello to Martin Brody in Jaws. But just in case you thought Shapira and Vozella were done impugning the AR-15, the not-so-dynamic duo dedicate another paragraph to educating readers about the firearm’s role in heinous — heinous I tell you! — crimes.

AR-15-style weapons and other assault-style rifles have been the subject of fierce debate because of their use in mass shootings across the United States. They were used in the Orlando club massacre this summer that killed 49 people; the December 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, Calif., that left 14 people dead; the December 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Conn., that killed 20 children and six adults; and the mass shooting in an Aurora, Colo., movie theater in July 2012 that killed a dozen. Dean Harold Meyers, 53, was killed as he pumped gas on Oct. 9, 2002, in Prince William County with a similar weapon — a Bushmaster XM-15 — part of the ­Washington-area sniper attacks that killed 10 and wounded three.

Not to mention all the SUVs involved in traffic fatalities. Or the fact that long guns account for a fraction of firearms-related homicides (as The New York Times reported in 2014). Or the fact that the police responding to these crimes were equipped with AR-15s.

To be fair, the WaPo agitprop providers give Stewart a chance to defend the indefensible [/sarc]:

In an interview with The Washington Post on Saturday, Stewart dismissed the debate surrounding the weapons. “Look, this is a rifle that people are permitted to own in the United States. There’s nothing wrong with that,” Stewart said. “It’s a semiautomatic rifle. It is not an assault rifle. This is a great hunting rifle, and it’s also great for recreation use.”

Not exactly. There are states where Americans can’t own modern sporting rifles (a.k.a., “assault rifles”). But there are no states where internet surfers are spared hoplophobes’ hysterical hand-wringing. FWIW.

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    • Now, now. Some scum can be quite useful, for instance if they’re a variety that turn out lots of oils, proteins or carbohydrates they can provide fuel and food for humanity.

      Then there are journalists.

    • There might be a handful left (and I mean a handful in the entire country) but otherwise, no. The correct term nowadays for the vast majority of bottom-feeders trying to pass themselves off as journalists is “propagandist”, almost all of whom work for the liberals.

  1. “Look, this is a rifle that people are permitted to own in the United States”

    should READ “Look, this is a rifle that the government is prohibited from restricting in the United States”

    • As of January 1, 2017, any weapon with a magazine that can be released by a Button is illegal in California. As of the same date, any weapon (long gun) with a pistol style grip is illegal to be sold in California!
      So for the statement made that anyone wanting to own such a weapon is permitted under our laws, you stand as incorrect!

      • Just because California Progressives passed an unconstitutional state law does not mean the act they declared unlawful is truly unlawful. With the sea of change in the Supreme Court, if you have the millions to fight this thing all the way passed the California courts and the patience, it is legal.

      • “As of January 1, 2017, any weapon with a magazine that can be released by a Button is illegal in California. As of the same date, any weapon (long gun) with a pistol style grip is illegal to be sold in California!”

        Presuming you’re referring to SB 880 ( ) …

        It’s not true that any weapon with a magazine that can be released by a button will become illegal, nor is it true that any long gun with a pistol-style grip cannot be sold.

        Things that are banned (i.e. classified as “assault weapons”):
        * a centerfire, semiautomatic rifle:
        a) that has evil features AND does not have a “fixed magazine”;
        b) that has a fixed magazine > 10 rounds;
        c) with an overall length 10 rounds
        * a semiautomatic shotgun with a pistol grip AND a collapsible or folding stock
        * a semiautomatic shotgun that can accept detachable magazines
        * a shotgun with a revolving cylinder

        For our scary rifles that are the subject of this article:
        * Not a fixed magazine but no evil features = no problem.
        * Evil features but has a fixed magazine = no problem.

        “Fixed magazine” = ammunition feeding device that cannot be removed without disassembly of the firearm action.
        “Evil features” = pistol grip, collapsible/folding stock, thumbhole stock, flash suppressor, grenade launcher, forward pistol grip.

        • Private Barbara Mattson could save money on breast augmentation by just raising her duty belt a foot or so.

        • Gah. Must you keep using that picture?

          I have recurring nightmares of being pulled over on I-95 and seeing that in my rear-view mirror.

        • Fair point. She might identify differently. We should ask her.

          Personally, I identify as a AH-64 Apache gunship. Why? Because that way I can demand landing pads, refueling points and maintenance crews be positioned around the university but really I do it for the added bonus: AMG-114 Hellfires to blow the shit out of snowflakes’ safe spaces and a 30mm chain gun to take care of any potential survivors.

  2. Wait!!!! Does this mean that the WAPO doesn’t know the FEDERAL GOVERNMENT through the Ohio National Guard, the Army Marksmanship Unit and the CMP areencouraging junior shooters to train and actual shoot AR 15 ????
    It’s called the Small Arms Firing School. The Schools (one for rifle ie AR-15 and one for pistol M-9) are open to all U. S. citizens who are over the minimum age. Mimimum age for rifle is 12 and minimum age for pistol is 14
    Firearms are provided, students must bring eye and ear protection. In the Schools, USAMU instructors, assisted by Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Marine and Navy Active, National Guard and Reserve shooting team members teach basic marksmanship techniques geared to meet the needs of new and less experienced shooters
    The cost of the school is $30.00 for juniors ($45.00 for adults) for the Pistol or Rifle School. For the advanced pistol school it’s $20.00 for adults and $15.00 for juniors. For their entry fee, students receive all instruction, an M9 9mm service pistol or an M-16 service rifle to fire, all the needed ammunition for the school, a USAMU Service Pistol or Service Rifle Guide, a SAFS T-shirt, SAFS certificate and handout materials. All SAFS students also receive automatic entry in the M9 Pistol EIC or M16 Rifle EIC Matches at no additional cost, a special EIC match pin and an opportunity to win four EIC credit points. SAFS info at

    Maybe the Washington post isn’t aware that kids from D.C, Virginia and Maryland come up to Camp Perry Ohio every year to learn about and train with real army firearms. Please don’t anyone let them know about the SAFS’s or WaOO have a full blown journalist cardiac event.
    Senior Gun Owner 1950

    • Actually, spread the word. Full Blown Journalist Cardiac Events are a good thing. It will thin the herd of irrational misleading hoplophobes.

  3. I hope he gets Clinton pal Terry Mcauliffe to stuff it all the way to prison. GL with your election and hope you’ve got a few more ARs to give away. Seems to be pissing off the squares.

  4. I vividly remember the DC sniper because I had business in the DC area at the time. In fact, I bought gas at one of the NoVA gas stations where they killed a person a few weeks later. It was a scary time, especially right after 9/11 and then as it turned out a pair of the prophet’s followers were the snipers. But back then the news reports simply said that they found a “rifle” in the car along with the perps. There was no discussion that I can recall of the caliber, type of weapon, etc. This nonsense of “same type of weapon” is just that. Pure nonsense. Like correlation or coincidence equaling causation.

  5. Funny thing …

    Every time I see that photo, I want to go out and buy another firearm.

    Hmmm….. I don’t think I have an MCX yet…

  6. The washington post forgot to report on the tragedies that occur nearly every weekend where thousands of of these weapons are brought out and fired tens/hundreds of thousands of times under stress, while running, and the countless injuries sustained by these evil weapons… I bet you there were as many as 10 people last weekend alone that hurt their feet when small rocks entered their shoes while running from firing position to firing position. Ban these evil weapons and 3-gun style competitions!


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