It’s not just Katie Couric…

(Now there’s the least surprising headline I’ve ever written!)

At the risk of sounding like I’m on #TeamKatie over this whole #GunGate thing, the perky one isn’t alone when it comes to creative editing. HBO Sports recently distorted the words of Jim Sullivan with regard to the lethality of the 5.56NATO family of cartridges and the AR-15 family of modern sporting rifles. Sullivan, who was on Eugene Stoner’s design team at Armalite 57 years ago, wrote about his disappointing encounter with the anti-gun wingnuts at HBO:

The anti-gun HBO sports interview misrepresented much of what I had said. They were apparently trying to make the AR-15 civilian model seem too dangerous for civilian sales. They didn’t lie about what I said, they just omitted key parts, which changed the meaning.

Specifically, HBO deleted Sullivan’s comments that delineated between the fully automatic M-16 and the semiautomatic AR-15. This was done to make the AR-15 seem “just as deadly” as the M-16. It’s not. Fully automatic firearms are always more lethal than their semiautomatic versions. HBO also deleted his comments about the differences between hunting ammunition, which expands on impact, and the 5.56NATO projectile that tumbles on impact. Expanding ammunition is always more lethal; a distinction that HBO decided to omit from Sullivan’s comments.

But 5.56 can’t complete with hunting cartridge bullets, which can legally [per the Hague Convention] be expanding hollow point that are more lethal than tumbling. Their lethality is based entirely on how powerful they are. 5.56 is only half as powerful as the 7.62 NATO (.308) hunting bullet. That doesn’t mean I’m not pleased to see AR-15s sell on the civilian market. It just means I didn’t realize they would 57 years ago. And I’m not on the wrong side of any gun issue unless someone wants to argue that an infantry rifle cartridge should kill a cavalry horse at 1,000 yards (30-06 criteria).

Funny how HBO has no problem with 11-year olds stabbing one another to death so long as they’re in costume, but they do have a problem with you owning a modern rifle.

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