Urbin Report

Monday, May 19, 2003

An email I sent to CNN:

Wayne LaPierre was correct in his assessment of John Zarrella's story on 5/15/03. In the retail world, Mr. Zarrella did what is know as "bait and switch", which is an illegal sales trick. He followed the script of well known 2nd Amendment foe Josh Sugarman, who wrote in 1989, "Assault weapons... are a new topic. The weapons' menacing looks, coupled with the public's confusion over fully-automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons -- anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun -- can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons."

Mr. Zarrella's story, instead of presenting facts, and making the issues clearer, followed this script of confusion, spreading what salesmen call "Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt."

The facts, to those who bother to research the subject, are clear. The 1994 law only bans semi-automatic rifles, for cosmetic reasons. Fully automatic, or selective fire weapons, like the M16A2 are not covered by that law. Such weapons have been under strict federal control since the Nation Firearms Act of 1934.

For example, the 1994 ban lists the AR-15 as a banned weapon, but makes the Ruger Mini-14 legal. What's the difference? Both fire the same .223 Remington cartridge, both are only capable of semi-automatic fire. Both use detachable box magazines, both are about the same size, weight, and have about the same muzzle velocity. The difference is that the AR-15 has black plastic parts (foregrip, pistol grip and stock), while those corresponding parts on the Mini-14 are made of wood.

Given CNN's history of bias reporting on this subject, Nelson Mandella will be a guest speaker at Bob Jones University before CNN presents a factual and honest story on the so-called assault weapon ban that was part of the Crime Act of 1994.