At Townhall.com: When Television News Anchors Become Gun Control Activists

28 Jun , 2019  

Dr. John Lott has a new op-ed at Townhall.com on the gun control propoganda, there is really no other word for it, that comes from television news these days. Here is Lott’s discussion of CBS’s 60 Minutes this past Sunday night.

On the subject of gun control, television news shows these days spout nothing more than propaganda. This past Sunday, seven million Americans watched CBS’s “60 Minutes” explain why “AR-15s are the choice of our worst mass murderers.” It was the most-watched television program that day.

In the worst mass public shooting, a killer in Las Vegas used AR-15s, a type of semi-automatic rifle, to murder 58 people. The second worst attack occurred at an Orlando nightclub in 2016, and the killer used both an AR-15 style rifle as well as a very commonly-owned handgun. In the third worst attack, at Virginia Tech, the killer only used to handguns to claim 32 lives.

From 1998 to today, all mass public shootings where shots were fired, handguns averaged 8.3 murders. Rifle shootings averaged 13.3. All attacks where both handguns and rifles were fired resulted in more deaths – 21.4, on average.

“60 Minutes” tried to argue that the AR-15 is the weapon of choice for mass public shooters because its “ammunition travels three times the speed of sound” and does more damage to the human body. “So, you can see why the AR-15’s high velocity ammo is the fear of every American emergency,” claimed CBS’s Scott Pelley.

To show this, “60 Minutes” filmed the impact that AR-15 bullets have on gelatin, comparing it to the impact from a 9mm handgun. But CBS was incredibly misleading in implying that AR-15’s are somehow uniquely designed for warfare. In fact, bullets from rifles always travel faster than those from handguns. The AR-15 is no different than any rifle.

“A bomb went off on the inside because of the velocity of these [AR-15] high velocity rounds,” Pelley noted. The shock wave that a bullet produces when it hits a body does real damage, but again, there is nothing special about the AR-15. A bullet’s caliber tells you its diameter (i.e. a .30 caliber is 0.3 inches wide), and larger bullets create larger shock waves. The shock wave can damage internal organs well beyond the point of impact, meaning instant death.

An AR-15’s .223-caliber bullets are so small that many states prohibit use of them for deer hunting. The fear is that these relatively small bullets will not kill the animals, but merely wound them, causing them to suffer. These .223-caliber bullets are best for hunting small-game animals.

But the military may stand to benefit from using .223-caliber bullets, because wounding rather than killing enemy troops is likely to slow down their comrades and greatly limit maneuverability. Indeed, each soldier that is wounded slows down the movement of about seven other soldiers.

Smaller-caliber bullets are also lighter, allowing soldiers to carry many more of them. The smaller bullets produce less recoil in a gun, making it easier to shoot accurately.

“It is not just the speed of the bullet, but how quickly hundreds of bullets can be fired,” said Pelley. But the AR-15 fires bullets at the same rapidity as any other semi-automatic gun (one bullet per pull of the trigger). The vast majority of guns in the US are semi-automatic guns.

What CBS would never mention is that semiautomatic weapons are also used to protect people and save lives. Single-shot rifles that require physically reloading may not do people a lot of good when they are facing multiple criminals. Or, for that matter, if the first shot misses or fails to stop an attacker. People wanting to protect themselves and their families might not have the luxury of time to reload their guns.

CBS gives wall-to-wall coverage to mass public shootings, whether they be the attacks at the Pittsburgh synagogue, Sutherland Springs church, New Zealand mosque, or Stoneman Douglas High School. But nowhere in their coverage to do they mention that all of these places were gun-free zones where people couldn’t defend themselves. . . .

The rest of the piece is available here.



2 Responses

  1. Richard Hinman says:

    John Lott is dodging the issue with false arguments.
    Assault-type weapons are “different” and dangerous because they have a COMBINATION of features that make them attractive to mass killers.
    Hunting rifles can have larger, more devastating bullets, ….but they don’t have 30 rd. ammunition magazines!. They are also probably bolt action, so much slower.
    Lott also points out that AR-15s fire at the same rate as all other semi-autos. True. But most other semi-autos don’t have 30 rd. magazines.
    Lott also tries to pull the wool over our eyes by saying, “semi-auto weapons are used to save lives and protect people”. True again, but the topic is assault rifles, not “semi-automatic weapons”. And AR-15s are not needed for self-defense.
    Lots of gun lovers might use them for defense, but they aren’t necessary.
    Good luck finding a real world example of a civilian* needing an AR type gun for self-defense. (* excluding gang bangers and drug dealers). There likely aren’t any.
    The combination of light weight, high ammunition capacity and a fairly damaging bullet make AR-15’s uniquely dangerous to society.

    • Dani S. says:

      Just what, exactly, are your metrics for evaluating “need”?
      What is the value in a defense situation of being restricted to “slower” weapons with capacities limited to some arbitrary number of rounds? (1, 5, 10, 30, 100…)
      Why should anyone consider your non-competent opinion relevant?

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