ABC’s The Rookie is hardly unique in constantly showing criminals using machine guns, but it is a little amazing that the criminals seem to be using nothing but. These clips are from this season (Season 2, E7 November 10, 2019), but we just recently became aware of this episode.
On TV shows, machine guns always seem to be the weapons of choice for bad guys when they get in shootouts with police. Some hyperbole is to be expected on television, but the level of exaggeration has become pretty over-the-top. In real life, criminals use machine guns so rarely that a 2016 survey of prison inmates only broke down the numbers for uses of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The survey did not even mention fully automatic weapons. Since 1934, there are only two known uses of a machine gun being used in a murder. Machine guns were very rare even before 1934.
The first five segments here are from ABC’s The Rookie, one episode from NBC’s Chicago PD, and two episodes from CBS’s Magnum PI. Police are the targets in all but one of the below episodes from the 2018-19 Season (the single exception is the first episode of Magnum PI). This list is probably very far from exhaustive.
Where do these television show writers think that the criminals are obtaining all these machine guns? Certainly not at your local gun store.
The Rookie (Season1): E2, E4, E9, E17, E20
Magnum PI (Season 1): E1, E15
Chicago P.D. (Season 6): E14
We haven’t been keeping close track of the current season, but other recent examples from this month include:
CBS’ SWAT (Season 3): E11 January 15 2020
CBS’ FBI (Season 2): E12 January 14, 2020)
Fox’s The Deputy (Season 1): E1 January 2, 2020
Other examples of television media bias include.
The Rookie (Season 2): E7 November 10, 2019