Thursday, March 27, 2008

Now Fox News is Factually Challenged

Fox News recently posted this hit piece on their website. Needless to say, it reads like it was written by the Brady Campaign with only a weak quote from the NRA included as rebuttal. I've sent a brief note to Fox News critiquing the piece and calling for a correction to be printed. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s going to happen.

While reading your article “AK-47-Type Guns Are Turning Up in U.S. More Often” I was shocked and dismayed by the sheer volume of factual errors in the piece. It seems to me you simply printed a propaganda piece written by the Brady Campaign to justify another ill conceived “assault weapon” ban.

First and foremost, the statement that “Bullets fired by AK-47s travel at a higher velocity than those from many other weapons, and can do grievous damage to the body. Often they have enough energy to pass clear through.” What “other weapons” are you referring to? The 7.62x39 cartridge is a medium power cartridge and has a moderate to low muzzle velocity for a rifle cartridge. By contrast the 0.223 ammunition used in the AR-15 / M16 (used by Police as well as the U.S. Military) has a MUCH higher muzzle velocity, as does the ammunition of most hunting rifles. The stopping power of the higher power hunting cartridges is also far greater as the bullet weight is higher. Therefore this assertion is a blatant error.

You also quote the Brady Campaign: “A 2004 study by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence concluded the U.S. ban on AKs and other guns was successful, saying in the five years before its passage, assault weapons made up 4.82 percent of ATF crime gun traces, compared with 1.61 percent between 1995 and 2003.” First I seriously question the Brady Campaign’s data because of their own predilection for inaccuracy when it comes to promoting their agenda. Second, the 1994 ban did NOT ban the sale of the AK or other weapons – it simply limited the number of features the weapon could contain (such as pistol grips, folding stocks, etc.). Semi-automatic AK variants were freely and legally available during the ban. Therefore any drop in usage is coincidental and not as a result of legislation. Similarly any INCREASE in tracings post 2004 is also coincidental.

Quite frankly I see this article as an exercise in selective perception and partisan politics. It contains numerous factual errors and incorrect assumptions designed to lead the reader to a specific stance on the issue of gun control. I find it irresponsible that Fox News would publish such a seriously flawed article as the vast majority of the general public would not be able to catch these errors. I call on you to curtail your exercise in demagoguery and print a correction with all due haste.

Until next time!!!

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