- The Washington Times - Monday, August 27, 2018

MSNBC viewers over the weekend were told multiple times by retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey that mass shootings in America were committed with “automatic” weapons.

At least nine people were wounded and two others killed at a Jacksonville, Florida, video game tournament this weekend before 24-year-old gunman David Katz took his own life. The man used a handgun, but MSNBC’s coverage included a segment that falsely framed “automatic” weapons as a national problem for law enforcement agencies.

“I think we’re getting inured to this, getting accustomed to it,” Mr. McCaffrey said. “We’re having mass shootings with semi-automatic weapons or automatic weapons on a regular basis.”

The guest then recounted the time he was shot during the Vietnam War with an automatic weapon before saying the U.S. is seeing death counts similar to a war zone.

“The last day in combat as an infantry company commander in Vietnam, I got shot by a machine gun. We probably had the same level of casualties — from around 20 wounded and three or four killed in action. But that’s in combat — we were opposing North Vietnamese army regulars,” the former officer continued, the media watchdog NewsBusters reported Sunday. “What we’re seeing now is automatic and semi-automatic weapons being used against defenseless populations.”

MSNBC Live host David Gura failed to mention that sales of automatic weapons in the U.S. have essentially been in a legal “freeze” since the 1980s and have not been used in mass shootings.

“I think it’s impossible to imagine disarming the American people,” the guest added. “It’s simply not going to happen. Things like gun buyback programs, in my judgment, are a complete waste of time. You’ve got to get mental health and law enforcement linked in. You’ve got to reduced the availability of semi-automatic pistols primarily to young men.”

Victims identified at Sunday’s shooting at the GLHF Game Bar included Eli Clayton, 22, of Woodland Hills, California, and Taylor Robertson, 27, of Ballard, West Virginia.

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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