Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard expressed anger over recent mass killings on Wednesday, seemingly promoting gun control in the process.
What did Ballard say?
Speaking at a press conference during the Colts' opening day of training camp, Ballard used the opportunity to journey into political issues and condemn recent mass killings.
"I don’t understand. To me, it’s a lot of common sense and we lack it right now in this country. It’s a shame. Highland Park, Uvalde, Greenwood, Buffalo — when does it end?" Ballard said. "When does some common sense come into play and when does this end? When do our elected officials actually do something about it instead of their own political gain?"
According to Ballard, "both sides are completely wrong," and he condemned the ability of teenagers to obtain "an AK-15 automatic weapon."
"Both sides are completely wrong. I’m not anti-gun, but I’m anti-military-style weapons," Ballard said.
"It blows my mind away that an 18-year-old kid can walk in and buy an AK-15 automatic weapon. It makes no sense. Zero," he continued. "It’s a shame that we live in a country that can’t come to an agreement because of politics on doing the right thing for our country. It makes zero sense. Zero."
What is the problem?
There are two significant problems with Ballard's comments.
First, an "AK-15" firearm does not exist; Ballard appeared to be conflating AR-15 with AK-47. Second, teenagers cannot buy an "automatic weapon." Automatic weapons, which fire in fully automatic mode, are generally outlawed unless you submit to an extensive, expensive, and time-consuming process with the federal government.
Stephen Gutowski, a firearms expert, highlighted the glaring problems with Ballard's comments.
"I have good news for Mr. Ballard, an 18-year-old can not just 'walk in and by an AK-15 automatic weapon.' In part because there aren't 'AK-15s' and in part because new sales of automatic weapons have been banned since 1986," Gutowski explained.
"Dumb comments like these would be easier to stomach if they weren't always delivered with such certainty about what the problem is and how to easily fix it," he added.