WashPost's Horwitz Publishes Pro-Gun Control Piece Filled with Ludicrous, Unsupported Statements, Undefined Terms

In a 23-paragraph story -- headlined "States move to restrict gun magazines" in the print edition -- stacked heavily in favor of gun control advocates, the Washington Post's Sari Horwitz insulted her readers intelligence with sloppy reporting and baseless claims.

"Experts say limiting size of devices could reduce deaths in mass shootings," insisted the subheadline. But it turns out Horwitz only quoted one such "expert," David Chipman, who happened to be a "senior policy adviser for Mayors Against Illegal Guns." Two paragraphs later, Horwitz noted that "gun rights advocates" like Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation dismiss that notion as "speculative at best." So what makes Chipman an expert while the senior vice president of a shooting sports trade group is not, other, that is, than the liberal journalist's biases on gun control?


Horwitz also referred repeatedly to "large-capacity magazines" or "high-capacity magazines" -- she used them interchangeably -- but never defined what supposedly constitutes such magazines. Is it  one holding more than 10 rounds? More than 15? More than 30? The Post staff writer never specified, although one may surmise she believes anything over 10 rounds is, seeing as the 1994 federal assault weapons ban forbid the sale and transfer of such magazines for use with semiautomatic pistols and rifles.

But if anything bearing more than 10 rounds is "high-capacity," that means that David Chipman, the MAIG flack she cited, regularly carried a gun with a "high-capacity magazine" when he was on patrol as an ATF agent who "routinely carried a firearm with a magazine limited to 15 rounds."

If a 15-round magazine is standard -issue for civilian law enforcement by the feds, how is it high-capacity when it's used by civilians?

Additionally, Horwitz ludicrously claimed that "large-capacity magazines...greatly increase a gun's killing power" because it was "designed for the battlefield to help soldiers spray a huge number of bullets quickly without reloading or being skilled marksmen."

How does one measure a gun's "killing power"? Like being pregnant, one cannot be a little bit dead. A round fired from a revolver that only carries 6 rounds is just as deadly as one fired from a semiautomatic pistol that can carry 15 or 30. Indeed, it's possible to load a semiautomatic pistol with just one round and that round be just as deadly as chambering one round in a revolver and pulling the trigger.

As to the claim that magazines were designed for soldiers to be able to "spray a huge number of bullets quickly," Horwitz failed to source her claim with any documentation from a military historian. Indeed, logic would dictate that pray-and-spray is a poor tactic for an infantryman, particularly if you are behind enemy lines and need to conserve ammunition because of being separated from your supply lines. There may be occasions where "spray[ing]" automatic fire are called for, but it seems to this reader that Horwitz gets her military tactics from watching too many Rambo movies.

What's more, what liberals in Congress wish to ban are not select-fire or fully-automatic "assault weapons" -- those are already highly-regulated and and very few civilians own them -- but semiautomatic centerfire rifles patterned after military models. Since semiautomatic weapons fire one round per each squeeze of the trigger, it's impossible to "spray a huge number of bullets." You can fire a semiautomatic weapon quickly and run through a magazine quickly, the only limitation being how quickly you can pull the trigger in succession, but "spray[ing]" bullets calls to mind Hollywood action movie images of someone spraying a belt-fed machine gun Rambo-style.

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is the Managing Editor for NewsBusters