ARDS: AR-15 Derangement Syndrome


While I have no doubt that most Democrats would prefer the massacre at the Washington Navy Yard had not occurred, I can’t help but notice they’ve seem to devolve into predictably partisan shrieking faster than first lady Michelle Obama can do the “Dougie.” For people who supposedly live by the credo “never let a crisis go to waste,” as expressed by Rahm Emanuel (former White House chief of staff and current mayor of the windy shootout known as Chicago), they don’t exactly focus when the chips are down.

Witness the newest lapdog media malady: ARDS (AR-15 derangement syndrome). When it turned out that Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis didn’t employ an AR-15 (a semi-automatic replica of a military weapon) in his killing spree, they did what all self-respecting liberal pseudo-journalists did; they doubled down on the wrong bet.

CNN, led by the Gen. Charles Cornwallis of television, Piers Morgan, spent the entire day of the massacre blaming the Navy Yard shootings on the AR-15. Morgan even revisited the site of his earlier rhetorical Yorktowns with his usual rants about “killing machines.” Unable to contextualize the object of their rage, CNN also ran a story on Tuesday entitled “Navy Yard shooting: AR-15, back in the news — briefly,” arguing that although the AR-15 wasn’t involved, that in no way diminishes the gun’s obvious evil. The writer even repeated the “killing machine” line and added some statements about rates of fire that he must have gleaned from watching Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. “An AR-15 is usually capable of firing a rate of 45 rounds per minute in semi-automatic mode.” Put aside the fact that an AR-15 doesn’t function in any other mode, and flex your trigger finger as fast as you can for a minute. Try that with so much as a Red Ryder BB gun, and you’d have better luck yelling at the target. It’s worth noting that CNN’s story retracting its erroneous allegation against a firearm that Alexis didn’t use mentioned a rifle that Alexis didn’t use 19 times — 16 times more than it mentioned Alexis.

MSNBC paraded the usual coterie of unlikable politicos vomiting up the usual platitudes about so-called “gun violence.” But it really worked some left-wing magic when it aired a computer-generated animation that included Alexis using, of course, an AR-15. Perhaps MSNBC could computer-generate a respectable audience.

But the patient with the worst case of ARDS I’ve ever seen would be the New York Daily News, whose meager subscriber base was treated to this magnificent bit of journalistic malpractice:


Officer, I’d like to report a murder. It was Mike Lupica in the break room with the wrong rifle.

Less than two miles from the scene of the crime, Senator Dianne Feinstein, who spent most of last week presuming to reinterpret freedom of the press to include “as long as they voted for Obama,” used Alexis’ crimes to indict the firearm he didn’t use. “There are reports the killer was armed with an AR-15… when he stormed an American military installation in the nation’s capital and took at least 12 innocent lives.” Feinstein finishes a week attacking the 1st Amendment, then follows up with an attack on the 2nd. At this pace, she’ll be pushing to have the 3rd Infantry Division bunking in your basement next weekend.

I understand the anti-Bill of Rights crowd is made up almost exclusively of liberals. I also understand that liberals tend to react to things they don’t understand with almost irrational fear. Given the above examples of ARDS, it’s safe to say they understand firearms — specifically the AR-15 — nearly as well as they understand journalistic integrity. Fortunately, there is a remedy for ARDS. Unfortunately, the anti-Bill of Rights crowd will never learn about it; CNN bumped the story so that Morgan could blame killings on the wrong suspect. Again.

–Ben Crystal

Ben Crystal

is a 1993 graduate of Davidson College and has burned the better part of the last two decades getting over the damage done by modern-day higher education. He now lives in Savannah, Ga., where he has hosted an award-winning radio talk show and been featured as a political analyst for television. Currently a principal at Saltymoss Productions—a media company specializing in concept television and campaign production, speechwriting and media strategy—Ben has written numerous articles on the subjects of municipal authoritarianism, the economic fallacy of sin taxes and analyses of congressional abuses of power.

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