Accuracy in Media

CNN, in a story about the Alexandria, Virginia shooting attack on Republican congressmen, said that an assault rifle was recovered at the scene of the attack. As The Federalist said:

CNN falsely reported early Thursday morning that the rifle used by the Alexandria shooter, an SKS chambered in 7.62×39, was “a Chinese-made AK variant.” This is demonstrably false, and it’s an error with significant implications given U.S. gun laws.

In the U.S., fully automatic rifles like the AK-47 are heavily regulated by the National Firearms Act of 1934 and require a hefty tax, a lengthy waiting period, and an extensive background check that includes photos and fingerprints. The SKS, a Soviet rifle developed and issued several years before Kalashnikov designed his AK-47, is not fully automatic. It is a semi-automatic weapon that contrasts sharply, both in form and function, with the AK-47. And even if the two firearms were functionally similar (they’re not), it would be impossible for the SKS to be a variant of the AK-47 seeing as how it was developed years before the AK-47.

At the time of publishing, CNN had not corrected the record on the rifle make and type. Another example of fake news?

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