ABCNews.com Refuses to Correct Anti-Gun Misinformation

A day after posting a blog entry
replete with falsehoods, and despite more than dozens of comments
pointing out the factual inaccuracies of the story, Brian Ross and Dana
Hughes of the ABC News blog "The Blotter" have yet to issue a
retraction.

Does ABC News have an obligation to report facts, or is peddling a
political agenda buttressed by lies their preferred stock in trade?

As I noted yesterday, the ABC News blog did not get so much as a single fact in their blog entry correct.

The Ross entry states that high-capacity magazines "became widely
available for sale when Congress failed to renew a law that banned
assault weapons." This is a patently false statement, containing no
truth at all.

High-capacity magazines have been around for more than half a century, and the sale of high-capacity magazines was not impacted whatsoever
by the 1994 Crime Bill. These magazines were freely and commercially
available, both in retail stores and online, without interruption, for
the 10-year life of the ban, the decades preceding it, and afterward.

Ross implies that high-capacity magazines are now for sale on Web
sites as a result of the ban expiring. Again, this is a deceptive,
inaccurate statement.

The fact of the matter is that high-capacity magazines were always
available for purchase (as noted above) both online, and in retail
stores, without interruption.

I stated yesterday:

This Blotter entry by Ross and Hughes is a study in bias, wrapped around ignorance, justified by fear.

I'll now add to this that it is now quite possible that Ross' entry
is a study in willful media deception as well. The Blotter's own moderated comments section contains dozens of posts warning ABC News that the information contained in the post was incorrect.

Brian Ross and Dana Hughes can't even get their facts right about the
94 AW law nor can ABC fabricate a legit connection between high
capacity magazine availability and this crime. Just the usual liberal
bias against gun ownership. Posted by: sssss | Apr 16, 2007 3:07:54 PM

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For the record, the federal law that lapsed didn't have any effect
on the sale of high-cap magazines. Sales of existing magazines with
capacities over ten rounds was entirely legal after the 1994 Act. What
was prohibited was the manufacture of new magazines.
Posted by: Jeffersonian | Apr 16, 2007 3:09:34 PM

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The magazines (not clips) were available during the ban on them, as
anything that had been manufactured prior to the ban was grandfathered
in. The "ban" banned nothing and was democratic showmanship at it's
worse.
You can't ban firearms in the US, they are a constitutionally protected
right. Again, the shooter is at fault, not the tool he used.
Posted by: Brian Heck | Apr 16, 2007 3:25:08 PM

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Lets stick to facts for a side story. This article implies that the
person guilty of this used large capacity clips and assault style
weapons. all unknown @ this time. As an earlier post stated - lots of
small capacity magazines can sould like one large capacity. The
Magazine size limit was no clips 10 or over could be manufactured for
sale in the US. this didn't stop the existing quantity to be resold.
As to the description of spraying requires large capacity clips. Two
handguns with 9 round clips would sound like 18 rounds going off
rapidly. If the person was truely Spraying fire into classrooms then
Large capacity clips were the least infraction. Automatic weapons as
seen in hollywood flicks spraying fire downrange were banned in 1934
for private ownership. either the person had a license for the weapon
(unlikely)or modified (in violation of the law) the weapon to fire
automaticly.
Again I ask to stick to facts and not jump to conclusions about what
may have exasperated the situation to promote a political agenda.
Posted by: glenn | Apr 16, 2007 3:26:18 PM

This is just a sampling of comments left in the moderated comments thread accompanying the Ross blog entry.

Every single one of these comments went past an ABC News employee. This
ABC News employee either decided not to investigate the multiple
inaccuracies noted by readers, or passed the information on to Ross,
who also declined to address the multiple falsehoods contained in his
post. In either event, Ross and ABC News have had ample time to correct
a blog entry devoid of facts, and they have declined to do so.

This is media malpractice and what many would consider willful deception.

Facts and truth do not apparently matter to ABC News.

Pushing a political agenda is clearly their goal, even if that agenda must be supported by abject falsehoods.

It is also worth noting that one of the weapons used did not have a high-capacity magazine by any
definition, and the other is typically used with a standard 15-round
non-extended magazine that is more or less an industry norm for pistols
of its size.

Cross-posted at Confederate Yankee.