An article by Ryan Lenz of the Associated Press reported on the shooting of two sheriff’s deputies in Georgetown, Indiana by a teenager, who subsequently killed himself. The article, entitled "Officials: Teen used WWII-era rifle," identified the weapon used in the shooting as a "sniper rifle" in its lead sentence. Two paragraphs later, the weapon was specifically-identified as M-1 Garand. [pictured at right, photo via MemorablePlaces.com]
Anyone who has seen "Saving Private Ryan" or the HBO miniseries "Band of Brothers" has seen the M-1 Garand, the standard service weapon in World War II for the American military. It was the first semi-automatic rifle to be issued in mass quantities to infantry forces. It was used with great effect during the war, and General George Patton called it "the greatest implement of battle ever devised." Since it was a standard weapon, it was generally not used in the sniper role for most of the war. Two versions of the rifle for snipers, the M-1C and M-1D were issued in small quantities in the last year of the war, which had the telescopic sight needed for snipers.
It would then be inaccurate to describe the M-1 Garand as a "sniper rifle." It is irresponsible to use such terminology in a report, to say the least, particularly since it involves a teenager. It certainly gives the impression that the mainstream media has an agenda to demonize gun ownership.
On the other hand, it is curious that Lenz included the following quotation in his article from a prosecutor in Indiana named Keith Henderson. "The cause of yesterday's tragedy isn't the weapon. It's the person who fired it."