Conservative rocker Ted Nugent is the latest pro-gun advocate to hype the conspiracy theory that the media has been lying about the slaughter of 20 children in Connecticut because he says that “no so-called assault weapon was used in the grisly murders.”
Since the Dec. 14 shootings, conspiracy theorists have pointed to an incorrect report by NBC’s Pete Williams that “only handguns were taken into the school” by gunman Adam Lanza.
After attending the State of the Union address on Tuesday and hearing President Barack Obama’s call for gun control legislation, Nugent repeated the false claim in his Wednesday World Net Daily column.
“No so-called assault weapon was used in the grisly murders of the children and teachers in Newton, Conn,” Nugent wrote. “NBC has reported the butcher used four handguns.”
The Motor City Madman added: “[A]nd though we can all agree that anything reported by the networks and so much of the media should be disbelieved out of hand, even if the Bushmaster modern sporting rifle were used in the demonic slaughter of innocents, semi-automatics are not ‘assault weapons.’ Period.”
Nugent ignored that many other news outlets, including CNN, have correctly reported that Lanza took a Bushmaster AR-15 and two other weapons inside Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Connecticut State Police Lt. J. Paul Vance even held a press conference to debunk the rumors.
“It’s all these conspiracy theorists that are trying to mucky up the waters,” Vance said last month. “There’s no doubt that the rifle was used solely to kill 26 people in that school.”
As Media Matters noted on Friday, Nugent’s claim that the “AR-15 has more in common with a common .22 semi-automatic squirrel rifle than a military assault weapon” is also inaccurate.
“The AR-15A2 Sporter II is the civilian version of the battle proven and recently improved U.S. military M-16A1,” firearms manufacturer Colt explained in a 1985 advertisement.
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