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The Gun That Didn’t Shoot

How did the MSM get the D.C. Navy Yard shooting wrong? Let us count the ways.

by
Jack Dunphy

Bio

September 27, 2013 - 12:05 am
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In watching the coverage of the Washington Navy Yard shooting as it unfolded last Monday, I had to remind myself that most of the reports I was hearing would surely turn out to be incorrect, in some cases wildly so. And indeed this turned out to be the case. We were told, for example, that there was more than one gunman, and that one of them was armed with an AR-15 rifle. Even worse, both CBS and NBC identified the wrong man as the shooter before issuing retractions.

The first of these errors is the most understandable. In the rush to beat their competitors, the editing filters ordinarily in place are often put aside in favor of greater speed. Reports from the scene, no matter how unverifiable, are broadcast live so as to be first on the air. Again, understandable and even forgivable in most cases.

Less so is the misidentification of the shooter’s weapon. This too might be seen as understandable were it not for the obvious desire on the part of so many in the news business to demonize a particular type of firearm, the so-called “assault rifle.”  The Navy Yard gunman, Aaron Alexis, was not armed with an AR-15, or with any other kind of rifle, but rather with a pump-action shotgun, one of the most commonly owned firearms in the country. This did not prevent members of the media from pressing their case for a federal ban on “assault rifles.”  Just as the Sherlock Holmes short story Silver Blaze features the “curious incident” of the dog that didn’t bark, the story of the Navy Yard shooting came to be about the gun that didn’t shoot.

But most egregious of the media’s many errors at the Navy Yard was the labeling as the shooter of a man who was at home, 40 miles away, at the time of the incident. Though the mistake was caught fairly quickly and the appropriate retractions and corrections were made, it didn’t prevent other reporters from setting up camp outside the wronged man’s home. Both CBS and NBC blamed their misreporting on law enforcement sources who said that an ID card belonging to a former Navy Yard employee had been found near the dead shooter. In most cases it would have been a logical assumption that the ID card was indeed the gunman’s — but not in this one.

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Top Rated Comments   
"Each of the agencies has its own chain of command and communications network, some of which mesh together better than others. "

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't this why we created homeland security and spent kabillions of dollars on upgrading law enforcement communications? To talk to each other? Money well spent.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Wrong guy, wrong race, wrong number of guys, wrong gun … so lets ban the wrong gun for the wrong guys of the wrong race... and before you call me a racist, tell me why a spree shooting is fading as quickly from the news cycle as the drive-by in Chicago that hurt 13? If it doesn't fit "The Narrative" it didn't happen.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Bottom line: A black guy goes nuts, grabs a shotgun and whatever else comes to hand, and shoots mostly white people. Doesn't fit any of the Left's narrative for disarming America. Story is dropped immediately after the funerals.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (54)
All Comments   (54)
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28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Navy Yard shooting occurred in a gun free zone, restricted entry military base, protected by armed contract security officers, and still government couldn't protect it's workers. So calling for more gun control, ensuring even more disarmed law abiding citizens, is going to lower the body count, how?
Americans are starting to see the lie inherent in the pro gun control argument, and voting with their feet. And, those feet are carrying them to their local gun store, to buy guns.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Since Prohibition times there is a federal law prohibiting to saw off the barrel of a shotgun. Has anyone evaluated HOW EFFECTIVE was this law to deter that lunatic & other criminals from using a sawed off shotgun?

A prohibition on firearms would be as effective (useless) as the 18th Amendment and the banning of sawed off shotguns or ... the immigration laws for that matter.

The intention and effect of laws should be to SOLVE THE PROBLEM at hand. If the law, instead of discourage use by regulating responsible gun ownership was to TRAIN and from the conscience of young people on the proper use of firearms --say, in high school-- I think we would have prevented many many school shootings and many other similar incidents.

The problem with laws passed by Liberals (I include right wing Liberals like the GOP) is that they always exacerbate the problem they are trying to solve.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Please excuse if distasteful at all

But

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Not too certain about packages from MSM much now.

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28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Black shooters will not get the same publicity treatment as long as Sharpton and Jackson - and Obama - do not stir up the pot.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
The stand-down by the Capitol Police has so far not been explained. Neither has the fact that the Marines, who typically guard major Navy facilities, were not involved in the takedown of the shooter. It has been reported that the reason is the Marines “guarding” the base are not issued any ammo for their weapons (after all, they might hurt someone).

Time and again, when on active duty, I observed that the magazine wells of the Marine sentries’ weapons were empty. In 1983, the Marine sentries at the Marine barracks in Beirut were forced by the “rules of engagement” to be armed with empty rifles, and only one managed to load his weapon and get off a round before the devastating explosion killed 241 of his buddies.

I had also wondered why a former Navy man would choose to launch an attack on a Navy facility at a time when virtually all Navy personnel would be at “Quarters”, an 0800 morning assembly when the Plan of the Day is read, and announcements are made. The recently released surveillance video in fact shows Alexis slurking thru the corridors in at least a temporarily unsuccessful search for victims. Fortunately for the Navy men, he failed to locate their assemblage, and had to default to the cafeteria, where his victims were civilian employees having breakfast.

So “Gun-Free Zones, Marine guards not allowed any ammo, Capitol police tactical team ordered to stand-down. If this had actually been a terrorist attack, instead of one lone lunatic, the body count would have been far more appalling.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
Interesting that the Navy Yard shooting was big news just as long as the media thought an AR-15 was involved but not so much when the shooter turned out to be using a shotgun and black to boot.

I guess it's like the Walmart mass shooting back in June of this year in North VA. Turned out the shooter was black, and was specifically targeting only white people.

Didn't fit the narrative, so didn't get much coverage. And Obama didn't mention it in any of his speeches.
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
If we only actually had a media that was indecent, objective and questioning of the government!
28 weeks ago
28 weeks ago Link To Comment
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