The editorial board of the New York Times seems to have a simple mission: fabricate lies both blatant and bold in order to sell ideas to their readers that they couldn’t sell if they were honest. A recent op-ed, The Right to Sue the Gun Industry, is a perfect example of that sort of deception.
Let’s show you just home much they think they can lie to Times readers, whom they clearly feel are rubes.
The world recoiled in horror in 2012 when 20 Connecticut schoolchildren and six adults were killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School by a deranged teenager using a military-style assault rifle to fire 154 rounds in less than five minutes. The weapon was a Bushmaster AR-15 semiautomatic rifle adapted from its original role as a battlefield weapon. The AR-15, which is designed to inflict maximum casualties with rapid bursts, should never have been available for purchase by civilians.
When the Times editorial board states that the AR is an “assault rifle” and “is designed to inflict maximum casualties with rapid bursts,” they are directly and boldly lying to their readers in two different and important ways.
For starters, the common AR-15 is not an assault rifle, as the Encyclopedia Brittannica correctly notes.
Assault rifle, military firearm that is chambered for ammunition of reduced size or propellant charge and that has the capacity to switch between semiautomatic and fully automatic fire. Because they are light and portable yet still able to deliver a high volume of fire with reasonable accuracy at modern combat ranges of 300–500 m (1,000–1,600 feet), assault rifles have replaced the high-powered bolt-action and semiautomatic rifles of the World War II era as the standard infantry weapon of modern armies. Their ease of handling makes them ideal for mobile assault troops crowded into personnel carriers or helicopters, as well as for guerrilla fighters engaged in jungle or urban warfare. Widely used assault rifles are the United States’ M16, the Soviet Kalashnikov (the AK-47 and modernized versions), the Belgian FAL and FNC, and the German G3. (See also AK-47; M16 rifle.)
As Encyclopedia Brittannica clearly states, the defining characteristic of an assault rifle is the “capacity to switch between semi-automatic fire and fully automatic fire.”
There has never been a single criminal homicide committed in the United States with a legally-obtained assault rifle, which are heavily-regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934.
Assault rifles have been outlawed for manufacture for the civilian market since the Hughes Amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986. That is correct: assault rifles have not been made for the civilian market at any price for 30 years.
The evil perpetrator of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre used the most common and popular semi-automatic rifle sold in the United States, which is not a military assault rifle capable of burst fire.
Here’s a brief video from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), coincidentally based in Newtown, Connecticut, showing the very great difference between fully-automatic and semi-automatic fire.
The 5+ million AR-15s in civilian hands do not have the capability to fire “bursts” in fully automatic mode. They are semi-automatic. One trigger press fires one bullet, and one bullet only.
This self-loading firearm technology was invented in the 1880s and has been in common use for more than one hundred and thirty years. Semi-automatics were adopted for sporting use for two full generations—roughly forty years—before the U.S. military became the first army in the world to adopt semi-automatic rifles for general issue in the 1930s.
Today, semi-automatic is the most action type for rifles and handguns, and is poised to become the most common kind of action for shotguns (presently, only pump action shotguns are more commonly sold).
Let me say that again for emphasis: semi-automatic is the most common action type for firearms in the United States. They are not designed for modern military use, and have been obsolete for military use since the 1950s.
So how are these common firearms used, if not for military purposes?
The AR-15 is used in precision marksmanship competitions held by the Civilian Marksmanship Program and the National Rifle Association, and in designated marksman’s matches.
AR-15’s are also popular in two and three-gun competitions, where they are the most common rifle type used.
They are very commonly used in informal target shooting for fun and accuracy practice, called “plinking.”
Because they are low-recoiling and quite accurate, AR-15s are commonly used in rifle marksmanship training.
Because they are low recoiling, easy to control, and the tiny bullets (typically 55-62 grains in weight) break up easily in common building materials, AR-15s are also among the most recommend home defense firearms by self-defense experts.
The AR-15’s most common chambering, the .223 Remington, is a hunting caliber that excels for both pest and predator control, and is likely the single most common rifle used in the hunting of feral hog populations decimating farmland in many parts of the country.
Put bluntly, the AR-15 does everything well, and is easily the most flexible rifle platform in the United States, which is why it is also the most popular.
All of that guts the next lie from the editorial board of the Times, as they echo the claims of a vile lawyer who claims that there is “no conceivable use for it (the AR-15) other than the mass killing of other human beings.”
This is the eminently reasonable point that the parents of the 6- and 7-year-old students cut down at the school are now pressing in Connecticut state court. They are attempting to sue the gun manufacturer, Remington; the wholesaler; and a local retailer for recklessness in providing the weapon to the consumer marketplace “with no conceivable use for it other than the mass killing of other human beings.”
