Mar 5, 2013

The gun news from Lunchtime O'Booze

Just in case you haven't had your fill of media ignorance on firearms technology, I offer this one. It's part of a live blog from The Guardian (of England) of Senator Feinstein's hearing on her bill to ban assaultish-looking weapons.

A Dr. Begg is testifying about his dismay as he tried to treat Newtown victims. Then:

Begg presents a horrible video in which a ballistics expert demonstrates what a bullet from an AR-15 can do. The expert in the video shoots a block of gelatin-like material – flesh-like material – with a .22 rifle. Then he shoots one with an AR-15. The .22 bullet passes cleanly through. The AR-15 bullet goes in and then explodes.

It's certainly possible to compact more ignorance into a short paragraph, but most writers would be hard-pressed.

It would probably do no good to set this reporter down and explain, slowly, in short words, that a video illustrating a point of physics with ballistics gel is neutral rather than "horrible." Now, if it used a Fleet Street reporter to demonstrate the same point, that would be "horrible." Wouldn't it? Well, uhhhh...

Never mind his conflation of bullet diameter with terminal ballistics. We could just send him a telegram stating "An AR-15  is  almost always  a .22 rifle." Maybe that would send him to a library where he would occupy himself in close study of Guns for Dummies -- and looking in vain for evidence that criminals typically use bullet which "explode."

But to end on a positive note, he appears to have done a thorough and professional job of informing his reading public about who cried and at what level of intensity.


Title credit to Edwin Newman in Strictly Speaking

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