By the NRA's Rules, Its Twitter Mistake About Guns Disqualifies It from Discussing Guns

Elspeth Reeve

 "The worst mass murders in this country’s history have been committed with things other than firearms #StopFeinstein," the NRA account tweeted Wednesday morning. Whoa, what could the NRA be talking about? Was this an Oliver Stone-esque reference to nuking Hiroshima? A long-forgotten ax murder case? No. During Sen. Diane Feinstein's hearing on adopting a new assault weapon ban, the NRA account has been returning to the point that regular old handguns, and not big assault weapons have been used in mass shootings. (The argument is not that handguns are massively deadly but rather banning assault weapons won't prevent mass shooting.) A few minutes after the firearms tweet, the NRA tweeted, "The worst mass shooting in our history was at VA Tech & it was done with a 10-rd handgun & 15-rd handgun - no assault weapons or 100-rd mags." 

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Wait a minute, guys. This is a basic nomenclature error. A handgun is a firearm. "A firearm is a portable gun that launches one projectile or more at high velocity through the confined burning of a propellant," says Wikipedia says, which uses a photo of a Glock 17 pistol to illustrate the concept. Merriam-Webster defines a firearm as "a weapon from which a shot is discharged by gunpowder —usually used of small arms." 

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Look, we didn't set the rules of the gun debate. The NRA did. And by it's own rules, the NRA is not qualified to discuss guns. No more testimony before Congress, no more Sunday show appearances. Sorry guys. It's a tough game you play.