Sloppy Mainstream Reporting On Basic Gun Facts Points To Pervasive Failure

Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea
Gun Rights Examiner David Codrea

USA –-( Police seized some guns in Nashua, NH, writer Carl Bussjaeger noted over the weekend on Bear’s Blog.

“At least two papers and a TV station are carrying the story on their web sites,” he explained. “Notice that I used the singular form of ‘story’ despite multiple venues. All three ‘reports’ look to be slightly paraphrased re-issues of the same law enforcement press release.”

Why was Bussjaeger concerned, and why should we be?

“What originally caught my eye in this story was the claim that three ‘AK-47 assault rifles’ and a submachine gun (UnionUseless Leader says ‘Tec 9 machine pistol”’, Nashua Typographical Error reports ‘a submachine gun’, and WMUR has it as a ‘Tec-9 sub-machine gun’),” he writes, not even trying to mask his disregard for their journalistic standards.

Why does Bussjaeger have an issue with their reporting?

“I have a sneaking suspicion those ‘AK-47 assault rifles’ were no such thing. If I had money to bet, I’d say they were semi-auto-only variants that look kinda like AK-47s to the ignorant and most cops,” he argues.

And why would he make that assumption?

“The TEC-9 is a blow-back operated semi-automatic-only firearm,” he informs us. And he also informed them, resulting in an exchange with one of the “Authorized Journalists” involved, Patrick Meighan, who emailed back this excuse:

I’m not an expert on firearms. In this case, I trusted the police to be, and “assault rifle” was the term police used in describing the weapons. The same goes for “submachine gun,” which another reader also pointed out was inaccurate. In describing firearms seized during a raid or arrest, I’m uncomfortable departing from police descriptions.

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About David Codrea:
David Codrea is a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament. He is a field editor for GUNS Magazine, and a blogger at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance. Read more at