CBS Reporter Corrects Other CBS Reporters: Aurora Shooter’s Ammunition Purchase ‘Not that Unusual’

Correcting a common media refrain repeated moments earlier on CBS’s Face the Nation, CBS News correspondent Barry Petersen offered “to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control,” pointing out that what Easterners (ie: journalists) see as an unusually large ammunition purchase of six thousand rounds is really not all that noteworthy:

In the West, you need guns to, literally, protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said is really not that unusual if you are an avid target shooter. You would buy that much in a month. You’d go through it.

Petersen spent much of his CBS career based in Asia, so his colleagues have no excuse for their naivete.

Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer had marveled about James Holmes: “Boy, did he buy a load. I mean, you could fill up a dump truck with what he bought.” Justice Department correspondent Bob Orr agreed “he bought a ton of stuff,” exclaiming how “over the Internet” Holmes “bought six thousand rounds – six thousand rounds – of ammunition we think from a company called BulkAmmo.com.”

From the Sunday, July 22 Face the Nation on CBS:

BOB SCHIEFFER: The fact he bought all this stuff, legally, and, boy, did he buy a load. I mean, you could fill up a dump truck with what he bought.

BOB ORR: He bought a ton of stuff, and he could have bought it anywhere, Bob. This was a so-called clean skin. The man had no record at all. I mean, zero on the record. Over a period of six weeks, he went into three different gun shops, legally purchased some high-powered weapons – the Smith & Wesson version of an AR-15 a semiautomatic assault rifle, two 40-caliber Glock pistols, semi-automatics, and then a 12-gauge shotgun for good measure and then over the Internet bought six thousand rounds – six thousand rounds – of ammunition we think from a company called BulkAmmo.com. This was apparently delivered to a FedEx outlet there in Colorado. This was all very, very easy. And, apparently, Mr. Holmes stayed within the law and it was easy for him to do

....

SCHIEFFER: Barry Petersen, we have heard very little -- we know that he offered no resistance when the officers arrested him. What do you know about the arrest? How did it take place? How did they spot him? What happened?

BARRY PETERSEN, IN AURORA: Well, let me, let me jump into that previous debate just for a second, Bob. I want to bring a little Western perspective to this issue of gun control. People here think that this is different from those of East coast cities and things like that. In the West, you need guns to, literally, protect yourself sometimes against wild animals. The amount of ammunition that he bought, six thousand rounds, somebody said is really not that unusual if you are an avid target shooter. You would buy that much in a month. You’d go through it.

Brent Baker
Brent Baker
Brent Baker is the Steven P.J. Wood Senior Fellow and VP for Research and Publications at the Media Research Center