Just in case you missed it, or have been living in some kind of cave where the powers of media are incapable of penetrating, HBO’s Real Sports is neither really real, nor is it even really about sports.
On Tuesday night’s episode of Real Sports, the investigative arm of HBO’s leftist sports department took exception with the AR-15 rifle. Specifically, the marketing of the AR-15 as a “sporting rifle.” Which, as reporter David Scott contends, was created for military use, with the sole purpose of killing.
Narrator: From 12 dead at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, to 14 killed by terrorists in San Bernardino...From 10 killed by the Washington D.C. Snipers... To 26 dead in a school in Newtown, Connecticut... One massacre after another is being committed with America's most popular sporting gun: A gun, after all, that was designed for one purpose. And sports is not it.
And cue the scenes of death and destruction from Vietnam. Of course, there’s only one problem with all this. The AR-15 sold today to Americans in gun shops, or online, is not the same one issued to the military in Vietnam. Nor, is it even the same one issued to the military today.
In Vietnam, as the grainy Real Sports footage suggests, the old M16A1 had fully automatic capability. Precisely not what is available to U.S. civilians (except under extremely stringent circumstances). However, the GI’s in Vietnam grew a little too fond of the fully automatic feature, and burned through ammunition at a high rate. This led to the development of the M16A2, a variant of the M16 which removed the fully automatic feature, and instead only allowed a 3-round burst with each trigger pull.
As for the M4, another variant of the M16 and today’s standard issue infantry weapon, the overwhelming majority are equipped with only burst and semi-automatic capability, not fully automatic. If David Scott and Bryant Gumbel don’t think there’s a real difference between semi-auto/burst and fully automatic gun fire…well…then they would be David Scott and Bryant Gumbel.
Real Sports didn’t stop the assault on rifles there. Next, they bemoaned the billions made by the gun industry, and essentially accused gun makers of handing out semi-automatic party favors to children:
Narrator: And lest they run out of customers, they've begun targeting new ones, children, with glossy ads in industry magazines like "Junior Shooters." Tom Walker, who once thought the AR-15 was better suited for police or gangs than sports shooters, now has one for his little girl,
Tom: Now, that's actually my daughter's. I built this for her. And she even knows how to reload at eight years old. She hasn't hunted yet, but she's been talking about it.
David: Did you start her out with this gun or with simpler...
Tom: This was her first gun. Yeah, this was her first gun.
You know what else is marketed to children, and results in infinitely more accidental deaths than guns do? Cars and swimming pools. That’s okay though, I’m sure the Real Sports documentary that calls for an end to swimming and cars is coming soon.
But there is actually one thing swimming pools, cars, and guns all have in common when it comes to kids: and that’s that kids can’t buy these things without their parents. So, gun manufacturers can put as many pre-teens on the cover of hunting and marksmanship magazines as they want, since that kid is still not legally obtaining a gun without a consenting adult who passes a background check.
Not that reporter David Scott spent all his time attacking gun makers for catering to children. Next, he went after the network of professional, AR-15 based shooting leagues:
Narrator: But target shooting in the era of the AR-15 looks, like the gun itself, less like American apple pie, and more like combat. The industry has developed a new range of shooting sports tailored for the ar-15. There are professional shooting leagues, with rankings and sponsors, where the winners take home trophies and prize money and compete before a national television audience.
Kind of hilarious that Scott thinks a guy in a sponsor shirt, shooting at paper targets that aren’t shooting back, resembles combat. But more importantly, look at the network logo in the upper-right corner of the placard that the champion is hoisting. It reads, “NBC Sports Network.” Which is obviously owned by NBC, and is the network that hosts a lot of these competitive shooting shows.
It’s also the same mainstream media network that gave Katie Couric the unfiltered and unopposed national platform to promote her anti-gun project. In addition, NBC was one of President Obama’s most faithful and reliable media conduits in the wake of the Newtown tragedy, when he began his push for sweeping gun control.
So, while Real Sports rips the gun industry for paying “lip service” to tragedies involving guns that claim the lives of children, while marketing guns to younger and younger generations of children, Bryant Gumbel and his leftist hacks remain conspicuously silent as NBC broadcasts and promotes a shooting show that features the AR-15, while simultaneously pushing for gun control and banning the AR-15.
What Scott didn’t miss, was an opportunity to use the Newtown massacre to point out the dangers of high-capacity magazines:
Narrator: The AR-15 used in Newtown could have been rendered a bit less deadly if it had not been outfitted with high-capacity magazines that hold dozens of bullets each. But shortly before the massacre, a bill that would have banned them was defeated with help from the NSSF.
David: Your organization lobbied against the proposed restrictions in Connecticut on high-capacity magazines.
Lawrence: As we did in other states as well, yes.
David: Adam Lanza used high-capacity magazines in the commission of his crime.
Lawrence: That were lawfully purchased and legal to purchase at the time by his mother, and still today, legal to possess in Connecticut and other states.
David: You don't feel any responsibility for those devices being in the consumer market?
Lawrence: They're standard issue for modern sporting rifles. And we saw a magazine capacity restriction in place for ten years in the United States and it did nothing to reduce crime.
Yet, when Seung Hoi Cho killed 32 people at Virginia Tech (6 more people than Lanza killed at Newtown with a high-capacity mag), he did it with two pistols. Both of which had only a 10-15 round capacity. So, clearly the notion that a high-capacity mag makes you more deadly is not necessarily true. Whether you have one 30 round mag, or two 10-round mag, mass death and mayhem can and will ensue.
In his closing interview, Scott and Gumbel reacted with abject horror that there are 12 million AR-15’s in circulation. Gumbel even referred to AR-15 gun owners as “GI Joe guys.” Yet, in their entire 20-minute expose, they cited four mass shooting incidents over 10 years that involved the AR-15. Which, to a normal person, means there are roughly 11,999,996 non-crazy, law abiding AR-15 owners out there. It would also suggest that what we have is a people problem, not a gun problem.
But again, that’s how normal people would take it.