Katy Tur Still Doesn’t Know What ‘Semiautomatic’ Means
Every time the term ‘semiautomatic weapon’ hits the mainstream, it’s almost certain that at least one pundit will put their foot in their mouth wile talking about firearms. Thanks to Katy Tur, that trend has continued.
On Thursday, the MSNBC host went on a furious rant about the availability of semiautomatic weapons, presumably arguing in favor of further restrictions on that class of firearm. However, it soon became clear that she was doing what so many others in the media have before her: confusing single-action semiautomatic fire with full auto. Let Ms. Tur serve as a reminder that fake news does not have to be deliberate in order to fit the bill.
This mistake has been made often enough that, following the devastating Las Vegas shooting, even Politifact wrote a piece clarifying the distinction between the two terms. It read, in part: “‘Semi-automatic’ refers to any firearm designed to fire one bullet with one trigger squeeze.” Both pistols and rifles like the AR-15 are semiautomatic.
Regrettably, Tur missed that article. While speaking with former New York State Senator Michael Balboni, she pointed out that the Florida shooter could not have purchased a nine-millimeter Glock pistol because he wasn’t 21. “He could not have bought a pistol,” she complained, “which shoots people one, by one, by one, by one, but he could walk in and legally buy a semiautomatic weapon.” More than once she evoked imagery of “mow[ing] down” victims, further evidencing her confusion. She continued: