Between Joe Biden's stupid statements about firing shotguns, and now the First Lady's inaccurate remark about "automatic weapons", the administration keeps putting its foot in its mouth. (Or perhaps "shooting itself in the foot" is a better metaphor.) Michelle Obama's reference to automatic weapons edited out by ABC (chicagotribune.com):
First lady Michelle Obama said in a "Good Morning America" interview Tuesday that an automatic weapon was used in the shooting death of Hadiya Pendleton , but that detail — which is not supported by police accounts — was edited out when the interview was aired and posted to ABC's website.
"She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids ... grew up, where our house is. She had just taken a chemistry test. And she was caught in the line of fire because some kids had some automatic weapons they didn't need. I just don't want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first."
However, in the video clip that appears online, the mention of "automatic weapons" was edited out:
"She was standing out in a park with her friends in a neighborhood blocks away from where my kids grow — grew — up, where our house is. … And she was caught in the line of fire. ... I just don't want to keep disappointing our kids in this country. I want them to know that we put them first."
Police believe the gun in question was a revolver, because no shell casings were found at the scene. It could have been a semiautomatic handgun fired by someone who cleaned up their brass, but semiautomatic is not automatic -- automatic weapons are very strictly regulated, not generally available to ordinary civilians.
Conflating semiautomatic guns, which use some of the energy from one shot to load a round into the chamber and cock the hammer for the next shot, with automatic weapons capable of continuous or burst fire, is a rhetorical tactic used by some dishonest or ignorant gun control advocates. I'll give Mrs. Obama the benefit of the doubt and assume that she just didn't know what the heck she was talking about.
But more disappointing than her ignorance about guns (she doesn't have to know about them to be First Lady, but if she's going to comment on the the subject she needs to have a grasp of the fundamentals) is ABC apparently covering for her. The idea that this blatant factual error was "cut for time" does not pass the sniff test.