CNN’s Don Lemon had an embarrassing exchange Thursday night when conservative radio host Ben Ferguson called him out on live TV for apparently not knowing what an “automatic weapon” is.
“The gun law says that you and I can’t just go out and buy an automatic weapon, so let’s deal with the facts here,” Ferguson said. “A semi-automatic weapon is a gun that you and I are allowed to own, and in different places they have different rules. But to imply that anyone can walk out and buy an automatic weapon is just not true, Don.”
Lemon responded by claiming that he was, in fact, able to purchase an “automatic weapon” following the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado.
“I have maybe shot a gun three, four times in my life — I don’t even live in Colorado. I think most people can go out and buy an automatic weapon,” Lemon added. “I don’t understand your argument there. It took me 20 minutes.”
Sensing that the CNN host wasn’t fully informed on the issue, Ferguson then asked Lemon for his definition of an “automatic weapon.”
“For me, an automatic weapon is anything that you can shoot off a number of rounds very quickly. I was able to buy an AR-15 in 20 minutes,” Lemon said.
That’s when Ferguson pounced.
“With all due respect, you don’t know what you’re talking about,” the radio host shot back. “An automatic weapon is when you pull the trigger one time and it continually shoots off one after another, after another.”
But Lemon refused to back down, claiming that he can do exactly that with the AR-15 that he purchased in Colorado and accusing Ferguson of “getting into semantics.” It should be noted that fully automatic firearms are highly regulated in the United States and very hard to acquire.
“Let me finish, Ben. But listen. I think you are getting into semantics. Regardless of what you want to call it, an automatic or a semi-automatic weapon.”
“It’s a big deal,” Ferguson interrupted. “It’s the difference between breaking the law and not breaking the law.”
Finishing his thought, the CNN host argued he was able to shoot several rounds “very quickly” and had the “capacity to harm someone’s life in an instant.” He also said that “no one is saying you should take away anyone’s Second Amendment right.”
Watch the cringe-worthy segment via CNN:
And to help any other news anchors who are confused on the issue, the Sportsman Channel clears up the significant differences between semi-automatic and fully automatic firearms: