GUNS AND CINDER BLOCKS….Like Matt Yglesias, I don’t usually bother to blog about gun issues. I don’t know much about guns, I don’t have very strong opinions about them, and it’s so hard to find honest information about gun issues that it’s just not worth the trouble.
On the other hand, it does look as if CNN played fast and loose with a report on guns the other day. First off, there’s an argument about what kinds of guns are affected by the assault weapons ban and whether they’re really any different from other, legal guns. That’s just the usual he-said-she-said gun stuff and I don’t care much about it. But then there’s this:
In the first of the two segments that aired Thursday, a Broward County detective fired the AK-47 in semiautomatic mode, and the camera showed bullets hitting a cinder-block target. The detective then fired a legal semiautomatic weapon, and CNN showed a cinder-block target with no apparent damage. On Friday, CNN admitted that the detective had not been firing at the cinder block.
Now, this story is from the Washington Times and the author is Robert Stacy McCain, so it’s probably best to keep an open mind until CNN responds. On the other hand, it’s been nearly a week and CNN doesn’t seem to have cleared things up yet. They probably ought to get cracking.
UPDATE: It turns out CNN ran a corrected report yesterday. In comments, Unlearned Hand points to AR15.com, which helped CNN tape the followup report. These guys seem to be convinced that the original report was faulty due to carelessness, not dishonesty, and appear to be happy with the sincerity of CNN’s followup. Since they’re the ones with the biggest beef, I’ll defer to their opinion. The CNN report may have been sloppy, but apparently it wasn’t mendacious.