ABC News edited out First Lady Michelle Obama saying that a Chicago teenager was killed with an “automatic weapon.” Hadiya Pendleton was allegedly shot by a gang member on probation for a weapons charge with a handgun, not a rifle, which would be semi-automatic (unless it was a revolver.)
Robin Roberts got the first interview with Mrs. Obama since the inauguration in January, which she used to ask about gun-control efforts by President Obama.
A spokesman for ABC News, Heather Riley, emailed me that, “The full story was posted to our website in advance of the interview being broadcast. The edits made to Robin’s interview with the First Lady were made solely for time.”
I read the missing words out loud, and it took me seven seconds.
The transcript of the interview shows that Mrs. Obama said this of Miss Pendleton (italics mine):
“She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids grew up, where our house is. She had just taken a chemistry test. And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn’t need,” she said. “I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.”
However, when the interview aired on “Good Morning America” on Tuesday, viewers heard the first lady said this:
“She was absolutely right. She did everything she was supposed to do. She was standing in a park, with her friends, in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids grew up, where our house is. And she was caught in the line of fire. I just don’t want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first.”
ABC edited the response visually by using a cutaway in the middle of the answer of Ms. Roberts listening.
Automatic weapons function such that ammunition fires as long as the trigger is pulled. Semi-automatic guns fire once per trigger pull.
Automatic weapons have been highly regulated for civilian owners since the National Firearms Act of 1934. Owning one means going through an extensive process and background checks with the ATF. It is hard to believe that Mrs. Obama, a Harvard Law School grad, is not aware of the national firearms laws.
They have been banned from manufacture and import since 1986, so the low demand has made them very expensive, often more than $20,000. The last known crimes from automatic firearms were by law enforcement in the 1980s. Street criminals can’t get them, but confusing the public into believing that gang members are using weapons of war helps perpetuate myths to push a gun-control agenda.
Emily Miller is senior editor of the opinion pages for The Washington Times. Her “Emily Gets Her Gun” series on the District’s gun laws won the 2012 Clark Mollenhoff Award for Investigative Reporting from the Institute on Political Journalism. Click here to follow her on Twitter and Facebook.