High power rifle is a loaded term and misinformation about the Highland Park mass shooting
Media and politicians who push gun control deliberately manipulate the public
There is no such thing as a “high power rifle” and using the term is misinformation. But when asked by a reporter what gun was used in the horrific mass murder in Highland Park, the sheriff’s spokesman answered, “Right now we’re saying it’s a high power rifle.”
*This story was updated after the authorities released the make and models of the firearms.
That’s all it took for the mainstream media and politicians to repeat the phrase and perpetuate the false narrative that black AR-style rifles are more powerful than regular hunting rifles.
NBC’s Lester Holt started the news Monday night by reporting to his 6.5 million viewers that “police recovered a high power rifle.” CNN Wolf Blitzer said the same and kept the phrase “high power rifle” on the screen during his show to make sure the point was made.
CNBC’s Shepherd Smith told viewers (watch below) that alleged shooter Robert “Bobby” E. Crimo III had his knives taken away by police “but he was still able to buy multiple guns legally, including a high-power rifle. He used it to slaughter seven innocent people and wound more than 30 others at a Fourth of July parade.”
On Wednesday, the Illinois authorities said Crimo used a Smith & Wesson M&P rifle in the shooting. That is an AR-style firearm that shoots 5.56 or 2.23, which is not high power.
The sheriff’s spokesman, Sgt. Chris Covelli, said Crimo also legally bought a KelTech sub 200 rifle (which is chambered to fire pistol cartridges), a Remington 700 rifle (no caliber given), a shotgun and a Glock 43X handgun.
The New York Times doesn’t even attribute this “high power rifle” to the police or put it in quotation marks. They just report it as fact (link below in sources) that Crimo allegedly used one.
Democrats push gun control
The politicians jumped on the high-power rifle. NBC’s Holt interviewed Rep. Brad Schneider (D-IL) (watch below) who said, “As Gov. Pritzker said, it was a monster with a high power assault weapon…”
Holt interrupted him to ask, “Police have said it was a high-power weapon. You’re saying it was a high-power assault weapon?
Schneider replied, “What I am hearing it’s an assault weapon, a high-powered rifle.”
On the Senate side, Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) said Monday at a press conference:
I just listened to the sound of the gunfire from one of those videos that was captured. And let me tell you that the last time I heard a weapon with that capaicty firing that rapidly on the Fourth of July was in Iraq.”
Duckworth is a combat veteran and knows full well that the suburban Chicago killer’s “high power rifle” was not fully automatic.
These types of rifles are heavily regulated for civilians by the ATF and have not been used in crime since the 1980s. But the Democrat Senator was deliberately trying to manipulate her constituents for political gain.
Facts about a high-power rifle
“It is a manufactured term, just as ‘assault weapon’ is a manufactured term,” Mark Oliva, the Managing Director of Public Affairs at the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) told me.
“There is no objective standard as to what is considered a ‘high-powered’ versus a ‘low-powered" rifle,” said Oliva. “The term ‘low-powered’ rifle is conspicuously absent from media reporting. One can only conclude that it isn't used because it isn't an adjective that would inflate the emotions of the reader.”
Even a gun-control advocate says the media gets it wrong. Ryan Busse is a Senior advisor to Gabby Giffords’s gun control group. And he tweeted this yesterday:
Law enforcement and gun control
I’ve been writing for years about how the media and gun control advocates try to make the public think that AR-15 style rifles are fully automatic and “weapons of war” and therefore more deadly. If you have my 2013 book, Emily Gets Her Gun, you can read more about this in chapters four and six.
But this week is the first time I’d heard it from a member of law enforcement in an active investigation. Covelli, the public information officer for the Lake County Sheriff, enabled the media and politicians to further perpetuate this misinformation.
Jared Yanis, who hosts the fantastic YouTube channel “Guns & Gadgets”, had 24 years of experience in law enforcement before becoming a Second Amendment advocate. I asked him why Covelli would use the term high-power rifle.
“He used it because he is an anti-gun Democrat would be my guess. Chances are he’s following the agenda and using the terminology of the people he answers to,” Yanis replied.
“One thing that bothered me throughout my career was the number of people on the job who didn’t value the rights of the people. There is a large contingent of people in law enforcement who think only they should have guns. And we know how that worked out historically,” said the “Guns & Gadget” host.
Covelli kept adding more fake terms about the gun on Tuesday. He said the shooter left behind on the roof a “high power rifle” that is “similar to an AR-15” that shot "high-velocity rounds." That is a fake term too but it got picked up by the media, including NBC News, CBS News, and CNN.
“All rifle rounds are high velocity,” the NSSF’s Oliva said when I asked him about it.
Oliva explained to me that a 5.56mm round, which is what the AR-type gun shoots (or .223), has a muzzle velocity …