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There’s No Excuse for Paper to Host Demonstrable Falsehood on ‘Automatic Rifles’

There's No Excuse for Paper to Host Demonstrable Falsehood on 'Automatic Rifles'
Despite having a responsibility to get things right, journalists get basics on guns wrong so often they’ve become the well-deserved objects of ridicule. But do they do it because they really don’t know, or do they do it because demonizing guns helps advance an agenda? (Uncredited graphic retrieved from Reddit)

“I own guns, but I also have a conscience,” guest columnist Dave Waldrop asserts in The Asheville Citizen-Times. “Does the NRA?”

What kind of obnoxious question is that? Especially since right out of the starting gate Waldrop showed everyone his big “but,” being the have-it-both-ways type who claims he believes in owning guns but

“The National Rifle Association (NRA) along with thousands of its members insist that the Second Amendment to our Constitution guarantees the right of Americans to own firearms,” Waldrop declares. “To many it appears the NRA is willing to ignore the harsh reality that too many people have been killed by people wielding assault rifles.

“These are automatic rifles that fire dozens of rounds before requiring reloading,” Waldrop asserts, just like he knows what he’s talking about. “How long will the NRA shirk its responsibility to support legislation that sets reasonable limits on (A) who can legally own firearms and (B) which firearms pose too great a risk of harming or killing Americans and, therefore, must be controlled or banned for the safety of all?”

“I have personally chosen not to join the NRA because of their rigid stance that perpetuates this needless killing,” Waldrop declares. “I will continue, like many of my friends, neighbors and relatives to own simple non-assault firearms for personal safety.”

There’s so much loopy with this guy’s “reasoning” it’s clear he has no clue as to the purpose behind the Second Amendment and what the citizen militia it deems “necessary to the security of a free State” would need in order to carry out that mandate. Either that or he knows full well and he’s being disingenuous instead of just ignorant. Regardless, one point he makes is such an obvious and blatant falsehood there is no excuse for The Citizen-Times editors to have allowed it to see its way into their pages.

Waldrop is conflating “automatic rifles” with semiautomatic firearms, and that’s been a move straight out of the gun-grabber playbook since the Violence Policy Center’s Josh Sugarmann explained the tactical deception back in 1988:

“The weapons’ menacing looks, coupled with the public’s confusion over fully automatic machine guns versus semi-automatic assault weapons—anything that looks like a machine gun is assumed to be a machine gun—can only increase the chance of public support for restrictions on these weapons. In addition, few people can envision a practical use for these weapons.”

The reason the paper allowing this deception to continue is inexcusable is because many of us have been loudly objecting to it for decades every time some ambitious, oath-breaking politician or police chief tries to use it to advance citizen disarmament. A journalist influencing the public on a prominent issue lacking at least minimal subject matter knowledge is guilty of malpractice. An editor allowing it is guilty of worse. And it’s tough to write this off to mere editorial incompetence or ignorance from inside a “progressive” bubble, especially since many astute readers have been pointing out the lie for days now, and there’s still been no correction issued by the editors who authorized this guest column.

That’s especially egregious in light of the paper’s ethics policy, which claims to place paramount importance on truth, integrity, public interest and fair play. Then again, the Citizen-Times is “part of the USA TODAY NETWORK,” which itself is owned by Gannett. And when it comes to Gannett, guns and ethics, let’s just say past experience has shown little evidence of them having much of a conscience.


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David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”



David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (, and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.



  1. I own guns, belong to the NRA, and I have a conscience. What might have happened at Bunkerville had some of the protesters not been armed with these evil weapons? We will never know, but no one was hurt by the armed protestors. The protestors at Tianamen square were unarmed, and we all know how that ended. The people in Korea Town were armed with these weapons during the Rodney King riots, and they fared much better. Any competent journalist doing the research should know that these weapons are rarely used in crimes. A journalist with a conscience would report it that way.

  2. The real story is federal, state and local agencies have full auro weapons. And just who are they planning to use them on? Guess the hypocrisy is glaringly obvious. All while we defend ourselves with semi auro weapons they deem we have no justification to own. Is it we who are dangerous or is it the government who is guilty of mass murder with their fire power?

    1. Las Vegas was likely a CIA black op. Same as the killing of JFK. Now we are seeing a great number of witnesses who, just like JFK, are having fatal accidents.

      1. G. Giant…..CIA….absolutely…The JFK debacle and countless other “CIA / Government” planned “events”. It is a Trilateral Commission / Communist Globalist ongoing program to eventually get the citizens disarmed….. They have been successful implementing 7 of Alinsky’s 8 “Rules for Radicals” but can not come full circle until they can disarm the citizens. That is the bottom line and everyone is aware of it.

  3. There is an even bigger lie involved here: the NRA has helped write _every_ major piece of gun control legislation, including the NFA in ’34, the GCA in ’68, the AWB (Assault Weapons Ban) in ’94, as well as the Lautenberg Amendment in ’96. They even bragged about the NFA and GCA in the March 1968 American Rifleman, when they spoke of how willing they were to be “reasonable”, to “compromise” on gun control. So, for this clueless individual to say, “How long will the NRA shirk its responsibility to support legislation that sets reasonable limits on (A) who can legally own firearms and (B) which firearms pose too great a risk of harming or killing Americans and, therefore, must be controlled or banned for the safety of all?” proves he is completely ignorant of the facts of the NRA’s long history of helping to control and ban our legal firearms, to compromise us and our rights.

    The NRA has been compromising our rights away since at least 1934. I wasn’t aware of this until the NRA “forgot” to warn us members about the Lautenberg Amendment until _after_ it was passed. Worse, it is an “ex post facto” law, a law with retroactive force, making something “illegal” years after the law was created. I had been an NRA member for over twenty years at that point, but I quit then, and became a Life Member of the Gun Owners of America, instead.

    1. How long will it take for patriots t see that the NRA is playing us. They repeatedly have acted against our best interest. What is our best interest. RESIST ALL ‘INFRINGEMENTS’
      Join the NAGR.

    2. I was unaware of this. I would like to know more about it. I always accepted the fact that it was an imperfect but effective organization.

  4. What Waltrip was saying is that he has guns but that we should not. He knows how untrustworthy HE is and is sure that we are the same.
    Why give this guy voice. Ignore him. Make sure that everyone IGNORES him.
    FACT: Liberals and gun grabbers only believe in themselves. The rest of us can die at the hands of their friends in ANTIFA and BLM.

  5. When guns go digital, AKA laser/phaser, the reasonable model will only have “stun” for you and me but the special government anointed employees get the ones with “stun -> kill -> vaporize” because, you know, all that special training and superior judgment stuff … “Where did the perp go? Oh shit, I thought it was on stun!”

    This is the logical extension of the nonsense occurring today.

  6. Liberals see guns through a completely different filter than the rest of us, except, of course, when the guns are used to protect them.

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