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.