Monday, June 23, 2008

Media Bias Hypes Assault Rifles

Several media outlets have reported that "Blackwater Worldwide has been able to keep 17 AK-47s at its armory under a deal that sidesteps federal laws prohibiting private parties from buying automatic weapons." The suggestion from headlines like "Blackwater Deal Allows Company to Keep AK-47s" is that the private security contractor is building some sort of private arsenal. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

"Blackwater financed the purchase of 17 Romanian AK-47s and 17 Bushmasters and gave ownership of the guns to the Camden County sheriff. Sheriff Tony Perry said his department has only used the AK-47s in shooting practice at Blackwater and that none of his 19 deputies are qualified to use them. The agreements [were] signed in the summer of 2005 with the sheriff's office."

So not only is this 'news' quite old, but the whole thrust implied by the taglines is wrong. In fact, Blackwater is helping to train local law enforcement, training which includes assault rifles. The weapons are owned by the sheriff's office, are strictly for training and are used strictly by the sheriff's office. Let's not make a bigger deal out of this than we ought.

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