Assault Media Runs Assault Correction On Assault Weapon Graphic*

This correction of an error-riddled graphic that ran in the Chicago Tribune is not just one of the longest corrections I’ve read, but one of the most telling.

If you like examples of how to be defensive and avoid self-reflection, make sure you read it to the end.

*I’ve decided to start using the descriptor “assault” as liberally and incorrec…

  1. Pseudodionysius

    Chicago Tribune summary:

    “We’re stupid, not malicious, so don’t hate us too much.”

  2. Cunctator

    I would give this a “partially true”, because although the sling attachment is usually used for straps to carry a gun across one’s shoulder (rather than mount a bayonet or grenade, as claimed by the article) – the sling, when attached to the gun, could be used to provide centripetal velocity to hurl a gun (even when unloaded) at an individual.  That would constitute assault.  QED, partially true.

  3. Ryan M

    That title made me laugh. Good point, too.

  4. Ron Selander

    Their intent in publishing the totally overblown graphic was purely to educate.

    Yeah, right.

  5. skipsul
    Erik Larsen: I would give this a “partially true”, because although the sling attachment is usually used for straps to carry a gun across one’s shoulder (rather than mount a bayonet or grenade, as claimed by the article) – the sling, when attached to the gun, could be used to provide centripetal velocity to hurl a gun (even when unloaded) at an individual.  That would constitute assault.  QED, partially true. · 8 minutes ago

    So if I understand the physics here, attachment of a sling AND a bayonet makes the gun an atl atl?

  6. DrewInWisconsin

    I have a friend who has taken to adding the word “assault” to anything that might cause harm. He recently addressed the problem of “assault windmills” for example.

  7. Eric Hines

    Knowles’…corrections…are all quibbles over minor points.  Which destroys the credibility of his claim that the Trib had no agenda in publishing such a blatantly misleading item.

    Apart from that, it’s hard to believe that writers and editors, for whom words are their professional stock-in-trade, could be so careless with their words.

    Eric Hines

  8. drlorentz

    This has much in common with the Clinton ‘explanation’ of the handling of the Benghazi debacle, as I noted here.

    The Tribune fell victim to its own confirmation bias. In the minds of the reporter(s) who wrote the original story, assault weapons are bad. Bayonets are pointy and spears are pointy. Both are scary. Given the reporter’s predisposition, that loose connection is good enough. No need to split hairs. Flash suppressors are bad too, regardless of their principal purpose (safety).

    Once you believe a narrative, any evidence or pseudo-evidence is accepted uncritically; skepticism is suspended. Inconsistent facts are overlooked. From the paper’s point of view, they were not promoting “…a specific liberal agenda on the topic of gun control.” They just overlooked some facts and made a “careless mistake.” I’m sure they believe this sincerely.

    What’s missing is any understanding of how wishful thinking contaminates rational thought. The lesson to take from this  is not that the media is biased, even though that’s true. This disease of thought afflicts everyone, conservatives and liberals alike. Well, maybe not alike, but I’ve seen it on Ricochet. Ultimately, it’s self-defeating. Be vigilant.

  9. skipsul

    A-Media-Guide-To-The-AR-15-Rifle.jpg

    Here is what they should have run.

  10. Cunctator

    skipsul – re the atlatl – if the rifle is launched as the projectile, it would probably be better viewed as a “dummy spear”, as there aren’t any pointy parts. 

  11. Pseudodionysius
    skipsul

    Here is what they should have run. · 10 minutes ago

    Its a club with all kinds of gnarly parts that could cause someone to lose an eye or give someone a concussion. 

  12. EJHill

    Everything is a weapon. Every single thing.

    Salt.jpg

  13. tabula rasa

    In the interest of fairness, the story correctly identified which end the bullet comes out of.  Sure, it got a few minor things wrong, but it was spot on about that, thus assuring that no unsuspecting person would pick up the wrong end.

  14. C. U. Douglas

    Wait …

    Is an assault reply to this assault post an assault violation of the assault code of conduct?

  15. Cunctator

    On a more serious note, I’m reminded of the Gell-Mann amnesia effect.  (ie you read an article about your area of interest or expertise, and think that’s all wrong, but then read with confidence all other articles in the paper)

  16. Miffed White Male

    My favorite part is that the correction still gets the flash suppressor wrong.  It doesn’t “hide the flash” from anyone being shot at, it hides the flash from the person firing the weapon.

  17. TJ

    The correction, though, continues to promulgate ignorance of the subject. The long weapon illustrated is a rifle, not a gun, as we had reinforced for us ad nauseum in basic training (even using delightful and off-color rhyming verses).

    And, EJ, the Morton graphic is hilarious.

  18. Colin B Lane

    Hillary: 

    What does it matter, really?

  19. Casey

    Just because liberals are wrong about everything doesn’t mean that someone who is wrong about everything is a liberal…. geesh!

  20. Foxfier
    drlorentz

    Undoubtedly, when Gell-Mann and the author of the piece discussed the effect, they believed it to be the error of others but not themselves. They pitied the poor benighted fools who regularly fall into this trap. This kind of projection is another human reasoning error, perhaps fit subject for its own thread.

    Ironically, you’ve got it backwards– you’re projecting your unusual behavior on to the general group, and attacking folks’ intention without good cause.

    Listen to folks who use newspapers as an authority source.  The “I know they’re wrong on the stuff I know, but they’re gospel on the stuff I don’t” is standard.  The folks who “calibrate” the relative accuracy of an article are more likely to use it as a source of “stuff to look for” than “the last word.”

    It’s not an unusual observation– the old joke about “I read it in the paper, so it must be true!” is a less fancy example, and probably the basis for the effect.

    Evaluating information quality isn’t easy.  See also, folks citing wikipedia as a solid source…so long as it agrees with them.

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