If the AR-15 has “no conceivable use for it other than the mass killing of other human beings,” then more than five million Americans are using them wrong. Of the 8,124 criminal homicides in the United States in 2014, just 248 were committed with rifles of any kind. AR-15s make up a subset of that number that is so small that it isn’t even tracked by the FBI.
Here in reality, we know that the media’s fiction of an “epidemic of gun violence” simply does not exist. Violent crime is a a multi-decade long term decline, and there are now fewer per-capita homicides and accidents with firearms than at any point in recorded U.S. history.
The spin doctors at the Times then decided to blatantly lie about the Protection of Lawful Commerce In Arms Act (PLCAA).
The question of whether the lawsuit will be allowed to proceed is at issue because Congress, prodded by the gun lobby, in 2005 foolishly granted the gun industry nearly complete immunity from legal claims and damages from the criminal use of guns.
The PLCAA does not grant the gun industry “nearly complete immunity from legal claims.”
There are currently suits against against Century Arms and Remington Arms for defective firearms, and nothing in PLCAA gives gun companies immunity from poorly designed or defective products. Nor is there anything that protects the gun industry from criminal or civil action if they intentionally or negligently provide arms to criminals, as Badger Guns recently discovered as they lost a $6 million dollar lawsuit for allowing the straw purchase of a firearm used to shoot two police officers.
The Sandy Hook parents argue that their suit should continue because that law, the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, allows claims against companies — gun shop dealers, for example — if they knew or should have known that the weapons they sold were likely to risk injury to others. The parents contend that the maker of the Bushmaster is no less culpable because it knowingly marketed a risky war weapon to civilians.
The manufacturer is claiming total immunity under the federal law. Nearly every lawsuit filed against firearms makers has been dismissed in federal and state courts because of this shield law. The Connecticut state judge’s decision on whether to allow the suit to proceed, expected by the end of next month, is widely awaited by the arms industry and gun control proponents because it could well provide a legal framework for holding the industry accountable for the mass shooting deaths made possible by its products.
The lawyers representing less than half of the Sandy Hook families are pushing a frivolous lawsuit in an attempt to hold Remington responsible for the actions of a deranged killer who murdered his own mother in order to get the keys to her gun safe.
This is identical to attempting to hold an automobile manufacturer responsible for a criminal carjacking a vehicle and then using it to mow people down. It’s morally depraved and dishonest and should be thrown immediately by the court.
The lawsuit cites numerous instances in which the arms industry has used macho military terms in marketing assault rifles and 30-round ammunition magazines to civilians, including boasts of “military-proven performance” and “the ultimate combat weapons system.” As the plaintiffs note, sportsmen’s hunting rifles, by contrast, are marketed with five-round clips.
The editors of the Times will never admit it to their readers, but lawyer pushing the case is using dishonest arguments and has very little respect for them, deeming them “notoriously incompetent.” The editors of the Times refuse to be honest and tell their readers in a straightforward manner that they irrationally and passionately hate guns.
Nor will they admit that they want the PLCAA overturned for a very simple reason: they want anyone with a lawyer and ill intentions to be able to file frivolous lawsuits against the gun industry in hopes of bankrupting an industry that they cannot outlaw by fiat.
This same tactic is being pushed by Democrat frontrunner Hillary Clinton, for the same reason. She wants gun companies bankrupted.
This shameful gun industry shield law became a factor in the presidential primaries when Hillary Clinton attacked Senator Bernie Sanders, her Democratic rival, for having voted for it. Mr. Sanders has since changed his position to favor repeal of the law; the Republican candidates, needless to say, continue to pander to gun rights zealots and duck the issue.
Beyond seeking damages, the Sandy Hook parents aim to force the AR-15 off the market. “The AR-15 is the weapon of choice for shooters looking to inflict maximum casualties, and American schools are on the forefront of such violence,” they say.
The lawyers and the editors of the Times are are lying, of course. As FBI data shows, the AR-15 is very rarely used in crimes of any kind, including mass shootings, and they aren’t just targeting AR-15s.
The Sandy Hook lawsuit and the attacks on the PLCAA are both designed to attack the entire gun industry, not just part of it. They cannot legislate guns out of America no matter how much they lie about them in their fabricated “gun violence epidemic,” and so they’re trying to create conditions to sue them out of existence instead.
In seeking justice for their children and their community, these parents could help rein in a runaway industry and reduce a grievous national affliction.
The gun industry is among the most heavily-regulated businesses in the world.
If there is an industry in need of being reigned in, perhaps it is a news business that routinely deceives the American people.