- The Washington Times - Friday, September 20, 2013

After two days, the New York Times finally corrected its story claiming Virginia state law blocked Aaron Alexis from buying an AR-15 rifle before his rampage at the Navy Yard. The article, however, still is not accurate.

On Tuesday, I wrote that the Times was part of the widespread effort in the liberal media to tie the AR-15 rifle to the mass murder of 12 innocent people in Washington on Monday.

The headline was — and is — “State Law Stopped Gunman From Buying Rifle, Officials Say.”

It said that the gunman was stopped from buying an AR-15 “because state law there prohibits the sale of such weapons to out-of-state buyers, according to two senior law enforcement officials.”

In fact, there is no residency requirement in federal or state law for purchase of shotguns or rifles.

The New York Times issued a correction on Thursday, but did not change the text of the article, so a reader would have to go all the way to the end to know the whole first paragraph and headline are wrong.

The correction at the end read: “An earlier version of this article, using information from senior law enforcement officials, referred incorrectly to Virginia state gun law. Out-of-state buyers must provide additional forms of identification to purchase a high capacity AR-15 rifle; the laws do not prohibit the sales of all AR-15 rifles to all out-of-state buyers.”

This is still not fully accurate.  Virginia requires that any buyer of “assault rifles”’ — whether residents of the commonwealth or not — show proof of U.S. citizenship.

The bigger issue is that the New York Times continues to give readers the impression that Alexis wanted to buy the rifle, but was only stopped by some type of gun-control law.

The truth is that Alexis never tried to buy a rifle, nor a handgun at Sharpshooters Small Arms range last weekend. He only tried to buy a Remington 870 pump-action shotgun, which he was able to do after passing both the federal and state background checks.

That detail didn’t stop most in the liberal media.

From the New York Daily News cover Tuesday saying the Aaron used the AR-15 in the killing to CNN’s Piers Morgan repeatedly citing the weapon as the cause of death on Monday night’s show, the left-wing media has done everything it could to demonize the weapon in order to build support for a federal “assault weapon” ban.

The public deserves to be given accurate information from journalists so they can decide for themselves if a crazy, evil person is to blame for the Navy Yard tragedy or a specific type of firearm.

Emily Miller is a senior editor of opinion for The Washington Times and author of “Emily Gets Her Gun” (Regnery, 2013).


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