Defying the science of statistics and the observable reality of the universe, national politics reporter for Newsweek Nina Burleigh stridently claimed on Twitter this weekend that "almost every single person" she's "heard of" who owns or has an AR-15 was, or is, "a mass murderer". She also mass murdered irony when she added that the rest are "scarily paranoid."
Hot Air's Allahpundit and Instapundit's Ed Driscoll both recall the apocryphal story about Pauline Kael and Nixon voters -- you know 'I don't know anyone who voted for him' -- but this definitely beats that. As Allahpundit notes, the statistics are observable and easy to have heard about.
Production of AR-style guns has soared since the federal ban expired. In 2004, 107,000 were made. In 2015, the number was 1.2 million, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), an industry trade association. The organization does not provide sales data, nor does it have 2016 production estimates, but says that year’s activity likely broke all records.
Today, one of out of every five firearms purchased in this country is an AR-style rifle, according to a NSSF estimate. Americans now own an estimated 15 million AR-15s, gun groups say.
But forget the statistics. I'm going to fact-check her claim outright.
There are reports on TV all the time, and particularly when the gun debate roars, that not only cite gun sales statistics but during which AR-15 owners are shown in background shots, interviewed by reporters, even put in townhall meeting with the NRA's Dana Loesch. AR-15 owners have marched, weapons in tow, in the capitol.
All mass murderers Pauli.. err, Nina?
Here's an article from this year in her own publication, Newsweek, with an entire church full of people holding AR-15s.
Are we to believe Nina hasn't "heard of" her own magazine? It wasn't hard to find at the site, it's in the section on AR-15s.
Is that being pedantic? Nit-picky? Hyper-literal? Can she rest on "almost"?
Who cares? Almost every Newsweek writer I have heard of is all those things and more when criticizing the right. And you can fact check that.
Later in the day, the clever Newsweeker tweeted the most hackneyed excuse for a bad tweet this side of "I was hacked":
Oh, she was triggering people by baiting them!!! You see how clever that is? She says people are mass murderers and then they get mad. What suckers!
Nearly everyone I've ever heard of that tried that excuse has been a mass liar, friendo.
The truth is that people like Burleigh absolutely believe that every person who owns an AR-15 is a mass murderer. They believe and assert that simply defending the rights of others makes you a mass murderer. It's not a surprise that she would tweet or say this. In fact, anyone who thinks the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms is complicit in every mass killing, to the extremist gun controllers like this so-called journalist.
The only surprise here is that she tried to stave off the backlash by claiming it was bait, effectively backing off the initial claim. They embrace this rationale in every public debate on guns. I see no reason why "bots" replying on Twitter would change that.