CBS' Norah O'Donnell Mischaracterizes AR-15 as Automatic Weapon

CBS' Norah O'Donnell Mischaracterizes AR-15 as Automatic Weapon

On CBS This Morning, Charlie Rose interviewed former FBI Assistant Director of Public Affairs John Miller. Rose set the tone for interview with his first question to Miller: “What is it that makes the AR-15 so attractive to gun users?” 

To this question Miller began giving a very good answer, which quickly degenerated into a convoluted one that Rose’s co-host Norah O’Donnell took advantage of to make her pre-planned points.

Here’s Miller’s answer: “[The AR-15] is a very practical, well-made weapon. …[and] it’s easy to shoot.” He went on to talk of his law enforcement experience with a variant of the AR-15 — the MP4. But he never took time to differentiate between a civilian rifle (the AR-15) and its military and law enforcement counterpart (the MP4).

The difference is that the MP4 has select fire, which means it has a switch that allows it to be fired in full auto, three round bursts, or semi-auto. On the other hand, the AR-15 is strictly semi-auto. 

I am not suggesting Miller did this on purpose, I’m just saying that, in the convolution of gun terms, the image of a full-auto, military weapon emerged again, and this served O’Donnell well. She immediately seized on it to remind us that the AR-15 has been used by criminals in three mass shootings: Sandy Hook Elementary in Connecticut, the Aurora theater in Colorado, and in the mall in Clackamas, Oregon. 

Based on these three misuses of an AR-15, O’Donnell wants them banned — period.

What she doesn’t even consider is that the guns used in two of these shootings were criminally obtained — Clackamas and Sandy Hook — and that the shooter in the third instance appears to have chosen a theater where patrons were not allowed to be armed to protect themselves. (The Aurora theater banned concealed carry weapons by law-abiding citizens.)

It’s very clear: The gun is not the problem; the criminals who use them for evil are. And the laws that force innocent people to sit unarmed in public places only embolden the criminals with evil intent. 

But, alas, this is lost on Rose and ideologues like O’Donnell.

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