Diane Sawyer led off ABC's World News last night with a story that is claiming that cops are undergunned when facing criminals. According to the visuals in the story shown below, it is cops and their Glock 22s versus violent criminals armed with AKs and ARs. Diane introduces the story using buzzwords like "mow down", "staggering numbers", and "high powered guns".
The story by Pierre Thomas featured a recent shooting in Ogden, Utah that left one police officer dead and five wounded. The shooting involved a special drug enforcement team serving a warrant on a suspect who opened fire on them with an AK-47. His father said in other reports that he had PTSD.
Thomas says that cops are often facing career criminals who are willing to shoot it out rather than to go back to prison and that they are using "assault rifles" which can be bought a "virtually any gun store, online, or through a vast black market."
The insinuation that career felons Joe Bob, An'twan, and Paco can walk into a gun store and buy anything is false. Every gun sale made or delivered through a FFL requires a background check by the FBI but that is never mentioned. Moreover, while you can purchase a firearm "online", it still must be delivered to you at a local FFL who will do the background check. As to the vast black market, this is where criminals get their guns. It is illegal for them to possess these guns and illegal for them to buy them so why does anyone presume to think one more law would stop them.
AR-15s or "patrol rifles" are becoming almost a standard issue firearm in many police departments. Moreover, virtually every patrol car still carries a 12 gauge riot gun which is very effective in close quarters encounters. Of course, none of this was mentioned in the ABC report.
The only rationale I can see for this story is to build a case for a new assault weapon ban. If it was just a story about cops getting killed in a raid, that is all they would have featured. However, Pierre Thomas went well beyond that, Diane Sawyer led off with an introduction filled with emotion-filled buzzwords, and it was the lead story on the newscast. I have no doubt we will see more and more stories like this throughout the year. I just wish they would take time to point out the obvious stuff like how it is already illegal for a felon to possess not just an AK but any firearm. That really is wishful thinking on my part.