Debunking the Navy Yard Gun Control AR-15 Fallacy

The left-leaning mainstream media jumped at the chance to blame the mass murder at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday on a firearm (not the man), specifically the most popular centerfire rifle in the United States, the AR-15.




Of course, the shooter didn’t use an AR-15 at all in any part of his murderous rampage, as the embarrassed media was forced to concede the next day.

Unwilling to give up a chance to champion gun control laws, however, the New York Times, CBS News, and other news outlets insisted that he tried to buy an AR-15, but was prevented from buying one because of Virginia’s state gun laws.

This is also categorically false, as the Virginia state law on the transfer of an assault weapon merely requires, “proof of citizenship, or of lawful admission for a permanent residence.”

Calls by Bearing Arms to other Virginia gun stores confirmed that out-of-state citizens of states where AR-15s are legal (including the state of Texas, where he had residence) may purchase an AR-15 with a recognized and valid form of photo identification (such as a driver’s license) and a proof of citizenship, (such as a passport).

This fallacy that gun control prevented this massacre from occurring with an AR-15 because of state gun laws is false.

The New York Times refused to retract their article State Law Prevented Sale of Assault Rifle to Suspect Last Week, Officials Say, despite the fact it was incorrect. Instead, editors issued a weak correction to the end of the article:

Correction: September 20, 2013

An article on Wednesday about the gunman in the Navy Yard shooting, using information from senior law enforcement officials, misstated a provision in Virginia state gun law. Out-of-state buyers must provide additional forms of identification to purchase a high-capacity AR-15 rifle; the laws do not prohibit the sales of all AR-15 rifles to all out-of-state residents.


Vanity Fair, which used the NY Times article as it’s excuse to run anti-gun coverage, was even less honest, allowing Juli Weiner’s The Gun Law That Stopped Aaron Alexis from Buying an Assault Rifle to remain without ever correcting the fact that Virginia’s firearms laws did not prevent Alexis from purchasing an AR-15. They instead issued a “correction” that noted Alexis would not be allowed to purchase a handgun under Virginia state law without it being shipped to a Texas gun dealer for pickup.

Bless their hearts, CBS News has made no attempt to correct their false story, Aaron Alexis tried to buy assault rifle but was unable to. They apparently intend to let the falsehood stand.

Sadly, the media is far more interested in pushing a narrative made of up of falsehoods and incorrect assumptions than they are presenting facts.

Caveat emptor.

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