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Archive for February, 2013

The Orlando Slantinel on Guns

February 18th, 2013 by Ted Silberstein

Is the problem with the story below this commentary, that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel as clear and bothersome to anyone else as it is to me? In this story, as part of its ongoing series on the gun control debate the Orlando Sentinal printed this article from its south Florida affiliate the South Florida Sun Sentinel. The article describes various firearms and how they function. In their descriptions of each of the firearms the Sentinel clearly includes the sentence, that the firearm fires one bullet with each pull of the trigger. They include that sentence for each firearm except one – the Bushmaster .223,which for starters they call a semiautomatic “assault” rifle in its description title.

In describing the Bushmaster they begin by talking about how it is a version of the military’s M-16 that “can be fired in semi- automatic or fully automatic mode – which means the gun will continue firing with a single trigger pull…until the weapon runs out of cartridges.” But then notice how the Sentinel slyly and seemlesly slides this description of the M-16 right in with that of the Bushmaster as if the Bushmaster has the same fully automatic function as the M-16, while also COMPLETELY OMITTING the sentence – it fires one bullet with each pull of the trigger, that they included in their descriptions of all the other firearms.

The Sentinel is pulling an intentional slight of hand here, trying to sneak one past the goalie. By mentioning the Bushmaster in the very same breath with the M-16 the way they did here, they’re trying to imply to the easily snowed that the Bushmaster is a fully automatic rifle like the M-16 when it really only fires one bullet with each pull of the trigger just like every other firearm they described in their story. Not to mention that while the Sentinel felt it necessary to mention several shootings that involved a Bushmaster in its description, they fail to mention the gagillion shootings that also involved all the other firearms in their descriptions.

It’s not my intent to get into the actual gun control debate per se here, that’s another conversation by itself, This is just an observation of the intentional journalistic sneaky bastard slight of hand that has permeated, tainted and compomised this article. They don’t call it the Orlando Slantinel for nothing.

South Florida

In state with liberal laws, what do you know about guns?

By Henry Pierson Curtis, Orlando Sentinel
9:33 PM EST, February 16, 2013

The Sunshine State is home to both some of the most liberal gun laws and more than 1 million active concealed-weapon-permit holders.

Yet ignorance of firearms remains widespread — even as the national debate on gun violence escalates in the wake of massacres in Newtown, Conn., and Aurora, Colo.

In coming months, the Orlando Sentinel will have an occasional series of stories focusing on the national gun debate and its impact in one of the country’s most heavily armed states.

We’re starting with a primer on the vernacular of guns and what people mean when they talk about the three most common types of firearms: handguns, rifles and shotguns.
Florida has seen its share of mass killings, with at least six since 1982.

Most recently, a man killed three women and shot his former girlfriend at Las Dominicanas M&M Hair Salon in Casselberry with a stolen .40-caliber handgun before killing himself.

And the shooting death of Trayvon Martin one year ago put Florida’s controversial “stand your ground” law back in the national spotlight.
Gun ownership comes with few limitations in Florida.

In this state, strangers can legally sell and buy guns from one another with no oversight, background check or record of the transactions.

Meanwhile, fear of stricter gun legislation has set off the second surge in gun and ammunition sales since President Barack Obama took office in 2009.

Assault-rifle prices in Greater Orlando have nearly doubled since the Newtown massacre prompted concern about stricter gun control. Consumers have seen prices jump from about $800 to $1,500 or more for cheaper model AR-15s since mid-December. High-capacity magazines — and nearly all types of ammunition — are on back order locally.


Glock 9 mm semiautomatic pistol.

Developed at the turn of the 20th century, semiautomatic pistols remained less popular than six-shot revolvers until the mid-1980s. That’s when U.S. police departments switched to the pistol’s high-capacity magazines, fearing officers were being “outgunned” by similarly armed criminals. Glock handguns remain popular as police sidearms and for self-defense.
It fires one bullet with each pull of the trigger.

The exploding gunpowder sets off a series of actions that propel the bullet through the barrel, automatically eject the empty cartridge (or bullet casing), load a fresh cartridge and cock the pistol for the next shot. Magazines inserted into the pistol grip typically hold 10 to 33 cartridges, with some models holding up to 100.

Cost: about $600.

Smith & Wesson .38 Special revolver.

The rotating cylinder holds six cartridges. Fires one bullet with each pull of the trigger. Empty cartridges must be ejected manually. The “38 Special” revolver was the standard police sidearm for decades. Revolvers remain popular for self-protection and are available in wide range of models for concealment as well as target shooting.

Cost: $300 to $750, depending on condition and model.

Handguns of all makes and models remain Florida’s most-common “crime guns” seized by law enforcement.


Bushmaster .223-caliber semiautomatic assault rifle.

The Bushmaster is one of many brands of AR-15 civilian versions of the M-16 assault rifle first used by U.S. troops in Vietnam. The M-16 and later military models can fire in semiautomatic or fully automatic mode — which means the gun will continue firing with a single trigger pull until pressure is released or the weapon runs out of cartridges.

Known for accuracy and light recoil, the AR-15 is a popular sporting rifle and self-defense weapon whose rounds can typically penetrate body armor. Magazines hold 10 to 100 cartridges.

Bushmaster rifles were used in the mass killings at Newtown and Aurora as well as the Christmas Eve ambush of firefighters in upstate New York and the 2002 Beltway sniper killings around Washington.

Cost: $1,500 and up

Marlin .22-caliber bolt-action rifle.

The .22 Long Rifle is one of the most popular cartridges in the U.S. for target shooting and small game hunting. The Marlin’s tubular magazine under the barrel holds about 15 cartridges and fires once with every pull of the trigger. Each empty cartridge must be manually ejected by pulling back the bolt, which also inserts a new cartridge when closed.

Cost: about $300 depending on condition and model.


Remington Wingmaster 870 pump-action shotgun.

This 12-gauge shotgun fires shells loaded with a variety of pellets, from tiny birdshot to pencil-eraser-diameter buckshot. Commonly used for hunting, it holds up to four shells in a tubular magazine. Fires once with every pull of the trigger. Each fired shell must be ejected manually before loading a new shell.

Cost: about $300 and up depending on condition and model.

Mossberg 500 A pump-action shotgun.

This 12-gauge shotgun is used for self-defense at close distances. It is usually fired from waist level, as it does not have a butt stock for more-accurate firing from the shoulder position. It holds up to five shotgun shells.

The sound of a pump-action shotgun “racking” a round is commonly characterized by law enforcement as the “scariest sound a criminal can hear.” Fires once with every pull of the trigger, and empty shells must be manually ejected by sliding back the pump action before loading a new shell.
Cost: about $350.

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